Shino Tanikawa has been a public school advocate in New York City for over 20 years. She began her advocacy career at her older daughter’s public elementary school in Community School District 2 in Manhattan, where she served as PTA Co-President. Through this role, she served on the District 2 PTA Presidents Council and became aware of systemic issues, such as school accountability, class size, school overcrowding, education budget, and the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case. Throughout her children’s schooling, Shino served as an officer of four different PTAs and five different School Leadership Teams, giving her a range of perspectives.
In February 2009 she was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Community Education Council District 2 (CECD2). Subsequently she was elected and re-elected to serve on the CECD2 for four terms, followed by two additional terms as the Manhattan Borough President Appointee. While on the CECD2, she served as Vice President and President at various times as well as chaired committees, including Zoning, Middle School and Diversity Committees. She was also instrumental in advocating for more school seats in overcrowded neighborhoods in CSD2 through partnerships with Community Boards and elected officials. She also served as the Public Advocate Appointee on the Citywide Council on High Schools from July 2021 until her election as the Manhattan Regent.
She is one of several Citywide and Community Education Council members who organized others to come together to form a group, Education Council Consortium (ECC) in 2014. She has served as Co-Chair of the Steering Committee since 2017. ECC successfully facilitated collaboration between parent leaders and the NYC Department of Education, resulting in a new, participatory process for district planning and improved parent leadership development program.
Shino has also served on the School Diversity Advisory Group, Fair Student Funding Task Force, School Siting Task Force, Blue Book Working Group and 75 Morton Street School Task Force.
Shino is Executive Director of the New York City Soil & Water Conservation District and oversees all program areas. As part of her work, she promotes outdoor hands-on experiential learning as a means to nurture a sense of stewardship of natural resources. She has worked with students as young as Kindergartners in testing the Hudson River water.
Shino has two grown daughters and lives in Manhattan with her husband and four cats.