Vacation time is upon us, but for some New Yorkers it's time to take on a new job, rather than take a long break. Maggie Russell-Ciardi this month became executive director of New York State Tenants & Neighbors, a 30-year-old advocacy group for tenants’ rights and affordable housing. Russell-Ciardi has been education director at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum for the past five years, and before that managed a grant program at Citizens for NYC. Russell-Ciardi is replacing San Milton, who served as interim executive director since shortly after the departure of Jumaane Williams in January, who left to pursue opening a cafe in Brooklyn.
Until recently the director of the Mayor’s Office of Industrial and Manufacturing Businesses, Carl Hum has just come on board as president and chief executive of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. Hum led the industrial office since Bloomberg created it in Jan. 2005, and presided over the creation of the 16 industrial business zones in early 2006. Interim president Mark Kessler is staying on as chief operating officer. Former chamber head Kenneth Adams left in November after 11 years to become president of the Business Council of New York State.
Mayor Bloomberg has gained a health czar, however – actually a “health coordinator” – for the World Trade Center in the person of Jeffrey Hon, a former spokesman for the American Red Cross September 11th Recovery Program with more than a decade's experience in the areas of substance and alcohol abuse and mental health services. Hon fills a new position that comes from the recommendations of the city’s February report on 9/11 health impacts. He will be in charge of examining inconsistencies in city agencies and improving communication for people with 9/11 related health problems.
Two new faces are filling city administration positions recently vacated: Nazli Parvizi is now commissioner of the Community Assistance Unit, replacing Patrick Brennan, who is moving on to become president of The Parkside Group, a lobbying and consulting firm in the city. Parvizi since 2002 has been executive director of the Mayor’s Volunteer Center, which is now merging into the CAU and fostering an expansion of CAU's role as a liaison with nonprofit community and volunteer groups in the city. Meanwhile Michael Mansfield, executive assistant district attorney for operations at the Queens district attorney’s office, will be the new chairman of the Business Integrity Commission, attempting to fill the shoes of Thomas McCormack, who retired. Next month Mansfield, who also teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, will take the helm of this six-year-old monitor of business sectors often affected by organized crime, such as garbage hauling and shipboard gaming.
Over at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Laura Lazarus will soon take the title of deputy commissioner for development. Lazarus was a senior vice president at the Telesis Corporation’s New York office, where she had worked since 1997 – but she's not new to HPD, having served as an assistant project manager from 1988 to 1990. Lazarus replaces Rafael Cestero, who left HPD this winter to join affordable housing financier Enterprise as a senior vice president.
Speaking of Enterprise, the nonprofit's relatively new vice president and NYC director, Jim Himes, is running for U.S. Congress. The Democrat hopes to unseat U.S. Rep. Chris Shays, a Republican representing the 4th District of Connecticut since 1987. Himes is committed to Enterprise for now, though that could change as the campaign heats up.
Also on the housing beat, Andrea Anderson has been hired as the director of policy and advocacy for the Pratt Center for Community Development. The position is a new one Pratt created to increase its influence in city and state policies and to aid neighborhood organizations. Anderson was formerly a research associate at the Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change.
The city's Center for Financial Empowerment, a new office of the Department of Consumer Affairs, has found its first deputy director of evaluation and analysis in Caitlyn Brazill, until recently a senior policy analyst for income security and workforce development for the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies.
Change is afoot at the Community Service Society, the 160-year-old policy and antipoverty organization. A new “strategic plan” to focus on low-wage work and economic mobility has led to the addition of several names to CSS's large roster of staff and fellows, according to vice president Walter Fields – and the subtraction of some familiar ones. A senior policy analyst at CSS for a decade, poverty expert Mark Levitan left to becomedirector of poverty research at the city's Center on Economic Opportunity, an outgrowth of the mayor's poverty commission. Don Friedman was also a senior policy analyst – spending three-and-a-half years at CSS specializing in public assistance issues, especially welfare – and has gone on to become managing attorney of the Empire Justice Center’s new office located within the Touro Law School on Long Island. Former CSS director of policy research Nancy Rankin and senior policy analyst for health issues Denise Soffel are also out. Because of CSS's new directions, “there was a mutual recognition that the way to move ahead was to shut down the policy department,” said Soffel, who's now enjoying a sabbatical and the new health policy opportunities she sees under Gov. Spitzer. Rankin is consulting for A Better Balance, a legal advocacy group working to resolve work-family conflicts. New faces at CSS include economist William Spriggs and economic mobility specialist Margy Waller as senior fellows, and Elisabeth Ryden Benjamin as director of New York Healthcare Restructuring Initiatives, a new project, and Lazar Treschan as director of the new Disconnected Youth Campaign.
United Way has found a new CEO in Gordon Campbell, for the past nine years the chief of staff of Safe Horizon, a victim assistance organization that works to prevent child abuse, domestic violence, stalking and other crimes. Campbell has also worked with the Sept. 11 Fund, created by the United Way and the New York Community Trust. Campbell starts Oct. 1, succeeding Lawrence Mandell, who retired last month.
In other executive news, Jean Tatge, vice president of development and external affairs at the Municipal Arts Society since 1996, has been promoted to the new position of chief operating officer. The College of Staten Island has a new president in Tomas Morales, formerly the provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, as well as a professor of education there. Morales succeeds Marlene Springer, who has been president for 13 years and is now retiring. Henry Amoroso has been chosen as next president of St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, replacing Guy Sansone, who is now a member of the Board of Directors and will remain involved. Amoroso was formerly the chief executive of Catholic Health and Human Services in New Jersey as well as the principal advisor on urban health care to Mayor Cory A. Booker of Newark. Eric Scherzer has been appointed executive director of the Committee of Interns and Residents, which is part of the Service Employees International Union. Scherzer has been CIR’s associate director for nine years. And Bob Zuckerman is the new executive director of both the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation and the newly formed Gowanus Canal Conservancy. For the past two and a half years, Zuckerman has been executive director of the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce.
At the Department of Education, Chancellor Joel Klein has brought on two top leaders – Roland Fryer as chief equality officer, and Marcia Lyles as deputy chancellor for teaching and learning. Fryer, an assistant professor of economics at Harvard, will begin next year to advise Klein on how to narrow the racial gap in achievement in the city’s schools. Lyles, until recently the superintendent of Region Eight in the Bronx, replaces Dr. Andres Alonso, who resigned in June to become CEO of public schools in Baltimore.
Also in education, William Eimicke, founder and director of the Picker Center for Executive Education at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, is taking a one-year leave immediately to serve as deputy commissioner for strategic planning and policy at the New York City Fire Department. Eimicke will serve as an advisor to Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta. In the courts, the Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department, covering Manhattan and the Bronx, has a new presiding justice in Jonathan Lippman, who began his legal career 35 years ago as a law assistant in the state court system. Another lawyer, Harvey Epstein, is the new director of the Urban Justice Center’s Community Development Project. Epstein has served as associate director of Housing Conservation Coordinators for the past few years, and replaces Ray Brescia, who is now on the faculty of Albany Law School.
And to wrap it up around town, Dr. Robert Maher has become executive director of St. Christopher’s Children’s Services Agency, replacing Joseph Semidei, who retired in March. Edward F. Greene, the general counsel of Citi Markets and Banking, was appointed to take over as chair of the board of directors of the Lawyers Alliance for New York (after helping to found LANY in 1969). And Gabrielle Semel has been made a regular member of the city Board of Collective Bargaining. Semel, a legal counsel at Communications Workers of America, replaces Bruce Simon, a long-time labor representative on the BCB who resigned earlier this year.
This story has been updated.