The City's Latest Hirings and Retirings

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Big news in city government came last week when deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding Daniel Doctoroff announced his resignation. The man who guided such city-backed projects as Atlantic Yards, Hudson Yards, the attempt to bring the Olympics to New York, and an array of often-controversial rezonings will leave government service to run Mayor Bloomberg’s company, Bloomberg LLP. Like Bloomberg, former investment banker Doctoroff received pay of $1 per year. Longtime government fixture Nat Leventhal, who chairs the Mayor’s Committee on Appointments, will oversee the search for a replacement – who may want to receive the more typical deputy mayor’s salary of around $180,000.

Word of another change in City Hall’s executive echelons came Friday, with the announcement that Ronald E. Richter would replace Jennifer Jones Austin as family services coordinator for the city. Austin was the first to hold this position, which was created last year to identify and implement collaborations between agencies to serve needy children, adults and families. According to the city, achievements under Austin’s watch include expanding universal pre-kindergarten by more than 9,000 seats and coordinating juvenile justice reforms. Richter thus leaves his post as deputy commissioner for family court legal services at the Administration for Children’s Services, while Austin is moving on to United Way of NYC as senior vice president for community investment. She replaces Eric Brettschneider, a social services veteran who served as interim VP since June.

Also at United Way, a permanent general counsel has been hired: Sunita Subramanian, who previously served as a senior staff attorney at Lawyers Alliance for New York, which offers free legal and business advice to nonprofits. Until now United Way had relied on a combination of a part-time counsel and pro bono lawyers for its legal advice.

Next month, the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies will bring on a new director of policy, advocacy and research – Bich Ha Pham, currently executive director of the Hunger Action Network of New York State. The FPWA job had been held by Jillynn Stevens, with whom Pham had worked on welfare issues. Stevens moved to Arizona in October for a new job and to be close to her family. Former Hunger Action Network associate director, Mark Dunlea, who is also former chair of the NYS Green Party and a co-founder of the New York Public Interest Research Group, will fill Pham’s shoes as Hunger Action’s chief. Calling it a “favorable time” to further the group’s goals, Pham said she’s excited to direct “one of the most prominent policy advocacy departments in New York.”

“At both the state and the city level, economic security or opportunity commissions have been created and FPWA is well-situated to play a leadership role in both arenas. I also look forward to working with FPWA's faith-based services director to get the faith community more involved in advocacy for just public policies for New York's most vulnerable,” Pham said.

At the Upper West Side’s Goddard-Riverside Community Center, Carolyn Nash became associate director in mid-October. Nash was formerly the director of the survival portfolio at the Robin Hood Foundation and executive director of Sanctuary for Families. She replaces Ellen Eisenman, who held the associate director position for 16 years and left to pursue her interest in art and photography. While at Goddard, Eisenman oversaw an array of programs, but is most closely identified with her work for the elderly and youth, and in AIDS education.

In related news, Kristen Edwards has been named the first director of the Manhattan Outreach Consortium, a partnership of seven neighborhood-based homeless outreach and housing placement groups. Goddard-Riverside is the lead agency, responsible for the Consortium’s fiscal management; The Center for Urban Community Services is the lead support agency.

After a 10-week search, the board of the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York has ultimately decided to make acting executive director Jennifer March-Joly its permanent leader. On staff since 2001 and formerly the associate director, March-Joly has been interim head since September, when longtime executive director Gail Nayowith left to run the Laurie M. Tisch Family Foundation.

Alan Goodman is the new executive director of the Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service, succeeding Donna Santarsiero, who retired after 28 years. Goodman held the same title at the American Red Cross Sept.11 Recovery Program.

The Greater Chinatown Community Association tapped Kendra Lee as its new executive director. She was previously the development manager of the Asian American Federation of New York. Former E.D. Edward Fang is now listed as program director. Over in Queens, attorney Bryan Pu-Folkes has left New Immigrant Community Empowerment after eight years as executive director to nurture his own immigration and civil rights law firm. Deputy director Valeria Treves assumed the job in October, while Pu-Folkes remains on the group’s board.

And, at Manhattan Neighborhood Network, Betty Yu is now the director of community outreach and media, replacing interim director Michael Eisenmenger as of early October. Yu previously worked as an MNN community outreach & media specialist for five years, and as a community labor organizer with the Chinese Staff and Workers’ Association.

In the housing realm, Habitat for Humanity-NYC elevated a familiar face to a permanent position. Josh Lockwood, who has been with Habitat-NYC since 2006 – first as a chief operating officer, then as acting executive director – is now the organization’s official head. It looks like a cluster of state agencies, including the New York State Housing Finance Agency and the State of New York Mortgage Agency, will have a new general counsel in Joy Willig. She started in November, though the board of these agencies won’t vote to approve her appointment until Dec. 13. Her background includes serving as chief legal officer for L & M Equity Participants, Ltd., an affordable housing development company, and as deputy general counsel for the NYC Housing Development Corporation.

The board of directors of LivingCities named Ben Hecht, founder and president of One Economy Corporation, the new chief executive officer, beginning Sept. 1. He replaced Reese Fayde, who left to work as a consultant. LivingCities is a joint public/private effort to bring community development to urban neighborhoods; Hecht’s appointment is said to represent a movement for the organization beyond housing towards building healthy and sustainable neighborhoods.

In education news, The After-School Corporation has two new board members: CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien and Cynthia T. Remec, the founder/executive director of BoardAssist, a nonprofit board consulting firm. They were elected in September by current TASC board members.

At the office of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Shaan Khan is now director of community affairs and constituent services. He had been deputy director of Stringer’s community affairs unit, and before that was liaison to Community Boards 2 and 4. He replaces Joshua Bocian, who departed to become a lobbyist for the Law Offices of Claudia Wagner, a firm specializing in local government.

There’s a new head at the city’s Workforce Investment Board. Blake Foote succeeds executive director Marilyn Shea, who retired after holding the post since 2004. Foote comes from NYC Business Solutions Hiring at the New York City Department of Small Business Services, where she served as executive director.

Gil Quiniones resigned in October as chair of the city’s 16-member Energy Policy Task Force to join the NY Power Authority as senior vice president for energy marketing and corporate affairs. His replacement has yet to be named. The task force was formed in 2003 under the auspices of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, following the citywide blackout that year. Quiniones was named a senior vice president at EDC in 2003.

Finally, in the private sector, Joannne Minieri has been promoted from chief operating officer to president of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner Cos. Bruce Ratner had been president as well as chief executive and will remain CEO while assuming chairmanship. Minieri has been with the company since 1995. Forest City Ratner is the main developer in charge of the controversial Atlantic Yards project in that borough.

– Jillian Jonas

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