Leadership Institute Class of 2006

John Adair

John Adair began his career at the New York City Department of Sanitation in 1989 as a Sanitation Worker. He rose through the ranks to his current position as Deputy Chief, where he is responsible for the oversight and planning of various sanitation functions throughout Manhattan. He has also served on numerous committees that focused on operational changes within the department. Prior to his work in City service, John was a manager of several retail properties. He has pursued undergraduate studies in Marketing and Transportation Management. John is married and is the proud parent of 3 children.

Phyllis Atwater

Phyllis Atwater is Director of Certification Operations for the Minority and Woman-Owned Business Enterprises Program of the Department of Small Business Services. Before joining City government in 1999, Phyllis pursued a career in environmental affairs in Massachusetts and New York State government. She has been President and Chief Operating Officer of a nationally acclaimed secondary materials reprocessing business in South Central Bronx, has served on the Recycling Advisory Council to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and currently serves on the Boards of several non-profit youth development and environmental organizations. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Phyllis is a graduate of Vassar College, holds a Master's Degree in Mathematics from Boston University, and earned honors in economics at the Graduate Faculty, New School for Social Research.

Desiree Blackwood-Torres

Desiree Blackwood-Torres is the Assistant Commissioner of the Licensing Division of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. In her role as Assistant Commissioner, she oversees the licensure and regulation of all licensed taxicab and transport vehicles in the City of New York. Desiree also strategically implements policies and programs to ensure efficient use of operational resources to achieve the goals and initiatives of the Commission. Desiree is a graduate of Columbia University, with a Masters in Organizational Development.

Leona Braithwaite

Leona Braithwaite is the Assistant Commissioner of Fiscal Services at the Department of Probation. Prior to joining City government, Leona worked at McGraw Hill Company, both as an Assistant Comptroller and Business Manager in the Book and Publication Companies. In her current role as Assistant Commissioner, Leona provides advice to the Agency's senior executive staff on matters of financial planning and staffing. Leona holds an MBA in Finance from Long Island University.

Alison Clarke

Alison Clarke is the Director of Management Analysis and Planning, HRA's Family Independence Administration Employment Services Division. In this role, Alison oversees the Employment Services Division's analytical/statistical reporting and evaluation of agency contracts, including the training program for public assistance recipients. Prior to her work at the Human Resources Administration, Alison worked for a private consulting firm. She started working in City government in 1999 as an analyst in the Mayor's Office of Operations. Alison holds an MPA with a Policy Concentration from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU and earned her BA in Political Science from Barnard College.

Richard Dee

Richard Dee is a 16 year veteran of the New York City Police Department, having spent 14 years on patrol in Brooklyn North and Queens South combined. Richard is currently assigned as the Commanding Officer of the Queens South Borough Anti-Crime team. As Commanding Officer, he oversees the street level violence prevention efforts of the borough wide anti-crime team and the day-to-day functions of the Queens South Evidence Collection Team. He is also responsible for the Auto Larceny Unit and their borough wide vehicle theft prevention efforts. Richard has a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice from St. John's University.

Sandra Gordon

Sandra Gordon currently serves as the Director of Disciplinary Affairs at the Department of Juvenile Justice. As director, Sandra manages a confidential office responsible for the investigation and prosecution of employee misconduct, incompetence and fraud. Sandra also provides legal counsel and reviews and develops related policies. Prior to joining the Department of Juvenile Justice, Sandra served as the Acting Director and Assistant Director in the Employment Law Unit at the Administration for Children's Services. Before entering City government, she worked for a private hospital where she held various positions in human resources management. Sandra holds a BBA Degree from Baruch College and received her law degree from Fordham University School of Law.

Jane Imbasciani

Jane Imbasciani began her career with the City of New York in May of 1987 working for the Department of Probation (DOP). She started as a Probation Officer and is now the Assistant Commissioner, assigned to Manhattan Adult Services. Jane is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operation of DOP's Adult Court Services in Manhattan which includes preparing 700-800 Pre-Sentence Investigation Reports per month and the supervision of over 8,000 adult probationers. Jane graduated from SUNY at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Arts in Health and Human Services.

William Klimowicz

William Klimowicz is the Director of the Uniformed and Technical Examining Group in the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), Bureau of Examinations. Bill leads a professional staff who develop, administer and rate both civil service exams and exams for obtaining City licenses in the skilled trades. Bill has a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology and has completed additional graduate coursework in public administration and labor-management relations. After all these years, Bill still enjoys helping agencies tackle such challenges as diversifying their workforces, identifying and validating required job skills and requirements, and developing efficient methods of assessing job applicant qualifications to meet agency staffing needs.

Vera Lavin

Vera Lavin holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting and a Bachelors Degree in Education from Brooklyn College. For the past 20 years, she has been employed by the City of New York, Office of the Comptroller and is currently a manager at the Bureau of Management Audit. As Audit Manager, she provides guidance to several audit teams on financial and operational related matters of New York City agencies and authorities. Vera is married and has three daughters.

Thomas Lintern

Thomas Lintern is the Deputy Commissioner in the Office of Budget Administration at the Human Resources Administration (HRA), where he is responsible for a $7 billion budget which serves more than 2.5 million New Yorkers. Prior to joining HRA, Thomas worked in the Social Services Task Force at the Office of Management and Budget and held positions in a variety of other social service organizations throughout his career. He earned a MPA and MSW from Columbia University and a BA from the University of Connecticut.

Diana Mack-Henry

Diana Mack-Henry is the Inspection Manager for the Department of Buildings (DOB) Queens Borough Office. As the Inspection Manager, Diana oversees the operation of the Construction, Electrical, Plumbing and House Connection Inspection Units for the Department. Prior to serving in this capacity, she was the Deputy Director of Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection for the subsidized housing program administered by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). Before entering City government, Diana was a successful manager for several private companies engaged in structural engineering and construction management. Diana holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering from the City College of New York, and a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Jenelle Mitchell

Jenelle Mitchell is the Deputy Director of Field Operations for the Social Services Department at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). As the Deputy, she oversees NYCHA's Social Service Operations, ensuring that a variety of programs are administered to support NYCHA's mission of providing decent and affordable housing in a safe and secure living environment for low and moderate income residents. These programs include services to the elderly, disabled, mentally ill, the formally homeless, victims of domestic violence and substance abusing populations. Jenelle is a Licensed Master Social Worker and has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Binghamton University and a Master Degree in Social Work from Columbia University.

Jenny Montana O'Connor

Jenny Montana O'Connor is the Deputy Chief of the Special Litigation Unit of the New York City Law Department. In this position, Jenny oversees the daily operations of the Tort Division's high-exposure and catastrophic-injury litigation unit. Jenny joined the Law Department in 1996 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Brooklyn Tort Office and went on to occupy the position of Deputy Assistant Chief and Assistant Borough Chief in the Brooklyn Tort Office before transferring to the Special Litigation Unit. Jenny has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Fairfield University and a Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School.

Debra Monte

Debra A. Monte is the Department Advocate in the Legal Affairs' Bureau of Investigations and Trials (BITs) at the Fire Department. Debra has worked in City government for over 24 years beginning her career as an Emergency Medical Technician. She advanced to Paramedic, Paramedic Instructor/Coordinator and Trainer, and Lieutenant before her promotion to Captain in 2001. Debra's responsibilities at BITs include investigation and prosecution of employee misconduct, supervision and training of Bureau staff, and training of agency personnel on the disciplinary process. Debra is the recipient of various medals and commendations, including an award for her response as an Officer to the World Trade Center attack and for her contributions during the days thereafter.


Ivy Pool

Ivy Pool is the Deputy Director of Operations and Strategic Planning at the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS). In her current role, Ivy is responsible for performance management, strategic planning, internal management consulting, and operational analyses. Ivy joined DCAS in 2002 as a policy analyst and was promoted to Deputy Director in 2004. Prior to launching her career in City government, Ivy worked for a private-sector management consulting firm. Ivy earned a BA in History from Columbia University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Administration at NYU Wagner.

Evelyn Ruiz

Evelyn Ruiz is the Director of the Initials and Enhanced Subsidies Unit with the Division of Tenant Resources at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). Evelyn oversees four teams that manage Mod Rehab and Mitchell Lama conversions, and all initial vouchering activity for the regular Section 8 Program. During her tenure, Evelyn has served in various positions within the Department, including Director of the Lead Referral Program, Director of Statistical Reporting, and Section 8 World Trade Coordinator where she established procedures and coordinated with New York City Emergency Centers to assist victims of the World Trade Center disaster.

Reed Schneider

Reed Schneider has served at the Tax Commission as General Counsel since 1998 and also serves in effect as the agency's chief of operations. In that capacity, he coordinates the work of the three departments within the agency. He began his career in City government as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in 1978. Reed is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law and is admitted to practice law in New York and Texas.


Fred Silva

Fred Silva is the Director of Operations for the NYC School Construction Authority (SCA). He oversees the SCA's IT systems including architecture, administration, HW/SW, communications, Change Management and QA. In addition, Fred works with his peers and directly with business leaders to develop solutions to leverage the use of technology in meeting the company's mission. Fred's business passions include team development, strategy and execution of technical solutions to advance the business.

Zachary Smith

Zachary Smith is the Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Policy. In that capacity, he helps oversee Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott's portfolio including the Department of Education, the New York City Housing Authority, and the Health and Hospitals Corporation and also serves as the liaison to the Department of Youth and Community Development. Through his work at the Mayor's Office since January 2002, Zachary's responsibilities have involved him with virtually every city government agency. Prior to his work in City government, Zachary counseled high-risk youth in Colorado and received his MBA from Baruch College (CUNY).

Joseph Spetly

Joseph Spetly is the Director of Project Reporting and Analysis for the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC). He is responsible for management reporting and reporting systems, including development of the Key Performance Indicator Program, which monitors the agency's $4.6 billion portfolio and the effectiveness of its organizational divisions. Prior to joining DDC in 1997, he worked as a data systems manager for Paramount Pictures Corporation and Simon & Schuster. Joe has a Bachelors Degree from the University of Connecticut and a Certificate in Business Data processing from New York University. He is an Aesthetic Realism Associate, studying at the not-for-profit Aesthetic Realism Foundation in New York City.


Renee Stout

Renée Stout is the Executive Director of Managed Care Program Development & Evaluation in the Medical Insurance and Community Services Administration, a division of New York City Human Resources Administration. As Executive Director, Renee oversees the daily operations and monitoring of the Managed Care Client Services Unit and Contract Monitoring Unit which includes the New York Medicaid CHOICE/MAXIMUS Program. Renee has 25 years of program development and operations management experience leading initiatives in the healthcare industry. She is skilled in areas of managed care development, grant management and public/private programs initiatives. Renee is a candidate for a Master in Health Administration.

Sonia Torruella

Sonia Torruella was hired by the New York City Housing Authority as Director for the Department of Resident Employment Services (RES) in September 2003. As Director of RES, Sonia is responsible for developing and implementing programs and services for NYCHA residents that will enable them to achieve economic self-sufficiency through the provision of job placement, training, business development, supportive service and educational opportunities. Sonia directs a staff of 68 full-time employees, distributed among five specialized divisions in RES, to accomplish this task. Ms. Torruella came to the Housing Authority from the Consortium for Worker Education (CWE), the largest employment and training program in New York City. Prior to this, Sonia began her professional career in the private sector with Greyhound Bus Line as Operations Manager and Regional Charter Sales Manager for the Eastern Corridor.

Judith Wolpoff

Judith Wolpoff is the Deputy Budget Director at the Administration for Children's Services. In this capacity she is responsible for the child welfare portion of the Children's Services budget, which includes foster care, adoption, preventive services and protective services. Judith has worked at Children's Services for over eight years where she has been involved in Children's Services redesign of the New York City child welfare system. Currently, she is assisting on the Children's Services Reinvestment Plan and is responsible for coordinating the plan's financial services portion. Prior to joining Children's Services, Judith worked at the New York City Human Resources Administration for the Social Security Income (SSI) program. Judith holds a Masters of Public Administration Degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the State University of New York at Albany.

Rong Zhang

Rong Zhang is the Director of Literacy Programs with the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD). Rong began working at DYCD in 1996 as a Staff Developer. In his current capacity as Director, he is responsible for the administration of adult literacy programs offered through community-based organizations throughout the city. In addition, he is an adjunct professor at LaGuardia Community College. Rong holds a Masters Degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis on teaching English as a Second Language.



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