Management Academy 2007

Michael Agnello began his career at the Department of Parks and Recreation in 1989 as an analyst. He soon became Deputy Director of Operations & Management Planning and now serves as a Park & Recreation Manager. In this role, Michael is in charge of the maintenance and operations for two districts in Queens. He holds a Bachelors degree from Bernard Baruch College and a Masters degree from Adelphi University.

John Begley began his career in City government in 1988 as an Appraisal Trainee at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS). He currently serves as Supervisor of Appraisal, Administrative, and Technology Services in the Financial Information Unit at DCAS. In that capacity, John is responsible for supervising appraisers and valuing real estate throughout the City for lease, acquisition, and disposition. In addition to his real estate responsibilities John works with other units in the Division of Real Estate Services to create programs and systems that streamline and track the workflow and keep the division up to date with the latest technology. John earned his Bachelors degree in Marketing at Pace University and has continued his education at New York University in Real Estate Appraisal, Leasing, Development, and Investment Analysis.

Monique Begy has worked for the Department of Probation (DOP) for 18 years, beginning her career as a Probation Officer assigned to supervise the City's sentenced drug population. She was promoted to Supervising Probation Officer and shortly after was selected for a groundbreaking departmental initiative, the Field Service Unit. This Unit would surveil individuals who were in violation of their probation, execute warrants and return the perpetrator to face the court. Monique was promoted to her current position as Chief in 2005 and is currently responsible for the Special Offender Branch in Bronx County. She holds a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology from C.W. Post College/L.I.U. and a Masters degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Sheila J. Benjamin currently serves as the Director of Office & Customer Services for the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). In her role, Sheila is responsible for managing the agency’s telecommunication unit, customer service unit and mail room services. She also manages and coordinates office relocations and works cooperatively with Facilities Planning on office renovation projects. Sheila has worked with DOHMH for ten years and holds a Bachelors degree in Social Work and Psychology from Oral Roberts University.

Ukah Busgith began her career at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) in 1991 as a Community Assistant. She rose through the ranks to her current position as Deputy Director for the Department of Administration and Citywide Programs. In her role as Deputy Director, Ukah is responsible for implementing and coordinating 40 Citywide programs which provide opportunities for NYCHA residents to participate in a variety of educational, recreational and cultural activities. 

Elysia Carnevale is the Chief of Staff to the Executive Deputy Commissioner at the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). Elysia supports the Executive Deputy Commissioner’s work to strategically focus on the agency’s core mission of keeping children safer and achieving key child welfare outcomes. She works closely with executive staff in all parts of Children’s Services to address issues, develop child welfare practice and policy, and minimize systemic gaps to produce better outcomes for children and families. Prior to this work, Elysia served as Deputy Press Secretary in ACS’s Office of Communications. Elysia holds a Bachelors degree in Communications from SUNY New Paltz.

James Y. Cho is the Director of the Plan Management Unit at the Office of Emergency Management (OEM). At OEM, Jim guides the development of a wide range of Citywide emergency plans from Coastal Storm Planning to the Heat Guide. Jim received his Bachelors degree in economics and international relations from Bucknell University in 1997. In 2004, he received his Masters of Public Policy from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, where he concentrated on quantitative methods and business regulation. 

Kathleen Comfrey joined the Labor & Employment Division of the City's Law Department in 2004. In her role as a Senior Counsel, she has been defending one of the City's mayoral agencies in a long-running, class action discrimination lawsuit. Prior to her government service, Kathleen practiced law as a litigation partner of Shearman & Sterling LLP, a large global law firm, headquartered in New York City.

Curtis G. Deane is the Deputy Agency Chief Contracting Officer for Construction/Construction Related Services at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). In this role, Curtis reviews and monitors the procurement functions of the Agency and ensures compliance with the City’s Procurement Policy Board rules and other City, State and Federal requirements. He began his career with HPD in 2000 serving as Director in the Requirements Contracts Unit where he was responsible for managing requirements contracts, contract processing and emergency demolition contracts. Curtis pursued studies in Business Administration & Finance at Millbank College of Commerce and Liverpool Polytechnic, UK and is an HPD Achieve Career Excellence (ACE) Fellow.

Alan Desmond is a 23 year veteran of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), serving 13 years in various supervisory positions. Currently, as a Precinct Platoon Commander, he supervises the day to day work of a platoon, as well as directs and coordinates the actions of subordinates at the scene of police emergencies. After a 20 year hiatus, Alan returned to school in 2001 and received an Associates degree. He received his Bachelors degree in 2005 from John Jay College of Criminal Justice where he graduated summa cum laude. He is currently pursuing his Masters Degree.

Ann Fitton is an Emergency Medical Service Deputy Chief for the Fire Department. She responds to major emergencies where she coordinates pre-hospital care resources and assures compliance with patient care protocols and practices. In daily activities, Ann provides administrative oversight, evaluation and support to EMS Officers to support morale and promote teamwork in EMS operations. Ann is a voting member of the New York State Department of Health Emergency Medical Services for Children Advisory Committee. She has a Baccalaureate degree from SUNY Empire State College, is certified as a Paramedic, Instructor Coordinator and has had her pre-hospital research published nationally. 

Carolyn Githinji is the Associate Director of the Capacity Building program at the Department of Small Business Services, Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity. In this role, she helps to build the capacity of emerging businesses through a combination of training programs and services designed to help businesses bid, win, perform on contracts, and manage their resources more effectively. In addition, Carolyn manages sixteen community-based organizations, funded by the City Council, that provide services to assist minority and women-owned business enterprises through community outreach, workshops and technical assistance. Prior to her career in City service, Carolyn worked at the School District of Palm Beach County as a Business Analyst where she crafted policies and programs that increased procurement utilization of minority and/or women owned businesses. Carolyn is currently a 2008 Masters candidate at New York University.

Michael Greco began his career with the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) in 1990. He currently serves as the Assistant Chief to the Meter Maintenance Unit for the Division of Parking, Bureau of Traffic. In this role, Michael is responsible for the installation, maintenance and repair of 62,000 single space parking meters and 2,400 multi-space parking meters which together generate over 100 million dollars annually. Some of Michael’s accomplishments at DOT include coordinating the Citywide conversion of all mechanical parking meters to electronic parking meters and the incorporation of the hand held Data Terminal System which facilitated the paperwork process for DOT service technicians.

Candace Howard works for the Health and Hospitals Corporation as the Associate Director of Kings County Hospital’s Educational Vocational Rehabilitation (EVR) Program. Candace is responsible for the administrative and clinical oversight of the NYS licensed Proprietary School that provides skills training, employment and other supportive services to people with multiple barriers to self-sufficiency. She began her NYC stewardship in 1999 as the Coordinating Manager in Kings County Hospital’s Behavioral Health Department, providing supervision to one of the Methadone Treatment Programs. Candace, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, has earned a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Hofstra
University and a Masters degree in Social Work from Adelphi University.

Abe Jacob is responsible for procurement and management of large-volume Citywide contracts for a variety of commodities and services at the Division of Municipal Supply Services of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS). Prior to joining the City, he was a Project Manager responsible for contract management in the telecommunications industry. Abe holds a Masters degree in Business Administration and a Bachelors degree in Engineering.

Jared Knowles began his career at the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) in 1995 as a research intern. He rose through the ranks serving as the Public Information Officer, a Landmarks Preservationist and a Senior Landmarks Preservationist where he mentored newer staff within the department. Jared is currently the Deputy Director of Preservation. In this role he advises a portion of the preservation department and is a liaison between the preservation department and other city and state agencies.

Laura McClelland has been a public servant for 19 years, beginning her career in City government as an entry level Fraud Investigator at the Human Resources Administration (HRA). While at HRA Laura has assumed progressive responsibilities in supervisory and managerial assignments, and currently serves as the Director of the Bureau of Eligibility Verification (BEV). As Director, she oversees and manages the daily operation of the agency by working to facilitate the development of operational initiatives, troubleshooting and identifying program weaknesses and monitoring the implementation of new policy, rules and regulations. Laura holds a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where she graduated cum laude.

Sara Meyers is the Director of Special Projects in the Office of the First Deputy Commissioner at the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC). She obtained a Masters degree in Public Administration from New York University in 2004, and following graduation, secured her first position in City Government at the TLC. Sara's responsibilities include agency-wide operational and policy assessment, analysis and implementation. Sara also collaborates with senior staff to develop new and innovative projects for the Commission.

Al Mignone has worked for the Department of Sanitation (DOS) for 23 years, starting his career as a machinist in the Bureau of Building Management. Al rose through the ranks to his current position as Deputy Director of the Bureau of Building Management. His duties range from overseeing a single trade shop to coordinating special projects throughout the five boroughs. Al’s involvement with special projects and building rehabilitations expose him to all facets of the building industry where his hands-on approach keeps him constantly looking for ways to increase productivity within his department.

Robert Nesmith is the Director of Research and Litigation Support in the General Counsel’s Office of the New York City Comptroller’s Office. He is responsible for supervising a team of Confidential Investigators, gathering information and drafting responses to subpoenas served on the Comptroller’s Office, conducting legal research and the internal clearance of matters involving potential conflicts of interest. Robert is also involved in responding to various requests from other governmental agencies, such as the NYC Law Department, Department of Investigation and the District Attorney’s Office, as well as requests from the general public under the New York State Freedom of Information Law. Robert holds a Bachelors degree in Government from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Masters degree in Urban Affairs from Queens College.

Marie Philip is the Executive Director for the Office of Domestic Violence at the Human Resources Administration (HRA). In this role, she contributes to the development of domestic violence policy and funding, and has fiscal and administrative oversight responsibility for a range of domestic violence services and programs. Marie has worked for over 25 years creating, developing, and directing clinical social service programs for woman and children impacted by domestic violence. Among her many accomplishments, Marie co-founded the first Brooklyn based grassroots volunteer organization offering sexual assault services: The Brooklyn Women’s Anti-Rape Exchange (BWARE) and served as Chairperson of the New York City Task Force against Sexual Assault.

Robert Van Pelt is the Managing Attorney for Intake at the Department of Homeless Services (DHS). In this capacity, Robert oversees all legal activities at and related to New York City's two homeless family intake centers. Robert manages a staff of over 30 legal and administrative personnel responsible for ensuring that intake policies and procedures are correctly applied at each site and that all decisions regarding housing eligibility are accurate. He also develops and leads critical workgroups responsible for the development and implementation of new policies and procedures to further the quality improvement efforts of each intake center. Robert obtained his law degree from the City University of New York School of Law and a Bachelors degree from Queens College.

Darryl L. Wong has spent over 15 years working in program planning/coordination, development, monitoring and management of CDC and Ryan White-funded HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care programs. He currently serves as the Deputy Director of the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy & Community Planning at the Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention & Control within the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). Darryl earned his Bachelors degree in French & Italian from Tufts University, his Masters degree from the Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine and recently completed the 2005/2006 DOHMH Mentoring /Leadership Development Program.

Claudette Wynter has worked in City government for over 20 years, beginning her career in public service at the Department of Finance. Claudette is currently the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Commissioner for Administration at the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). In this role, she coordinates all the different support mechanisms needed in the areas of personnel, facilities, administrative services, contracts and management information systems. Claudette received her Bachelors degree in Business Management & Finance from Brooklyn College and her Masters degree in Human Resources Management from the New School University.


Stella Xu is the Director of NYCAPS Functional Analysis and Citywide EMBP at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS). The NYCAPS Functional Analysis team is responsible for documenting civil service processes and procedures for incorporation into the New York City Automated Personnel Systems (NYCAPS). Additionally she is responsible for the Extended Military Benefits Program (EMBP), which offers benefits packages for City employees deployed on military duty. Stella has a Masters degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Technology and Information Management from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and a Bachelors degree in Government from Cornell University.

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