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Press Releases / 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 30, 2010


Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano today announced the appointment of Daniel (Don) Shacknai to the position of First Deputy Commissioner, the second-highest civilian rank in the Fire Department.  Shacknai has served as Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs since 2007 and has worked for FDNY since 2002.  As First Deputy Commissioner, he will oversee Strategic Planning, Intergovernmental Affairs, Family Assistance, Medical Services and Grants Development.  His appointment is effective today.  Frank P. Cruthers, the prior First Deputy Commissioner, recently retired from the position after 41 years with the department. 

“Don Shacknai came to this department just a few months after the devastating losses of September 11, 2001 to help us rebuild,” Commissioner Cassano said. “Today we are stronger, better equipped and better prepared.  Don was a big part of those Herculean efforts.  With 14 years of service to New York City, Don has a strong commitment to our members and our mission.  I am confident he will help us continue our efforts to always remain the greatest fire department in the world.”

Shacknai, 47, is a 1993 magna cum laude graduate of Cornell Law School.  He spent two years with the New York firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett until 1996, when Nicholas Scoppetta, the newly appointed Commissioner at the city’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), hired him to serve as the agency’s Associate General Counsel for Compliance.  Shacknai was promoted to Deputy General Counsel of ACS in 2000 and played an important role in efforts to reform and improve the agency.

In 2002, Shacknai’s work at ACS prompted Scoppetta, then the newly appointed Fire Commissioner, to make him Deputy Commissioner for Intergovernmental Affairs and Management Initiatives at FDNY.  In 2007, he became Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs, serving as chief legal, legislative and policy advisor to the Fire Commissioner.  In addition to overseeing litigation and employee discipline cases, Shacknai has also managed the Department’s community and medical affairs, health services and family assistance and grants offices.  He was the primary developer of the FDNY Officers Management Institute, a training program for senior chiefs; co-creator of the FDNY’s CPR training program; led the team that established FDNY High School; and oversaw a grants program that secured $300 million in federal and private funds.  He is also a co-recipient of the FDNY Administrative Medal, the highest Departmental civilian award, for his work on FDNY’s first-ever Strategic Plan.  Shacknai lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Eve, and their two children, Noah and Aaron.

Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon & Steve Ritea, (FDNY) (718) 999-2056

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