FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG APPOINTS ROGER K. NEWMAN AS CITY’S FIRST COMMISSIONER OF MAYOR’S OFFICE OF VETERANS’ AFFAIRS
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the appointment of Roger K. Newman as the City’s first Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs. The Office advises the Mayor on issues affecting the veterans community and works to assist veterans and returning service members by connecting them with services and benefits at Federal, State and City agencies. In addition to elevating the status of the Office, the Mayor has charged Commissioner Newman with developing a comprehensive strategy, involving partnerships with other government agencies and non-profit organizations, to enhance access, coordination and delivery of health and human services to veterans, military personnel and their families throughout the City.
“Our City owes a great debt of gratitude to the men and women who have made extraordinary sacrifices to defend our freedoms, and we have a responsibility to provide them with assistance and support,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Roger fought for our country and has served our City for the past 21 years. Over that time, Roger has worked at both the Department of Homeless Services and the Human Resources Administration and the leadership experience he has gained will be invaluable in assisting New York’s veteran and military community.”
“I applaud the Administration for empowering the Office of Veterans Affairs to provide even greater service to New York City’s veterans,” said Council Speaker Christine Quinn. “We must match the dedication of the men and women who have protected the country with our commitment to ensuring that they are connected to the services and programs they deserve. The Council is looking forward to working with City's first Commissioner of this office, Roger Newman.”
“As a veteran and a New Yorker, I am honored to have been given this opportunity,” Commissioner Newman said. “Our Veterans have made many sacrifices in service to the nation, and I look forward to working with the Mayor to expand and enhance the array of vital services available to them and make them easily accessible and highly effective.”
“We welcome Commissioner Newman and pledge our support to work with him in serving the needs of New York’s veterans community,” said Retired Major General Richard Colt, Chair of the New York City Veterans Advisory Board.
The Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs was established in the City Charter in 1987. The Office advises the Mayor on issues and projects impacting the veterans community and provides information and referrals to veterans and military personnel requiring assistance from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs, the Department of Defense, local government agencies, and non- profit service providers.
The Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs is currently beginning a renovation of Veterans Memorial Hall in Lower Manhattan, which currently houses a number of veterans organizations, including the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs. The modernized facility will allow the organizations to better meet the needs of the next generation of City veterans. In addition, the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs coordinates the City’s annual Veterans Day parade and Fleet Week celebrations.
Commissioner Newman previously served as Deputy Commissioner for Family Services at the Department for Homeless Services. He has also served as the Regional Director for Crisis Intervention Services/Family Transitional Services at the Human Resources Administration. Prior to joining City government, Commissioner Newman was the Residence Director of the Boerum Hill Residence, a not-for-profit agency operated by the Brooklyn Psychosocial Rehabilitation Institute. He served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War and was honorably discharged in 1970. Commissioner Newman has three children, Dejon, Autumn and Kevin. His youngest son, Kevin, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1994, served as a Lt. Commander in the United States Navy until 2005 and is now in the United States Navy Reserve. Commissioner Newman’s son-in-law, Tory, served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy until 2006 and is currently in the Independent Ready Reserve. Commissioner Newman is a graduate of John Jay College and currently resides in Queens with his wife, Cheryle.
Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine (212) 788-2958