Printer Friendly Format Share

PR- 363-12
October 19, 2012


Will Oversee PlaNYC, the City’s Comprehensive Sustainability Plan; Citywide Energy Policy now Merged into Sustainability Office

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today appointed Sergej Mahnovski as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, which oversees the City’s comprehensive sustainability initiative, PlaNYC. Mahnovski has served as the Director of Energy Policy in the Mayor’s Office, where he consolidated citywide energy policy under one office and has managed the City’s energy and climate programs, and oversaw the launch of key projects, including the NYC Clean Heat financing program to help buildings convert to cleaner heating fuels. He is recognized as an expert in sustainable energy policy and is the author of two dozen studies examining greenhouse gas strategies, energy markets and technologies. As Director of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, Mahnovski will lead the implementation of PlaNYC and continue to coordinate the City’s work to combat climate change and create a greener, greater New York City. Citywide energy policy now will be managed by the Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, ensuring the City’s energy policies and programs are furthering sustainability goals. Mahnovski will succeed David Bragdon, who will help lead the City’s new partnership with the Department of the Interior to revitalize Jamaica Bay as the Director of Planning.

“A sustainable future depends on smart energy policies, and with Sergej’s expertise in new energy technologies, we will continue to make the critical investments we need for both our environment and economy,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Sergej will no doubt add to the pioneering work our Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability has achieved and further advance our PlaNYC agenda.  As we enter a critical phase of the Jamaica Bay planning process, David Bragdon – whose leadership helped us forge a groundbreaking partnership with the federal government – will devote his energy and expertise to the project full-time.”

“I am honored to work with Mayor Bloomberg and to lead an office known around the world for its innovation and leadership on critical sustainability,” said Mahnovski. “PlaNYC has become a model for governments on how to ensure a sustainable future. We are now taking the next step by bringing all energy and sustainability policy under one roof to ensure all City policy that impact the environment are advancing our ambitious, but achievable environmental goals.”

“Mayor Bloomberg and the Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability have accomplished some of the most impactful environmental work anywhere, and it’s been an honor to help that lead that progress,” said Bragdon. “We are going to expand on that progress and the Jamaica Bay park lands are an opportunity to develop a center for recreation, research and study, and preservation, while also providing New Yorkers with yet another open space to enjoy. I am honored to help lead the City’s efforts and cooperation with our partners at the National Park Service.”

While serving as Director of Energy Policy, Mahnovski has advised the Mayor on energy policy, regulatory and infrastructure matters. He centralized the City’s energy policies and oversight, bringing together City agencies, regulators and utilities to align how the energy use and consumption more closely with PlaNYC sustainability goals. He worked with the legislature in Albany to extend New York City’s solar tax abatement, which has helped increase installed solar capacity by 800 percent since first set in 2008.  Mahnovski has overseen major energy infrastructure projects, including investments in renewable energy supplies and conversion technologies, and helped secure commitments to $100 million in financing and other resources so that buildings can meet the City’s cleaner fuel requirements. Mahnovski is the Chairman of the New York City Energy Policy Task Force and serves on the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation and New York State Smart Grid Consortium. He first joined City government in 2010, as Director of Energy Policy at the Department for Environmental Protection.

Under Bragdon’s leadership, the Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability developed many of the initiatives first unveiled in the original PlaNYC agenda. The office led the drafting and adoption of the cleaner heating oil regulations that will phase out the use of Numbers 4 and 6 heating oils, which emit soot and have negative impact public health and quality of health.  Bragdon oversaw the first PlaNYC update, expanding the number of initiatives to 132 and counting 400 specific milestones to achieve by December 31, 2013. Bragdon was instrumental in securing the partnership with the Federal government around the management and revitalization of the Jamaica Bay parks land.   

In July, Mayor Bloomberg and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a new management agreement between the City Department of Parks and Recreation and National Park Service for the 10,000 acres of Federal and city-owned parks land around Jamaica Bay. The cooperation is a cornerstone project of PlaNYC, and as Director of Planning, Bragdon will oversee the City’s work with the National Park Service. The project initiatives will enhance recreation, expand transportation and access to Jamaica Bay, restore habitat and develop education and engagement opportunities for the parks’ visitors. The Rockefeller Foundation has also committed $1.5 million to plan for Jamaica Bay parkland resilience and a state of the art, first of its kind center that that will lead future research and best-practice replication to enhance urban ecosystem and adjacent communities. Bragdon, who joined New York City government from Oregon, managed 15,000 acres of parks and natural areas in and around Portland as President of the region’s Metro Council.

Prior to joining the Department of Environmental Protection, Mahnovski served as Associate Director and then Director of the Global Power Group at IHS CERA, a consulting firm specializing in energy in Washington, D.C. While there, he co-authored more than a dozen research studies on different utilities, including gas, oil and emerging energy technologies advised on how to implement different power strategies. Mahnovski also served as a Doctoral Fellow at the RAND Corporation, where he conducted research on energy and sustainability for states and the federal government, including analysis of smart grid initiatives, power sector restructuring, distributed generation and green industrial practices for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Mahnovski is a graduate of Stanford University, with a dual degree in Chemical Engineering and History. He received his Masters in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkley and a Ph.D. in policy analysis from the RAND Graduate School. He is the co-author of more than two dozen studies that examine smart grid, greenhouse gas reduction technologies and new energy sources. He also serves as an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with his wife, Dodi.


Marc La Vorgna / Lauren Passalacqua   (212) 788-2958


TwitterTwitter   TwitterYouTube   FlickrFlickr
More Resources