Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: December 30, 1997

Release #760-97

Contact: Colleen Roche 212-788-2958 or Jennifer Chait (212) 788-8479


Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today appointed Antonio Pagán to serve as Commissioner of the Department of Employment. An attorney by training with a Master's degree in criminal justice, Mr. Pagán has served in the City Council since January 1992 representing communities of the East Side. The appointment is effective January 1, 1998.

"I am pleased to announce the appointment of Antonio Pagán as Commissioner of the Department of Employment," Mayor Giuliani said. "Mr. Pagán has an extensive and exemplary history of public service in the City Council and I am proud to have him at DOE where he will use his vast skills and knowledge on behalf of all New Yorkers. At this time, I would also like to thank Nora Chang Wang for her service over the past four years and wish her much continued success."

The Mayor continued, "During his tenure in the Council, Mr. Pagán worked on, and championed, many issues affecting the public safety and quality of life of his district's residents. These issues include rehabilitating housing into decent and affordable units, improving public parks and facilities, and securing the first housing ownership development program for the Lower East Side. Most recently, he served on four Council committees including Government Operations and Contracts, and chaired the Subcommittee on Abandonment, Foreclosure and Disinvestment. It is in these and many other capacities that Mr. Pagán has proved himself time and time again, and I look forward to his next tour of public service at DOE."

Mr. Pagán said, "I am proud that the Mayor has instilled such confidence in me. I am confident that together we will continue the progress the City has made and the positive impact made in the lives of all New Yorkers."

In addition to his work to rehabilitate housing, Mr. Pagán was an adjunct professor and a Fellow at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Urban Legal Studies, respectively. Prior to his election to the Council, he was the Executive Director of the Lower East Side Coalition Housing Development, Inc., a not-for-profit agency that develops permanent affordable housing. Commissioner Pagán was also a founding member of the Hispanic AIDS Forum; the Director of Press, Information and Public Relations for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in the US and the co-coordinator of the Charter Revision Clearinghouse of the City of New York.

The Department of Employment is responsible for advancing the City's human services and economic development goals by providing employment services to economically disadvantaged, unemployed adults and young people. The Department works in partnership with the Private Industry Council (PIC), businesses, educational institutions, labor unions, and community-based organizations. Primarily using Federal Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) funds, it solicits proposals for funds, and monitors contracts for skills training, education and job placement services.

Mr. Pagán graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Puerto Rico and continued on to law school at the same university. He earned a Master's degree in Criminal Justice from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

As Commissioner, Mr. Pagán, 39, will earn $128,369 annually.

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