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Mayor de Blasio Expands Senior Leadership Team Combating COVID-19 Crisis

March 21, 2020

NEW YORK—As part of the Administration’s ongoing efforts to combat COVID-19, Mayor de Blasio announced several new senior appointments to further the City’s response to the pandemic. The new leadership posts will directly align key areas of the City government with today’s needs, including overseeing food supply and distribution and coordinating with the private sector’s relief efforts.

“Our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I’m expanding and restructuring my senior team to help maximize the City’s response to this pandemic. We will take any steps necessary to protect the health and safety of New Yorkers.” 

In addition to her role as Chief of Staff, Emma Wolfe will now serve as the Deputy Mayor for Administration. Wolfe will now be the second in the line of succession if the Mayor is temporarily unable to perform his duties, following the First Deputy Mayor. 
Kathryn Garcia will serve as the COVID-19 Food Czar. In this role, she will create, operationalize and oversee a structure for working New Yorkers to get the food they need during this pandemic. Garcia will also work with City and State agencies, including the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy, as well as food distributors to take any action necessary to ensure the city’s food supply continues without disruption. Garcia will take on this role in addition to continuing to lead the Department of Sanitation. 

Peter Hatch will now serve as the COVID-19 Public-Private Partnership Czar. Hatch most recently served as the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services and Senior Advisor to the Mayor on Street Homelessness. As Senior Advisor, he led the Mayor’s multi-agency task force that was responsible for the development and implementation of the Journey Home, the City’s action plan to end long-term street homelessness.  In his new role, Hatch will oversee, coordinate and deepen the work being done with private and philanthropic partners to aid City’s response to the pandemic.

Gabrielle Fialkoff will be temporarily returning to her former role as Senior Advisor to the Mayor to help coordinate COVID-19 relief efforts. She previously served as the Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships from 2014 to 2018. Fialkoff will leverage her extensive experience with crisis management as well as relationships in the private and philanthropic sectors to aid the City’s response efforts.

Julie Bero will now serve as the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. Previously, Bero served as a Senior Advisor for Intergovernmental Affairs. In her new role, Bero will support Deputy Mayor Perea-Henze in ensuring that City’s 12 public health and social service agencies are best serving the New Yorkers in need.

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