April 27, 2023
Kazimir Vilenchik, P.E. Will Continue as DOB First Deputy Commissioner
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the appointments of Jimmy Oddo as the commissioner for the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) and Molly Wasow Park as the commissioner for the New York City Department of Social Services (DSS). DOB Acting Commissioner Kazimir Vilenchik, P.E. will return to his previous role as the agency’s first deputy commissioner.
Following more than a year as chief of staff to Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi, overseeing the city’s physical infrastructure and public space, Commissioner Oddo will lead the administration’s critical building and construction safety work while continuing to support the city’s economic recovery. The current acting commissioner at DSS and former first deputy commissioner at the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS), Commissioner Park will oversee both DHS, which provides shelter to thousands of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and helps them transition to permanent housing, as well as the Human Resources Administration (HRA), which assists more than 3 million low‐income and vulnerable New Yorkers annually through more than 12 major public benefits programs.
“Our administration has always been laser-focused on finding the right people for the right jobs at the right time, and Jimmy Oddo and Molly Wasow Park are exactly those people,” said Mayor Adams. “Commissioner Oddo is an expert at building and running high-functioning teams, and he will bring the leadership the Department of Buildings needs to oversee our city’s buildings and protect New Yorkers who work in construction and walk on our streets. Commissioner Park has a proven track record of helping connect thousands of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness on our subways to shelter and making it easier for people to access critical services, and I am confident she has the experience, vision, and compassion to continue leading this agency and make life better for those in need. Each of them brings decades of invaluable experience to the job, and New Yorkers thank them for stepping up to serve at this crucial time.”
“Mayor Adams has built a team of leaders who ‘Get Stuff Done’ for New Yorkers, and I’m excited to continue working with Commissioner Oddo and Commissioner Park in their new roles,” said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. “I have had the privilege of working with both of them over the last year, and I have complete confidence that they will do everything in their power to keep New Yorkers safe, deliver the quality of life our neighbors deserve, and advance the mission of building a safer, fairer city.”
“I trust that Jimmy Oddo will be an effective commissioner and serve our city well. He is an experienced and proven leader who will use his skill sets to continue to move the Department of Buildings forward,” said Chief Advisor to the Mayor Ingrid Lewis-Martin. “Molly Park brings decades of experience to her new role as commissioner and will help the city continue its commitment to provide shelter and housing to those most in need.”
“Jimmy Oddo brings the highest level of passion, empathy, and smarts to public service, and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Operations has been the grateful beneficiary of the ‘Oddo Effect,’” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “In his new role, his excellent leadership and acumen will ensure the Department of Buildings meets the real and pressing needs of New Yorkers who depend on it to ensure safety standards are in place and for building continuity. I truly look forward to working with Commissioner Oddo in his new capacity, and I am deeply appreciative to First Deputy Commissioner Vilenchik for serving in his acting capacity.”
“I’m excited to count Commissioner Park as another smart, driven leader in the administration,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “Her experience rooted in housing and case work makes her well-placed to take on the role of leading one of the city’s largest agencies and doing so with a person-centric view that will benefit every person that comes in contact with DSS. I look forward to continuing to work with her and the team at DSS.”
“Homelessness is a housing problem. There is no one who knows this better than Molly Park, which is why I am thrilled to see her appointed as commissioner of the Department of Social Services,” said Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz. “Molly is a ‘houser’s houser,’ and having her lead DSS, overseeing DHS and HRA, shows New York City is on the right path to finally solving our homelessness crisis. She’ll need an army behind her, but having Molly at the helm demonstrates to our neighbors experiencing homelessness that they will get the services and support they need to find permanent housing.”
I am grateful for Mayor Adams’ continued belief in me, and I am excited to continue serving this city at the Department of Buildings,” said DOB Commissioner Oddo. “Ensuring the safety of every New Yorker and workers alike will always be the top priority. As we undertake that critical work, we will continue reorienting the agency to be more efficient and customer friendly. Having built and been a part of highly successful teams, I will work every day to foster a culture within the agency that best positions the talented professionals there to address and advance our agenda — from keeping New Yorkers safe and deploying cutting-edge technology to do so to reinvigorating our city’s public space. I am grateful to Deputy Mayor Joshi for her partnership these last 16 months, and I am thrilled to be able to continue to closely work with her and the talented operations team.”
“Homelessness, affordable housing, and economic insecurity are all intrinsically linked, and we must tackle all of these challenges to ensure every New Yorker can thrive,” said DSS Commissioner Park. “As commissioner, I look forward to drawing on my experience in both housing and social services to break down the silos that have traditionally existed and innovate to make each of these systems serve all New Yorkers. Thank you to Mayor Adams for this opportunity to continue serving this city and help build a stronger, more prosperous future for all.”
“A well-functioning Department of Buildings is essential to promoting both public safety and economic growth in our city,” said DOB First Deputy Commissioner Vilenchik. “Jimmy Oddo is a committed public servant with decades of government experience, and I am certain that he will continue the great progress already made under the Adams administration to streamline this agency. It is an honor to be staying on as first deputy commissioner at the department, where I can continue to provide my technical expertise in service to the people of this great city.”
At DOB, Oddo will accelerate the administration’s work of protecting construction workers and at-risk buildings, supporting the small businesses driving the city’s economic recovery, and implementing New York City’s nation-leading sustainability laws, including Local Law 97.
At DSS, Park will build on current work, helping New Yorkers experiencing unsheltered homelessness get connected to shelter, overseeing a range of public assistance programs to serve the most vulnerable, and responding to the continued asylum seeker crisis that New York City faces.
“Jimmy Oddo is an excellent choice to lead the Department of Buildings,” said Chief Climate Officer and New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Rohit T. Aggarwala. “He is a deeply thoughtful and values-driven public servant, and I have gained so much working with him these last 15 months. Jimmy understands the importance of Local Law 97, as well as the challenge we will face in achieving the climate mobilization it requires. I look forward to working closely with him on Local Law 97 and on many other things.”
“Jimmy Oddo will make a spectacular commissioner of the Department of Buildings,” said New York City Department of Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch. “Throughout his decades of work across city government, I have looked up to Jimmy as the gold standard for public service. He is passionate about his work, thoughtful in his approach, wise about how government can and should serve the people, and one of the finest human beings I have had the pleasure to work alongside.”
“I commend Mayor Adams for making this outstanding appointment,” said former First Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo. “I’ve been privileged to work with Jimmy Oddo for more than 15 years, and I believe there is no one who is better qualified to lead the Department of Buildings and ‘Get Stuff Done!’”
“At a time of record change and growth in New York City, Jim Oddo will bring trusted leadership and steady management to the Department of Buildings,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James. “Commissioner Oddo has dedicated his career to public service, and New Yorkers can trust that they will be in good hands with him at the helm of DOB. I congratulate Commissioner Oddo on this appointment and look forward to his continued work in the Adams administration.”
“I commend Mayor Adams on his excellent selection of Jimmy Oddo as the next commissioner of the Department of Buildings,” said New York State Senator Leroy Comrie. “I have had the pleasure of working with Jimmy in various capacities over a number of years as legislative aides, during his tenure as Staten Island borough president, when I served as deputy borough president of Queens, and for 12 memorable years as members of the City Council. Jimmy is a New Yorker through and through, tenacious, smart, and unafraid to share his opinion. Jimmy has always focused on the possible, and our city is privileged that he has taken on the challenge of leading one of its most critical agencies into the future. I am confident that Commissioner Oddo will do his best to elevate the agency to the highest possible standards of excellence, and I look forward to working with him.”
“Molly Park has demonstrated that she is an extraordinary public servant who is committed to innovative leadership focused on what is best for New Yorkers in need,” said New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz. “Mayor Adams has made an excellent choice in appointing Molly as Commissioner of the Department of Social Services, and I look forward to continuing to work collaboratively on our shared goals in the months and years ahead.”
“I have known Jimmy personally and professionally for over 30 years, and we have worked together at all levels of government,” said Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella. “I commend Mayor Adams for making this excellent choice. It’s one thing we know about Jimmy — he’s committed to getting things done. I look forward to continuing to work closely with him in this new position and extend my congratulations.”
“Jimmy Oddo is a veteran of city government, a serious professional who has little patience for nonsense or drama. He is truly a decent human being who is about one thing above all: delivering results for New Yorkers,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “The Department of Buildings will be in good hands as we tackle important issues, from permitting and safety to reforming scaffolding. I couldn’t be more excited to partner with him as the department’s next leader.”
“Molly’s appointment as DSS commissioner is a wonderful development in the long-term outlook for HRA,” said New York City Council Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala. “The agency is in need of leadership and a long-term plan to solve the multitude of crises before it; the commissioner’s depth of experience in HRA and DHS will serve the agency well moving forward. The appointment of Commissioner Park is a phenomenal choice in beginning the process of solving the issues that have plagued the agency for so long.”
“I am thrilled to hear Molly Park will be leading the Department of Social Services and Jimmy Oddo will be named Department of Buildings commissioner. I have had the honor of working with Molly and Jimmy for a long time — and I know they both understand how well-run government can improve New Yorkers’ lives,” said Christine C. Quinn, president and CEO, Win. “No one will work harder than Molly and Jimmy, and they will without a doubt be outstanding commissioners. I look forward to partnering with them in the months and years to come to continue addressing homelessness, housing affordability, and the growing need for supportive housing.”
“On behalf of Homeless Services United and all of our members, I would like to congratulate Commissioner Park on her appointment to lead DSS,” said Catherine Trapani, executive director, Homeless Services United. “I have always appreciated her commitment to partnership and cutting through bureaucracy to deliver common sense solutions that best serve our members and clients. Commissioner Park has been a valued thought partner during her tenure at DHS; I look forward to continued partnership to strengthen the infrastructure of our homeless safety net, ensuring its resiliency at a time of extraordinary demand for shelter services. Given her background in homeless and housing services, having her at the helm of DSS presents an opportunity to take the agency to new heights as we work together to not only address homelessness but, to also address some of the root causes of housing instability – namely poverty. We look forward to working with Commissioner Park to address the systemic barriers to rental assistance and other benefits while continuing our work on homelessness to build a better, more resilient safety net for all New Yorkers.”
“Mayor Adams could not have made a better choice than Molly Wasow Park to lead the New York City Department of Social Services,” said George Nashak, president and CEO, Care for the Homeless. “Molly is highly competent, always focused on achieving the right objectives, and is an excellent partner to the non-profit organizations that serve DSS’ clients. She demonstrated best-in-class leadership at DHS during the COVID-19 pandemic and she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience about the creation of affordable housing, which is key to the effort to end homelessness in New York City. The entire Care for the Homeless family commits itself to assisting Commissioner Park in this new role and we look forward to the great things she will accomplish.”
“I’m thrilled that the mayor has chosen a leader of Molly Wasow Park’s caliber to play such a crucial role,” said Mathew Wambua, vice chair, Merchants Capital. “Molly has dedicated her entire professional life to public service, in pursuit of serving New Yorkers most in need. Molly is a consummate talent and peerless in her commitment to the city. She's a critical thinker and exacting problem-solver and harbors a boundless ambition to address the city’s most pressing issues. And most importantly, she is unwaveringly guided by a sense of integrity, empathy, and humility, which means that she never loses sight of the need to do the right thing--even when it's hard.”
“Jimmy Oddo’s dedication to the working people of New York City and his long track record of public service make him an outstanding choice to take the helm as commissioner of the New York City Department of Buildings,” said Vincent Alvarez, president, New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “His common-sense approach to public policy and problem-solving will put the needs of New York’s working families at the forefront of decision-making at one of our city’s most important agencies. We look forward to continuing to work with him, as we have over many years, to build a stronger and more resilient New York City with the greatest workforce in the world.”
“I have known my good friend Jimmy Oddo for more than 30 years, starting when we both were staffers at the New York City Council, and over those 30 years, Jimmy has worked on every public policy issue that New York City has faced,” said John H. Banks, president emeritus, Real Estate Board of New York. “As a council staffer, councilman, and borough president and in his current capacity as a key member of the Adams administration, Jimmy has an unmatched knowledge base of how city government works and how to get things done. Jimmy is and has always been a person of integrity and focus who cares deeply about the people of New York City, and he will bring this integrity and focus to the management of the Department of Buildings. I applaud Mayor Adams for his decision to appoint Jimmy to this incredibly important job!”
Knowing Jimmy Oddo as a colleague, neighbor, and friend for more than 30 years, I know how his personality, passion, and persistence will invaluably serve our city and lead the Department of Buildings in a way that is not only necessary, but long overdue,” said Fred Cerullo, president and CEO, Grand Central Partnership. “I have no doubt that Jimmy’s keen instinct, deep understanding of government, respect for the public which interacts with city government, and his consistent focus on common-sense solutions to issues and problems will enable him to bring a creative and effective rethinking of the agency. I commend Mayor Adams for acknowledging Jimmy’s experience and expertise in government operations and community relations, which is especially important during this period of time as we continue to work on crafting our ‘New’ New York!”
“I have known Jimmy Oddo since his time in the City Council and worked closely with him during his time as Staten Island borough president. He is as good a public servant as I know,” said Rafael E. Cestero, CEO, Community Preservation Corporation. “His ability to connect with people, create relationships, and push for what is right even in face of opposition make him the right choice for the Department of Buildings. New Yorkers need an efficient and effective DOB to drive new housing and implement equitable development across our city. Mayor Adams has made an excellent choice, and I know Jimmy is just the guy to ‘Get Stuff Done!’”
“James Oddo is a lifelong public servant who shares the mayor’s passion for making government work effectively for all New Yorkers,” said William Floyd, senior director, U.S. state and local government affairs and public policy, Google. “I have every confidence that he will bring the dedication, zeal, and sharp intellect that he’s known for to bear here as he takes the helm of this agency.”
“Having worked with Jimmy for years when he was Staten Island borough president, I know that he is a ‘Get Stuff Done’ person,” said Alicia Glen, founder and managing principal, MSquared; and former deputy mayor for housing and economic development. “Now more than ever, we need experienced public servants who are not afraid to roll up their sleeve and challenge the status quo, all with an eye to making the city function better for all stakeholders, while also making sure that New York is safe, resilient, and continues to be the place where businesses, institutions, and families want to build their future.”
“Jim Oddo brings a wealth of knowledge in government and a work ethic second to none to an agency in need of both attributes,” said former New York City Councilmember Vincent M. Ignizio. “His relationships in and out of government along with the leaders in the buildings community make him unique candidate who will serve Mayor Adams and all of New York City’s residents well. His vision and dedication will be seen and felt on day one.”
“Jimmy not only was my borough president but also is my friend,” said Imam Tahir Kukaj, head, Department of Islamic Studies, Miraj Islamic School; and vice president, Albanian Islamic Cultural Center. “It’s because I know him so well that I have complete confidence he will serve the people of this city, the mayor, and the employees at DOB with distinction and purpose.”
“As New York City continues to invest in more economic development, it is crucial we have leadership in the Department of Buildings that is committed to upholding safety, efficiency, and integrity within our construction sector,” said Gary LaBarbera, president, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “The appointment of James Oddo as commissioner is an encouraging indicator that this is the case. We applaud Mayor Adams for making this appointment, which will greatly benefit New York’s development initiatives and the tradesmen and tradeswomen driving them forward and are eager to begin collaborating with Commissioner Oddo to continue to improve our city’s construction industry and provide accessible paths to the middle class on behalf of our members and all construction workers.”
Congratulations to Jimmy Oddo on his appointment as commissioner of DOB,” said Raymond T. Peebles, RA, AIA, president, Architects Council of New York City. “Mayor Adams made an excellent choice. He has my full support and the support of ACNY. I am looking forward to working with him in making significant improvements to DOB.”
“Jimmy is a no-nonsense, get-it-done, and hardworking person and is great choice to lead one of the city’s most vital agencies,” said Dennis M. Walcott, president and CEO, Queens Public Library. “He was an effective city councilmember and borough president who always put his constituents’ needs first, and he will undoubtedly do the same in this role on behalf of New Yorkers. I have the utmost respect for him and congratulate him on his appointment.”
About Jimmy Oddo
Jimmy Oddo joins the Department of Buildings after serving in the Adams administration as chief of staff to Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi since January 2022. He brings decades of elected, legal, and academic experience to the administration and this new role.
In his role as chief of staff, Oddo helped oversee the city’s infrastructure agencies, including DOB, DEP, and the Department of Design and Construction.
From 2014 to 2022, Oddo served as Staten Island borough president, where he drove initiatives focused on public safety, education, health, land use, and transportation, among other areas. Previously, he represented parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn in the New York City Council between 1999 to 2013, including serving as the Council’s minority leader beginning in 2002.
Oddo received a Juris Doctor from New York Law School and a bachelor’s degree in history from Fordham University.
Oddo will report to Deputy Mayor Joshi.
About Molly Wasow Park
Molly Wasow Park was appointed by Mayor Eric Adams as acting DSS commissioner in March of 2023, overseeing both DHS and HRA.
Prior to the appointment, she served as the DHS first deputy commissioner, overseeing rehousing, capacity development, and agency planning and operations. Additionally, Park played a key role in shaping agency response to emergencies, including COVID-19 and the recent influx of asylum seekers New York City has seen.
Before joining DHS in 2019, Park spent three years as deputy commissioner for development at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), where she had primary responsibility for housing production goals and related pre-development work. In this capacity, Park oversaw significant increases in total housing production and units affordable to the lowest income New Yorkers.
In 2014, Park served as the chief operating officer for Settlement Housing Fund, where she expanded her affordable housing expertise by overseeing Settlement's development activity, as well as coordinating all operational needs of a growing not-for-profit organization. From 2010 to 2014, Park served as HPD’s deputy commissioner of budget, fiscal, and performance management, including oversight of one of the nation’s largest Section 8 programs.
Park is a graduate of Amherst College. She also holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of California – Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy.
Park will report to Deputy Mayor Williams-Isom.