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Mayor Adams Announces Four Key Appointments to Strengthen New York City's Economic Recovery

June 29, 2023

B.J. Jones Will Serve as Executive Director of “New” New York

Pat Kaufman to Serve as Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner

Rudy Giuliani to Serve as Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations Executive Director

Rob Holbrook Will Be Executive Director of “Get Stuff Built”

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the appointments of four senior administration officials, as well as a slate of others, who will continue to advance a strong, inclusive economic recovery across the five boroughs. Mayor Adams’ appointments include B.J. Jones as executive director of “Making New York Work for Everyone,” overseeing implementation of the plan crafted by the “New” New York panel convened by Mayor Adams and New York Governor Kathy Hochul. Pat Kaufman will serve as commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), as Anne del Castillo takes on a new role of senior advisor at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) — the largest local funder of art and culture in America, supporting more than 1,000 nonprofits annually. Rudy Giuliani and Oneika Duncan will serve as executive director and deputy director, respectively, of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations (HRO), addressing housing-related issues following Hurricane Sandy and preparing for future housing emergencies.

Mayor Adams also appointed Rob Holbrook as the executive director of “Get Stuff Built,” delivering on the 111 concrete actions developed by the Building and Land Use Approval Streamlining Task Force to create more housing more quickly by cutting red tape, streamlining processes, and removing bureaucratic obstacles that are slowing housing production and economic recovery. Just six months after the release of that plan, the Adams administration has already completed 16 initiatives — including accelerating the pre-certification process that must be completed before the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure can begin, eliminating unnecessary New York City Department Finance paperwork, streamlining sewer line inspections between the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB), and improving tracking of landmark-designated buildings between DOB and the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

“I often say New York isn’t coming back, it’s back — and these highly capable leaders bring the skills and the drive to bring our city’s recovery to new heights,” said Mayor Adams. “From affordable housing and emergency preparedness to our growing creative economy and planning for a ‘New’ New York, our administration is working every day to build a city that is safer, more prosperous, and more inclusive. We are excited to be bringing this group onto our team to ‘Get Stuff Done.’”

“New York City’s economic future remains bright with the appointments of B.J. Jones, Pat Kaufman, Rudy Giuliani, and Rob Holbrook to help this administration ‘Get Stuff Done,’” said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. “Together, these appointments will deliver on the administration’s promise to remove restrictive bureaucratic red tape, build a more inclusive economy, and deliver on critically needed affordable housing for working families. I look forward to working with them all as we write the next chapter in our city’s economic promise.”

“Pat Swinney’s appointment is historic,” said Chief Advisor Ingrid Lewis-Martin. “This is the first time in the history since the creation of Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment that a person from the industry will stand at the helm of this agency. Her vast knowledge, wealth of experience, and drive to get things done is in alignment with this administration. Mayor Adams has gotten it right. Under Pat’s leadership, MOME will ascend to greater and better heights.”
“Under Mayor Adams’ leadership, we are bolstering our team of proven leaders dedicated to making our city stronger and more equitable than ever before,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “That is why I am excited that we are appointing leaders, like B.J. Jones, Rob Holbrook, Rudy Guiliani, and Oneika Duncan, whose immense records of service will propel our administration’s plans to build faster, house our neighbors, reimagine our business districts, and ensure we fuel a new generation of inclusive growth. I also look forward to the creative leadership of Commissioner Kaufman who is taking the helm of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment at a pivotal time. I thank outgoing Commissioner del Castillo for her incredible service and am thrilled she is bringing her considerable experience and industry insights to the Department of Cultural Affairs.”

“From building more housing to revitalizing commercial districts across the city, the Adams administration is laser-focused on delivering results. Today’s appointments put in place the leadership and accountability necessary to do just that,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “I look forward to working together to ‘Get Stuff Done,’ ‘Get Stuff Built,’ and revitalize the city’s economy and public spaces.”

“Under the mayor’s leadership, ambitious plans are underway to revitalize our neighborhoods, boost innovation for New York’s business districts, and promote equitable investment in our communities — and we need talented leaders to take them to the next level,” said Chief Policy and Delivery Officer Sherif Soliman. “I am thrilled to welcome B.J. Jones and Rob Holbrook into their new roles and am confident that their combined policy and implementation experience will enable the delivery of the transformative change envisioned in the ‘New’ New York and ‘Get Stuff Built’ plans.”

“New York City’s story has exemplified resilience time and time again, and I’m grateful to Mayor Adams and his administration for the opportunity to help our city thrive in its latest chapter,” said B.J. Jones, incoming executive director, “New” New York. “I want to thank Governor Hochul, BPCA Acting Chair Martha Gallo, and the talented and dedicated board and team — as well as the local community — for their support as we advanced ambitious climate adaptation plans, housing affordability, vibrant public space, and meaningful community programming. My time at BPCA was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my public service career, and I’m eager to get started in my new role working every day for all New Yorkers.”

“I am extremely grateful to Mayor Adams for trusting me with this enormous responsibility. It’s an honor and a privilege to serve the mayor, New Yorkers, and the creative community,” said incoming MOME Commissioner Patricia Swinney Kaufman. “I look forward to continuing the agency’s work of supporting, strengthening, and diversifying New York’s media and entertainment industries, which are integral to the city’s culture and economy. Collaborating with our industry partners and communities will be a core vision of this agency, and together, we expect great opportunities for New York and New Yorkers.”

“I am honored to have this opportunity to support our public institutions and civil servants to build great places in our city,” said Rob Holbrook, incoming executive director, “Get Stuff Built.” “I am excited by Mayor Adams’ clear message that New York City government will be laser-focused on getting results. To meet the urgent housing and economic needs of New York City we have to build faster, safer, and smarter — and we will.”

“HRO is known for its flexibility and willingness to respond to whatever emergency faces the city, and I am honored to lead this agency into its next chapter,” said HRO Executive Director Rudy Giuliani. “My colleagues at HRO have some of the most in-depth expertise in storm recovery and emergency housing response, and I am proud that we will be able to build on the work we have done since rebuilding New York post-Sandy. For a lifelong New Yorker, getting to serve my neighbors every day is incredible work, and I am excited to continue our critical mission. I am grateful to Mayor Adams and Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer for their trust in me to advance the city’s efforts in preparation for the next storm.”

“It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as MOME commissioner during such a critical moment in the history of my hometown, and I look forward to continuing my service as senior policy advisor for creative sector strategy at the Department of Cultural Affairs,” said Anne del Castillo, senior advisor for creative sector strategy, DCLA. “I want to thank Mayor Adams for his support, MOME’s dedicated staff for their hard work, my esteemed colleagues in government for their collaboration, and New York City’s creative community for all it does to make us a global creative capital.”

“New York City and state are big, complex places, and to make a difference requires commitment, fortitude, leadership, and vision,” said Richard R. Buery, Jr., co-chair, “New” New York panel; and CEO, Robin Hood. “In B.J. Jones, we have it all: An executive director with the know-how to take the ideas of the ‘Making New York Work for Everyone’ plan and turn them into real policies and programs that make a measurable difference on individuals, children, families, and New York overall.”

“As co-chair of the ‘New’ New York panel, I am thrilled to welcome B.J. Jones to the team as executive director,” said Daniel Doctoroff, co-chair, “New” New York panel; and former CEO, Sidewalk Labs. “B.J. has the experience, skills, and enthusiasm to succeed in this role and to accelerate the implementation of all of the recommendations in the ‘Making New York Work for Everyone’ action plan. With the full support of all the panelists, including the mayor and the governor, B.J. will lead the city into a new chapter as a globally competitive metropolis and the best place to live, work, study, and play.”

About B.J. Jones

Benjamin “B.J.” Jones has worked at the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) for nine years, serving as president and CEO since 2018 and previously as chief administrative officer. At BPCA, he has expanded and diversified community program offerings, extended affordability protections, launched new public art installations, and initiated projects to accelerate climate adaptation efforts.

He has worked in city government for 20 years, including as deputy director of the Mayor’s Office of Operations and assistant commissioner of strategic planning and implementation at the New York City Department of Buildings. In his tenure working for the city, Jones helped implement one of the city’s first online permitting systems, oversaw the first overhaul in nearly four decades of the city’s Building Code, and worked on the recovery effort in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. He serves on the board of the Frederick O’Reilly Hayes Prize Foundation, which, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation, annually recognizes emerging public sector leaders.

Jones earned a Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Public Administration from American University, and a Bachelor of Arts in management from Gettysburg College.

He will report to Chief Policy and Delivery Officer Soliman.

About Pat Kaufman

Pat Kaufman currently serves as first deputy commissioner at MOME, overseeing the office’s work developing programmatic strategies and support for theater, music, advertising, publishing, and digital media.

Kaufman served for 19 years as the executive director of the New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development and as deputy commissioner of Empire State Development. During her tenure, she helped craft and shepherd the legislation that created the New York State Film Production Tax Credit. She also worked to create the standalone Post-Production Tax Credit and the Commercial Production Incentive programs.

Kaufman was president of the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) between 2003 and 2007 and currently sits on the board of the Hamptons International Film Festival and the New York Production Alliance. She has been named to Variety’s Women’s Impact List and Gotham 50 list of New Yorkers revitalizing the city’s showbusiness legacy, and she has received AFCI’s Arthur M. Loew Crystal Vision Award and the New York Women in Film and Television Muse Award.

She also served as president of the New York Junior League and on the board of the YWCA of Greater New York and Parents in Action-New York City.

Kaufman received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Sweet Briar College and a master’s degree in instructional history from the Teachers College at Columbia University.

She will report to Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Torres-Springer.

About Rudy Giuliani

Rudy S. Giuliani has served as acting director of HRO since March 2022 — overseeing the closeout of the $2.5 billion Build It Back grant and leveraging the institutional knowledge and expertise in city government to prepare New York City for future disasters. He led that work in coordination with numerous city agencies as well as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, and the New York Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (now known as the New York State Office of Resilient Homes and Communities).

Giuliani worked in the New York City Council from 2010 until he joined HRO in 2014.

Giuliani received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

He will report to Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Torres-Springer.

About Rob Holbrook

Rob Holbrook brings 18 years of experience as a land use planner at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the New York City Department of City Planning.

In 2022, he served as the executive director of the Building and Land Use Approval Streamlining Taskforce, which produced the “Get Stuff Built” plan. At NYCEDC, he served as the senior policy technical advisor and land use planning department director. During his tenure, he delivered environmental review and land use approvals for major economic development projects, including the citywide NYC Ferry system, Kings Theatre, Flushing Commons, the Peninsula, and Willets Point.

Holbrook received a Master of Public Administration from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Arts from St John’s College.

He will report to Chief Policy and Delivery Officer Soliman.

“Rudy is a proven leader who has been doing the critical work in the fields of storm response, housing recovery, and homeowner support for years — making him a common-sense pick to lead the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery full-time,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “I applaud Mayor Adams for appointing Rudy to this position, and I look forward to working with HRO under his leadership, as we work together to support the residents of Queens in any way possible.”

“Rudy S. Giuliani has years of experience when it comes to housing recovery, and he is one of the best suited and best prepared individuals in all of New York when it comes to this topic,” said New York City Councilmember Joann Ariola. “I look forward to continuing my work with Mr. Giuliani, and together, we will rebuild a better, stronger, more resilient city.”

“I am super happy to hear about Pat’s appointment,” said film director Darren Aronofsky. “She has always been a great and loyal supporter of New York and independent film.”

“SAG-AFTRA is thrilled that Pat Kaufman has been named commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment,” said Rebecca Damon, executive director, New York local, labor policy, and international affairs, Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). “In her long tenure as the executive director of the New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development and deputy commissioner of Empire State Development, she has been a steadfast advocate for entertainment production in every region of the state. Her in-depth knowledge of the business of the entertainment industry and savvy understanding of the creative community have resulted in good union jobs in all sectors of entertainment. We look forward to working with her as she brings her knowledge and expertise to New York City.”

“Rob Holbrook was top of mind for me when ‘Get Stuff Built’ was first announced,” said Linh Do, senior vice president, AKRF. “His decades of experience facilitating New York City’s most complex and consequential initiatives has afforded him an invaluable perspective on public policy through a well-balanced economic, environmental, regulatory, and social lens.”

“Thanks to B.J.’s vision, talents, and leadership of our terrific team, Battery Park City has made extraordinary progress toward becoming the inclusive, resilient, vibrant, and forward-looking community that New Yorkers could only dream about some 55 years ago,” said BPCA Acting Chair Martha Gallo. “Over the months ahead, our board will conduct a search for a successor befitting our organization’s significant and urgent agenda. In the meantime, as we thank B.J. for his tireless service to our community, we congratulate him on his new role in Mayor Adams’ administration — a tribute both to his success and the importance of our community’s role as a citywide leader and innovator.”

“I’ve known Pat for over 25 years, and I couldn’t be more thrilled she’s the new commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment,” said James Gunn, co-chairman, DC Studios. “The job simply couldn’t be in better hands.”

“Everybody in the New York television world knows, respects, and likes Pat Kaufman. That Pat will be running MOME is great news for crews, for producers, and for the city,” said former showrunner Warren Leight. “She knows how to facilitate production while simultaneously respecting community concerns — that’s no mean feat. When the current WGA strike ends, I look forward to shooting again in New York City. I know that with Pat at the helm of MOME, this vital city industry will be in good hands.”

“We’re thrilled that Pat will head MOME!,” said John Melfi, executive producer, Sex and the City/And Just Like That. “She has made such an impact on so many of us privileged to work in the film and TV industry here at home — in New York City. Congratulations, Pat!”

“B.J. Jones is a proven leader with a deep commitment to a resilient and sustainable urban life,” said Mitchell Moss, Henry Hart Rice Professor of Urban Policy and Planning, New York University. “B.J.’s leadership at the Battery Park City Authority has demonstrated that he understands how to build trust and work with diverse groups to advance ambitious projects that make our city a stronger and more vital place. Mayor Adams has made a wise decision with his decision to appoint B.J. Jones in this key role at a pivotal moment for our city.”

“After Hurricane Sandy, every single home in Broad Channel was flooded, and the Broad Channel Civic Association worked closely with the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations to elevate and rebuild homes to be more resilient in the face of climate change and future storms. Throughout that process there was one person who was key to the success of this program and to getting people back home, and that was Rudy S. Giuliani,” said Daniel T. Mundy, president, Broad Channel Civic Association. “Rudy was available 24 hours a day to help our town, and I know his energy and experience helping residents will be a big asset to HRO and the mayor’s office in the future.”

“Theatrical Teamsters Local 817 are greatly pleased with the appointment of Pat Kaufman,” said Thomas J. O’Donnell, president, Theatrical Teamsters Local 817. “She knows the industry intimately, and we look forward to resuming the wonderful rapport we shared when Pat was the state film commissioner.”

“I am excited to see Rob Holbrook stepping into this new leadership role,” said David Quart, northeast real estate market leader, VHB; and former deputy commissioner, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. “It’s been a privilege to work with Rob over the last 15 years to drive game-changing projects across the city.  His dedication and expertise are needed to help eliminate unnecessary hurdles to build more housing and job-generating uses faster. Let’s move!”

“We’re excited for Pat Kaufman’s appointment to lead the MOME at such a critical moment for the industry,” said Hal Rosenbluth, president, Kaufman Astoria Studios. “Her years of experience at the New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development make Pat the perfect person to shepherd film and production toward its next chapter. She knows our industry is a pillar of New York’s economy, employing thousands of people and investing millions of dollars into our neighborhoods. We welcome the chance to work with Pat and the mayor.”


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