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Mayor Adams Appoints Denise C. Clay as City's Chief Efficiency Officer

August 10, 2023

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the appointment of Denise C. Clay as the city’s new chief efficiency officer. In her position, Clay will help ensure that city agencies operate as effectively and efficiently as possible by tracking their performance, assessing budgets and operation systems to find cost savings, and identifying opportunities to remove red tape and streamline regulations. Created early in the Adams administration, the chief efficiency officer is an integral part of Mayor Adams’ commitment to making government more effective and accountable to New Yorkers.

“From leading strategic initiatives at the Department of Finance to driving change at Fortune 100 companies, Denise brings the experience and expertise to make sure that our government is working for every New Yorker every day,” said Mayor Adams. “Inefficiencies lead to inequity, which is why one of our administration’s top priorities has always been to ensure that our agencies are run the right way. As our city’s next chief efficiency officer, Denise will work to fulfill that mission and build a smarter, stronger city government for all of New York’s residents."

“Denise C. Clay brings decades of experience in making government work faster, smarter, and, most importantly, more efficiently,” said First Deputy Sheena Wright. “As chief efficiency officer, Denise will continue the work of making sure taxpayer resources are well spent and managed. I’m looking forward to working with Denise to find ways to streamline operations while maintaining our pledge to deliver quality services to all New Yorkers.”

"I'm honored to have the opportunity to serve New York City in the role of chief efficiency officer,” said Chief Efficiency Officer Denise C. Clay. “It is an exciting time to work in city government, and I look forward to leveraging my more than 20 years of process reengineering experience, including eight years leading Lean Six Sigma initiatives at the New York City Department of Finance, to help city agencies better serve their constituents and customers. New Yorkers deserve nothing less than the best from their city government, and we will continue to deliver results for the residents and visitors we have the privilege to serve.”

“Denise will be an excellent chief efficiency officer. During my tenure as commissioner of the Department of Finance, she was instrumental in restructuring our operations and implementing new initiatives in timely and cost-effective ways that helped make the agency more efficient and customer-centric,” said New York City Office of Management and Budget Director Jacques Jiha. “She has the knowledge, skill, and drive to work across agencies and help city government make more effective use of taxpayer dollars in order to better serve New Yorkers, and I look forward to working with her in the future.”

“Denise has unparalleled expertise in performance management, and during her eight years with the Department of Finance led many successful initiatives to improve city services, deliver budget savings, and bring innovative ideas to enhance customer service,” said New York Department of Finance (DOF) Commissioner Preston Niblack. “It is terrific that she is bringing her considerable skills and knowledge to benefit city operations more broadly in her new role as chief efficiency officer, and I am excited to see all she accomplishes to make city government more accessible and easier to navigate for all New Yorkers."

“Denise’s commitment to public service and focus on the use of data analytics to improve performance make her the perfect fit for this role,” said former DOF First Deputy Commissioner Michael Hyman. “As chief of staff to the commissioner of finance, Denise led initiatives that greatly improved DOF operations and provided important tools to help agency staff manage their units effectively. I know that she will bring that same ingenuity to the entirety of city government, and I look forward to her leadership as chief efficiency officer.”

Mayor Adams created a chief efficiency officer to monitor city agencies, make recommendations to improve performance, and help build a more dynamic and productive public sector. The position was formalized with Executive Order 13 last April, instructing the chief efficiency officer to develop metrics that track government performance, identify opportunities to improve the delivery of services and increase customer satisfaction, locate ways to reduce regulation and streamline procedures, and review the city budget to evaluate new needs and ensure public funds are being spent responsibly. City agencies regularly work with the chief efficiency officer as well as with the Mayor’s Office of Operations to set goals and make the delivery of services more productive, efficient, and timely for New Yorkers.

About Denise C. Clay

Before her appointment as chief efficiency officer, Clay served as chief operating officer for First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright at City Hall. In this role, she collaborated with various city agencies to streamline business functions while launching a new Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and multiple Cash Assistance initiatives.

Previously, Clay spent eight years as chief of staff and senior advisor of strategic initiatives for the New York City Department of Finance, where she led COVID strategy and the agency’s ‘Return to Work’ initiative, reduced processing cycle times by 80 percent, and oversaw the rollout of the Office of the Parking Summons Advocate and Treasury & Payment Operations programs.

Clay previously worked with Sand Cherry Associates, Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson, and GE Capital. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and her M.B.A. from Columbia University.

Clay will report to First Deputy Mayor Wright.


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