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Mayor Adams Announces First Deputy Mayor Grillo to Depart Administration in Early New Year, Thanks Her For Service

November 18, 2022

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced that First Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo will depart the Adams administration at the beginning of January. A public servant for nearly three decades, Grillo’s appointment was part of a historic first when Mayor Adams announced five incoming deputy mayor roles would be filled by women.

In her time as first deputy mayor, Grillo played a critical role in creating and unveiling plans for the CUNY Brookdale Campus that will create career pipelines for students in the life sciences, health, and public health industries; overhauling the capital project process and ensuring faster and cheaper project delivery; leading the city’s COVID-19 recovery; representing the Adams administration in responding to the scene of a mass shooting in Sunset Park, Brooklyn; and championing minority-and-women-owned business efforts (M/WBEs), creating a model program that has been replicated across the country. New York City has awarded $6.5 billion in contracts for M/WBEs in Fiscal Year 2022 from city agencies and authorities — an increase of more than 65 percent from Fiscal Year 2021.

“New York City, as a whole, is better off today because Lorraine Grillo brought her invaluable expertise and inimitable work ethic to this administration and served the people of this great city,” said Mayor Adams. “She’s a living example of what ‘Getting Stuff Done’ truly means, and I, and all New Yorkers, will always be in her debt for her dedicated service to New York City. We wish her all the best and will miss her deeply.”

“Public service has been my life’s work and it has been the honor of a lifetime to serve in the Adams administration in this capacity,” said First Deputy Mayor Grillo. “Mayor Adams leads from the front with a very steady hand, and his historic team of amazing majority-female deputy mayors have made profound contributions in this first year alone. From spearheading our recovery, to helping those seeking asylum, to ensuring equity is at the center of the work being done — I look forward to seeing how this administration will build on the progress we’ve made to continue bettering the lives of every New Yorker.”

“Lorraine once remarked, ‘I build things; that’s what I do,’” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “This is just what she did as First Deputy Mayor. She built an environment of collaboration, support, and thoughtfulness. She also built strong teams and better managers. She brought her wisdom, toughness, and no-nonsense attitude to her work at City Hall. It was a privilege to serve alongside her and I will carry many lessons with me that I learned from working with her — lessons about being pragmatic, about being a leader, and about being empathetic and big hearted. Thank you, to my fellow sister, First Deputy Mayor, Lorraine, my friend, and colleague. Through your decades of service to New York City, you helped build schools, helped the city recover from Hurricane Sandy, helped navigate through COVID-19, and worked toward an equitable economic recovery for all New Yorkers. You will be dearly missed in the halls of city government, but your imprint will stand for years to come.”

“There are few public servants who have done more over their careers to benefit New Yorkers than Lorraine Grillo and it has been a true privilege to work alongside and learn from her,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “Not only is she a consummate professional whose work ethic is unquestionable and accomplishments many, but she is also a deeply compassionate and courageous leader whose loyalty to her team and colleagues is legendary. Our city is undoubtedly stronger and more equitable because of Lorraine’s service. I look forward to working with the First Deputy Mayor over the coming weeks to continue to get stuff done and will miss her terribly when she departs.”

“First Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo’s contributions to this administration and our city over the last three decades are truly immeasurable,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Sheena Wright. “Over this last year, First Deputy Mayor Grillo led a historic group of women Deputy Mayors to get stuff done and helped us write the first chapter of the Adams Administration. As a colleague, mentor and friend, I will miss having Lorraine’s presence in City Hall.”

“You would be hard pressed to find a more dedicated, skillful public servant than Lorraine,” said Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks III. “She has been an exceptional leader in government, and was critical in building the foundation for this administration. It has been an honor and a privilege not only to call Lorraine a colleague but a friend. I wish her the best and thank her for her invaluable service to the residents of this City.”

“Lorraine Grillo is a builder, a creator, a trailblazer, a wife and mom, an inspiration, and the epitome of the best of public service,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “She has overtly and indirectly impacted and improved the lives of a generation of New Yorkers, and I add my personal deep appreciation along with all New Yorkers for a job extremely well done.”

Before being appointed first deputy mayor, Grillo was appointed as the first-ever pandemic “Recovery Czar,” leading strategy and planning efforts while coordinating across the public and private sector to ensure a strong comeback for New York City. A native of Astoria, Queens, Grillo began her career as community relations specialist for the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) in 1994. She then served in several senior roles and was appointed SCA’s president and CEO, in 2010, by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg after successfully opening 26 new schools — the single most successful year in SCA history at that time. Grillo was reappointed by former Mayor Bill de Blasio, making her one of only two re-appointments from the prior administration and the longest-serving SCA president.

In another historic first, in 2018 Grillo was appointed commissioner of the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) — serving as lead for both DDC and SCA simultaneously, bringing her unmatched experience in building physical infrastructure, fair and equitable contracting, and putting the concerns of low-income New Yorkers first.


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