Leadership

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Kazimir Vilenchik, P.E., Acting Commissioner

Acting Commissioner

Commissioner Eric Ulrich

New York State licensed Professional Engineer, Kazimir Vilenchik, joined the New York City Department of Buildings in October 2008 as a Deputy Borough Commissioner in the Staten Island office. He also served in the Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn borough offices before becoming Borough Commissioner of Brooklyn in 2018. In his role as borough commissioner, Acting Commissioner Vilenchik worked with a wide range of stakeholders to improve accountability and efficiency for construction processes in Brooklyn, while leading the borough office through the COVID-19 pandemic.

He was a key participant in the implementation of the Universal Pre-K program and has worked on the development and implementation of Code and zoning changes to promote affordable housing. Acting Commissioner Vilenchik has received numerous awards for his work on Universal Pre-K and flood mitigation efforts following Superstorm Sandy.

Acting Commissioner Vilenchik has over 20 years of experience in the private sector. His previous roles include work as an inspector, structural engineer, and project manager. He attended Belarussian State Polytechnic University in Minsk, Belarus.

Joseph J. Esposito, Deputy Commissioner

Enforcement

Joseph Esposito

Joseph 'Joe' Esposito serves as the Deputy Commissioner of Enforcement for the New York City Department of Buildings. With over forty years of law enforcement experience, Joe oversees the Department’s Enforcement Bureau, including all emergency and safety operations, complaint inspections, construction accident investigations, incident management, and major disaster assessment and response. His team also assists in the investigation of unethical business practices and unsafe construction work that warrants criminal prosecution.

Joe understands the importance of public safety and the need to consistently evaluate and improve operations. Prior to joining DOB, Joe served as Commissioner of New York City Emergency Management from 2014 to 2019. There he led the City’s emergency planning and response operations and even worked closely with the Department of Buildings in response to major building-related incidents, including the East Village building explosion in 2015, the Chelsea terror attack bombing in 2016, and the 2018 Flatiron steam pipe explosion.

In addition, Joe holds the distinction of being the longest-serving Chief of Department in NYPD history. During his tenure, he led the uniformed members of service during some of the City’s most trying times, including the aftermath of 9/11 and Super Storm Sandy.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Joe holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from the State University of New York. Still a Brooklynite, Joe enjoys spending time with 3 children and 4 grandchildren.

Sharon Neill, Deputy Commissioner

Finance 

Sharon Neill, Deputy Commissioner of   Finance & Administration

Sharon Neill is a dedicated public administrator with over 20 years of experience in financial management, budget and administrative services in government and higher education. As the Department's Deputy Commissioner of Finance , Ms. Neill is responsible for the Agency's $327 million operating and revenue budgets, and asset management.

Sharon began her career working in construction management as a project manager. She transitioned into public service at the New York City Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a capital budget analyst and moved up the ranks to become the Assistant Budget Director of the Administrative Agencies and Elected Officials Task Force. Ms. Neill directed the task force in the preparation, administration and oversight of $1.3 billion in operating funds and $200 million in annual capital commitment funds for over thirty administrative agencies and elected officials.

Prior to OMB, Sharon served as the Assistant Vice President of Budget and Finance for the CUNY Hunter College. In that role, she supported Hunter's financial planning and resource allocation of over $200 million in operating funds. In addition, she oversaw the administrative and support services of Accounting, Accounts Payable, Budget and Planning, Bursar, Office Services, Payroll, and Purchasing.

Sharon earned her Master of Public Administration from CUNY John Jay College and her Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. A resident of Queens, Deputy Commissioner Neill enjoys spending quality time with her husband and their two children.

Leena Panchwagh, Deputy Commissioner

Operations

Leena Panchwagh, Deputy Commissioner

As the Deputy Commissioner of Operations, Leena Panchwagh oversees the New York City Department of Buildings' (DOB) Information Technology, Borough Operations, Customer Service, Code and Rule Implementation and Project Management teams. She diligently leads strategic initiatives to modernize and transform DOB's information technology infrastructure and business processes.

Prior to serving as Deputy Commissioner, Leena served as DOB's Chief Information Officer. She has been a key partner in re-engineering the way the DOB interacts with stakeholders. Working closely with senior leadership, Leena has led DOB's strategic initiatives relating to digital transformation and re-engineering the Agency's legacy processes and framework. Before to joining Buildings, Leena served as the Chief Information Officer at NYC Department of Consumer Affairs and an Executive Director at Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice.

With Leena spearheading operations the Agency provides online inspection requests, simpler and faster job filings, and access to licensing and permit renewals electronically. Her instinct to assess an operation, identify its strengths and weaknesses, and push for progress puts DOB well on the way to full online integration.

Leena is an information technology expert with over 27 years of professional information technology experience with 13 years dedicated to New York City public service.

Guillermo Patino, Deputy Commissioner 

External Affairs

Chief of Staff & Deputy Commissioner Guillermo Patino

Guillermo Patino is the Department’s Deputy Commissioner of External Affairs. In this role, he serves as the primary liaison to external stakeholders, including partner agencies, the offices of elected officials, and other community stakeholders. Guillermo oversees the NYC Loft Board and leads DOB’s external affairs efforts, including both government affairs and communications.

Prior to joining the Department, Guillermo served in various roles at the New York City Council, including as Legislative Counsel to the Committee on Housing and Buildings. In this role, Guillermo analyzed policy and legal issues pertaining to construction and housing, and most notably drafted local laws intended to improve construction safety and tenant protection.

Guillermo is a lifelong resident of Queens and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Hofstra University and a Juris Doctor from New York Law School.

Laura Popa, Deputy Commissioner

Sustainability 

Laura Popa, Deputy Commissioner

Laura Popa serves as the Deputy Commissioner of Sustainability for the New York City Department of Buildings. In this role, Laura leads the newly created Bureau of Sustainability, which will spearhead all sustainability initiatives at the Department. She works closely with DOB’s team of sustainability specialists to push forward Department actions that will help New York City achieve its climate goals and continue to serve as a model for energy efficiency and emissions reductions.

Laura joins the Department after more than 22 years of public service. She was a legal and policy advisor at the New York City Council and the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. During her public service career Laura oversaw the development of legislation and policy at the City Council and directed the Council’s efforts to enact landmark legislation that supports citywide greenhouse gas emissions limits, the institutionalization of long-term sustainability and resiliency planning, and the expansion of clean and renewable energy. She also served on numerous advisory boards and task forces related to sustainability and was a member of the Mayor’s Commission on Gender Equity.

Previously Laura taught at Fordham Law School for many years, and she is currently a lecturer at Columbia University. A long-time resident of Brooklyn, Laura earned her B.A. from New York University and her J.D. from Fordham Law School. 

Constadino 'Gus' Sirakis, P.E., Deputy Commissioner

Development & Technical Affairs

Gus Sirakis, R.A., Deputy Commissioner

Constadino (Gus) Sirakis is a licensed Professional Engineer with several decades of experience in improving construction standards and ensuring compliance with the Building Code. As the NYC Department of Buildings' (DOB) Deputy Commissioner of Development & Technical Affairs, DC Sirakis leads another revision of the Construction Codes, that includes the incorporation of all DOB requirements into one single set of rules for existing buildings – an unprecedented effort that will help building owners more readily comply with DOB regulations.

Gus joined DOB in 2006. In recent years he served as Assistant Commissioner of Technical Affairs and Executive Director of Technical Affairs where his projects included the revision of the structural provisions of the 2008 and the 2014 Construction Codes, the establishment of DOB's Concrete Enforcement Unit, and the development of DOB's Special Inspection Requirements for new technology, materials, and national standards.

Since beginning his professional career, Gus has worked as a structural engineer and project manager at several architectural and engineering consulting firms, designing, inspecting and overseeing various projects, including sports stadiums and high-rise buildings, both here and abroad.

DC Sirakis is respected by colleagues and stakeholders alike. He is the recipient of multiple awards and has served with distinction on the International Code Council since 2007. Gus holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, NY.

Nadya Stevens, Chief of Staff

Chief of Staff

Nadya Stevens

Nadya Stevens is Chief of Staff for the New York City Department of Buildings. In this role she manages the daily activities of the Commissioner’s Office and is responsible for advancing the Commissioner’s priorities both internally and externally. She provides counsel on policy issues, operations, and collaborates with DOB’s various units to support and strengthen the work of the Agency.

Nadya’s portfolio includes ensuring high-quality communication among staff with input from senior leadership. She facilitates Agency-wide initiatives and assists the Commissioner with special projects. In addition, Nadya oversees DOB’s Bureau of Administration which encompasses Human Resources, employee services, employee relations, workforce analysis, compensation, and compliance.

Nadya’s experience includes work in city and state government, political campaigns, lobbying, and social justice. Prior to DOB Nadya was a political organizer for the Communications Workers of America Local 1180. She served as the New York State Director for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. At Pitta Bishop & Del Giorno LLC, Nadya was a Senior Government Relations Specialist focused on City and State legislative and regulatory matters. Most recently she served as the Deputy Chief of Staff at the NYS Senate where she advised on political and legislative strategies.

Nadya earned a Master of Arts in Communications and Media Studies from Fordham University and her Bachelor’s in Neuroscience from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A life-long resident of Brooklyn, Nadya enjoys spending quality time with her husband and family.

Mona Sehgal, Associate Commissioner and General Counsel

General Counsel

Mona Sehgal

Mona Sehgal serves as Associate Commissioner and General Counsel for the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB). In this role, Mona oversees the Office of the General Counsel’s which handles legal matters in connection with NYC Construction Codes, zoning and other relevant laws. The Office defends DOB determinations at the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals, prosecutes citywide unsafe buildings cases in the NYS Supreme Court, and works closely with the NYC Law Department on agency-related litigation and other matters. In addition, the Office advises the Department on conflict-of-interest issues working closely with the NYC Conflict of Interest Board, responds to Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests and third-party subpoenas, and handles rulemaking in accordance with the City Administrative Procedure Act process.

Prior to joining DOB in 1996, Mona was an Assistant Corporation Counsel at the New York City Law Department where she handled litigation for various divisions, including commercial, real estate, and the administrative law divisions.   

Mona earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Psychology from New York University and a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law.

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