Press Releases

Statement From the New York City Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget on the Passing of Bernie Rosen

October 28, 2022

It is with a heavy heart that we acknowledge the passing of former OMB First Deputy Director Bernie Rosen.

Bernie grew up on the Lower East Side, attended and later received his MBA from Baruch College. Following military service during the Korean War, he was hired in 1960 as an accountant with the Fire Department. In 1968 he moved to OMB as a Senior Budget Examiner.

It is no exaggeration to say that he left an indelible mark on OMB. He advanced during the fiscal crisis, demonstrating leadership and tenacity during one of the city’s darkest moments. In the late 1970s he was instrumental in improving and modernizing OMB’s financial management systems and later was one of the driving forces in establishing the city’s Deferred Compensation Plan.

Mayors and Budget Directors alike relied on him for his deep understanding of the city’s unique and complex budget process, and his remarkable ability to resolve the most challenging fiscal problems. He worked in the Wagner, Lindsay, Beame, Koch, Dinkins, and Giuliani administrations, advancing their priorities regardless of party or ideology, always remaining focused on improving the lives of city residents and employees. In recognition of his many contributions, he was honored with the City of New York’ s Public Service Award in 1981. Bernie was also liked and respected by colleagues for his intelligence, wit, kindness, and remarkable skillset.

He retired in 1996 after serving several budget directors in the next most senior agency roles – Deputy Director of the Office of Budget Review and later First Deputy Budget Director – for more than a decade. His retirement was covered by some of the city’s best known newspapers with Abraham Lackman, Mayor Giuliani’s first budget director, paying him the ultimate compliment by telling the New York Times that “He understands that his role is to be a true professional, and he comes from a strong set of values. He believes that government is there to help.”

His commitment to public service did not end upon retirement. He sat on the Health + Hospitals Board of Directors and after leaving OMB was a member of the City Audit Board continuously through 2019 – a remarkable 23 years after retirement.

At his retirement party Bernie summed up his experience at OMB with characteristic warmth and modesty by saluting his colleagues. “You remember the people more than anything, that’s what it’s all about.”

We at OMB send our condolences to his family, loved ones, and friends. He will live on in our memories, and his great contributions will felt by this city over generations to come.

Media Contact

Michael Greenberg
Communications Director
NYC Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget