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Mayor de Blasio Appoints Jainey Bavishi to City's Integrated Climate Team as Director of Recovery and Resiliency

January 3, 2017

Bavishi to lead City’s recovery and resiliency efforts as part of an integrated climate team

NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the appointment of Jainey Bavishi as the Director of the Office of Recovery and Resiliency.

Bavishi is an expert in climate adaptation and resiliency whose work is nationally recognized. She will lead the City’s OneNYC resiliency program, preparing the city for the impacts of climate change and other 21st century threats. This includes significant initiatives within the City’s multilayered resiliency program working to strengthen neighborhoods, adapt buildings, improve infrastructure and upgrade the coastline. She also will serve as the Deputy Chief Resilience Officer as part of New York City’s participation in the 100 Resilient Cities program, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. Bavishi will start Thursday, January 5, 2017.

“For a coastal city like ours, rising sea levels mean rising risk for our neighborhoods, infrastructure and economy. That is why we’re making an unprecedented investment in the City’s resiliency,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Our goals to ensure our city is prepared for the impacts of climate change are ambitious. To help keep us on the path of protecting our residents and demonstrating leadership and collaboration in adapting to these threats, I am so pleased to have Jainey Bavishi join our team of extremely talented climate experts. Her years of nationally-recognized experience are exceptional, and I am confident we’ll be able to deliver on our goals with her leadership. I look forward to working with her.”

“Climate change continues to be one of the greatest challenges of our time, demanding creativity and leadership to ensure we are better prepared and emerge stronger from the impacts of climate change and related threats. New York City and the de Blasio administration continue to lead the globe through our ground-breaking OneNYC program of inclusive climate actions,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director for Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer for the Office of the Mayor. “With the addition of Jainey Bavishi to our team, the City will expand its global leadership on climate adaptation and resiliency. I’m thrilled to have Jainey join the team as we raise the bar and achieve our ambitious climate commitments.”

“This is an incredibly important moment for city governments to play a pivotal leadership role in responding to and preparing for the impacts of changing climate. The de Blasio Administration continues to set the standard for inclusive and equitable climate action and I am excited to lead the Office of Recovery and Resiliency forward on behalf of this great city,” said Jainey Bavishi, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency. “Reaching the Mayor’s OneNYC resiliency goals and responding to our global climate challenges will continue to require hard work, innovation and empathy for those most impacted and I’m excited to join this effort.”

Bavishi will report to Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer for the Office of the Mayor, who will continue in his role leading the City’s integrated climate team, including overseeing the work of the Office of Recovery and Resiliency, the Office of Sustainability, the Office of Environmental Coordination and the coordination of the OneNYC program.

"The resilient New York City of tomorrow that we need and envision begins with a strong collaborative effort today,” said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Recovery and Resiliency. “Jainey Bavishi brings a wealth of experience to the position, and I look forward to working with her toward a city better prepared to meet the challenges of climate change."

“Jainey Bavishi is a world-class talent, and her experience will benefit not only millions of New Yorkers, but the global resilience building movement,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities. “At a time when cities are serving as leaders across a wide range of issues, having people like Jainey focus their attention at the local level is absolutely critical.  In the face of the growing challenges of the 21st century, Jainey’s appointment will provide the city with even more firepower as a leader in resilience building worldwide.”

"Jainey is an extraordinary leader with a deep commitment to equity and inclusion,” said Xavier de Souza Briggs, Vice President, Economic Opportunity and Markets at Ford Foundation. “She brings such a global and national vision along with a track record of concrete achievements in local communities."

“Jainey is a leader in the field of climate resilience and adaptation. Her appointment as Director of the Office of Recovery and Resiliency is further proof of the City’s strong commitment to meeting the challenges of tomorrow,” said Adam Parris, Executive Director of Jamaica Bay Science and Resilience Institute. “We look forward to working with her at the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay and welcome her to New York City.”

“Jainey has a track record of fighting for resiliency measures that include every member of our communities, particularly low-income families and seniors, and Enterprise looks forward to working alongside her once again to continue this crucial work,” said Laurel Blatchford, SVP and Chief Program Officer at Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. “Vulnerable communities have little protection and much to lose in the face of climate change and other disasters. With Jainey at the helm, OneNYC will continue to live up to its name and build solutions that work for every New Yorker.”

About Jainey Bavishi
Jainey K. Bavishi most recently served as the Associate Director for Climate Preparedness at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. In this role, she led the implementation of the climate preparedness pillar of the President's Climate Action Plan. In the final year of the Obama Administration, Bavishi was responsible for embedding and institutionalizing climate resilience considerations across Federal programs and policies; advancing climate equity to address the disproportionate impacts of climate change on low-income and other vulnerable communities; and developing innovative approaches to climate adaptation finance.

Prior to this, Bavishi served as the Executive Director of R3ADY Asia-Pacific based in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she was responsible for initiating, expanding and managing the start-up public-private partnership, which focused on enhancing disaster risk reduction and resilience in the Asia-Pacific region.

Previously, Bavishi served as the Director of External Affairs and Senior Policy Advisor to the Administrator at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Washington, DC. She was also the Founding Director of the Equity and Inclusion Campaign, a coalition of community-based leaders in the Gulf Coast region that focused on recovery from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike, at the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation.

Bavishi has a Masters degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Bachelors degree in public policy and cultural anthropology from Duke University.

About OneNYC
In April 2015, Mayor de Blasio released his OneNYC plan. This plan, representing the City’s roadmap for inclusive growth and climate action, made significant commitments to make our growing city more equitable, more sustainable and more resilient. Since that time, the City has made significant progress toward those goals:

  • Reduced citywide greenhouse gas emissions 14 percent in 2015.
  • Expanded the City’s electric vehicle fleet to over 500 vehicles.
  • Expanded organics recycling to over 700,000 New Yorkers.
  • Secured commitments to develop new flood maps that promote affordability and climate-smart planning.
  • Achieved key project milestones across the City’s over $20 billion resiliency program.
  • Fought to achieve minimum wage gains that will lift hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers out of poverty or near poverty.
  • Financed over 52,000 affordable housing units.
  • Reached a record 4.3 million jobs.

To continue to achieve the inclusive climate action commitments from OneNYC, Mayor de Blasio has built an integrated climate team under Zarrilli’s leadership, consisting of the Office of Recovery and Resiliency, the Office of Sustainability, and the Office of Environmental Coordination, to deliver on its vital commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050 and to adapt the city to the impacts of climate change. This integrated climate team collaborates with City agencies and many other public and private stakeholders to meet its commitments.

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