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Mayor Adams Appoints Keith Howard as Commissioner of Department of Youth and Community Development

June 15, 2022

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the appointment of Keith Howard as commissioner of the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD). At DYCD, Howard — who has nearly 30 years of public service — will bring operational management expertise and a history of improving connections between community-based organizations and young adults. Howard also has a breadth of experience focused on community-driven programs to advance safer, healthier environments for young people. As a former board member of SCAN-Harbor, one of the largest youth service providers in Harlem, East Harlem, and the South Bronx, Howard provided oversight on organizational policy, budget, and program activities to after-school programs, early childhood education, family and social services, workforce development, youth education, and violence prevention. 

“Investing in our youth contributes to the prosperity of their future and the future of this city,” said Mayor Adams. “By building off preventive programs, like Summer Youth Employment Program and Saturday Night Lights, we will provide all New York City youth with the opportunity for a safe and successful life. Under Keith Howard’s leadership, we will continue to create bold, upstream solutions for our young people and dam the many rivers causing violence in our city.” 

“New York City’s young people deserve proper investments to plant and water the seeds to a fruitful future. Keith Howard has a proven record of championing to improve the quality of life of New York City youth and will continue this work at DYCD,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Sheena Wright. “I am confident Keith is the right person to provide safe and supportive environments for our New York City youth to thrive.”

“I am humbled and grateful to Mayor Adams for my appointment as the new commissioner of DYCD,” said incoming DYCD Commissioner Keith Howard. “I am excited to lead an agency with 25 years of dedicated service and work with extraordinary public servants who tirelessly provide essential resources through a network of community-based organizations to young adults and their communities. Mayor Adams has dedicated his life and professional career to improving the lives of our city’s young people and the most vulnerable. The mayor’s upstream vision is clear, and DYCD will work side-by-side with our sister agencies to empower our youth and uplift their futures.” 

“The appointment of Keith Howard as the new commissioner of DYCD in New York City begins a new era for the department. As an experienced administrator with a vast background in public service, the mayor has made a wise choice,” said Carl Clay, founder and president, Black Spectrum Theater. 

“We commend the mayor on his selection of Keith Howard to carry out the important mission of DYCD,” said Michael Kohlhagen, CEO, Center for Educational Innovation. “Keith has a long record of distinguished public service. He cares passionately about all members of our community as evident in his tireless commitment to improving lives. I have no doubt that Keith will continue to be successful in his new role and will be a powerful advocate for students and families. We look forward to supporting Keith and his team as they create new opportunities for success.” 

“Children’s Aid is delighted to see the appointment of a new DYCD commissioner,” said Phoebe C. Boyer, president and CEO, Children’s Aid. “DYCD resources allow human services organizations to provide essential supports for young people and their families in communities across New York City. As a nonprofit provider, we are grateful to have a longstanding, high-impact partnership with the DYCD, and we look forward to working with Commissioner Howard as he takes the helm of the department. DYCD as an agency is vital in ensuring that young people in New York are happy, healthy, and safe.”
"The Department of Youth and Community Development plays a vital role ensuring that New York's youth and families have access to the community-based supports and infrastructure that are crucial to their well-being and their continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic," said Jennifer March, executive director, Citizens' Committee for Children of New York. "We welcome Commissioner Keith Howard to his new role leading DYCD and look forward to working with him and his team to ensure that every community has access to the services and programs needed to build a stronger, more resilient city in which all children and youth thrive."

“Good Shepherd Services (GSS) welcomes Commissioner Keith Howard to the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development. DYCD is a critical partner to organizations like GSS working in neighborhoods throughout the city to support the healthy development of children, youth, and families and to foster thriving community life,” said Michelle Yanche, CEO, Good Shepherd Services. “We look forward to working together with Commissioner Howard and the entire DYCD team in the important work ahead as our communities emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and embark on the path of resilience and recovery.”

"Mayor Adams has appointed a proven manager as the new commissioner of DYCD. I've worked with Keith at CCRB, and his leadership and sensitivity for those New Yorkers who have experienced police interactions is invaluable, especially in the era of George Floyd tragic death. The community will benefit greatly,” said Charles Grenisky, community activist; and former commissioner, Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB).

“With the unprecedented increase in violence, we applaud Mayor Adams’ appointment of Keith Howard as the new commissioner of DYCD,” said Jackie Rowe-Adams, president and co-founder, Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E. “Keith brings a great knowledge and insight into city government and has the ability to cut through the red tape to ensure that organizations like Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E receive the needed resources. He will be a great partner in Mayor Adams’ fight to end gun violence.” 

“New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL) is excited to work with incoming DYCD commissioner Keith Howard,” said Udai Tambar, president and CEO, NYJTL. “His extensive public service experience will prove invaluable in managing the largest Summer Rising initiative this year. DYCD is a critical partner of NYJTL and its commitment to provide the highest-quality programs to low-income communities.”

"Mayor Eric Adams has chosen a servant leader in Keith Howard as the new commissioner of the Department of Youth and Community Development. Keith has spent his entire professional career educating and providing service to the New York City community,” said Aldrin K. Enis, president, One Hundred Black Men of New York. “He has been a champion for those in underserved communities through the civic and fraternal organizations where he is a member. Such actions include mentoring young men of color, leading college bus tours, and working with the Hopkins Law Group to provide free legal consultation. Keith has also been an adjunct professor for over 20 years. I believe Keith is well equipped for this new professional endeavor at DYCD, and New York City children will be better community leaders and global citizens because of it." 

“On behalf of Phipps Neighborhoods, I congratulate Keith Howard on his appointment as commissioner to the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development,” said Andre White, executive director and CEO, Phipps Neighborhoods. “DYCD has been a long-standing and critical partner to organizations like Phipps. I look forward to working together to invest in New York City’s young people and champion education and career opportunities that build thriving communities.”

“UNH congratulates Keith Howard for his appointment to DYCD commissioner. We look forward to working with someone who has a background in the settlement house movement and who understands the value of neighborhood-based, supportive services for youth and their families and the workforce who runs these programs,” said Susan Stamler, executive director, United Neighborhood Houses (UNH). “This is a crucial time for DYCD, and Commissioner Howard’s role in leading neighborhood-based recovery from COVID will be important for New Yorkers of all backgrounds. We look forward to partnering to ensure that youth programming, adult literacy education, community development programming, and more are available to strengthen our communities.”

“We are pleased that Mayor Adams has appointed Keith Howard as commissioner of the Department of Youth and Community Development,” said Sharon Greenberger, president and CEO, YMCA of Greater New York. “The mayor’s recent investments in DYCD programs including SYEP, Summer Rising, and Saturday Night Lights will have a significant impact on the young people of our city. We look forward to partnering with Commissioner Howard on these programs and others to improve the lives all New Yorkers.” 

“I support Mayor Adams’ appointment of Keith Howard as the new commissioner for DYCD,” said Willie Walker, civil rights leader, minister, and community activist. “Keith has worked closely with me to resolve community problems, social justice issues, lectured on job readiness, participated in anti-gang programs and has empowered the Harlem community, especially young adults of color through mentoring and youth development.” 

About Keith Howard

Keith Howard currently serves as an associate deputy commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation. In that role, he leads the city’s Vision Zero Initiatives, manages the inspection and construction of safety improvement projects, and oversees the work of hundreds of division employees and the execution of hundreds of millions of dollars in capital contracts. 

Previously, Howard served as a special investigator for the Joint Commission on Integrity in the Public Schools, where he focused on waste and corruption at the Board of Education.

Additionally, Howard served as a special fraud inspector with the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, where he led investigations into consumer fraud that targeted vulnerable New Yorkers and tourists. 

Earlier in his career, Howard additionally served as a senior investigator at both the New York City Police Department’s Civilian Complaint Investigative Bureau and the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board. In both these roles, Howard led teams of investigators in some of the city’s most sensitive complaints that involved young men of color. 

Before entering government service, Howard co-founded the Rho Phi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, a nonprofit organization that co-sponsored health fairs in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. He also co-founded Servants of All Foundation, a separate initiative with his Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated brothers, which held workshops on college readiness and escorted more than 600 middle and high school students on bus tours to Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

For almost two decades, Howard served as an adjunct professor at Queens College and at the Joseph S. Murphy Institute, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, where he taught courses on organizational behavior, public administration, and human resources management to undergraduate and graduate students.

Howard is a two-time graduate of John Jay College with a Bachelor of Science degree in legal research and a Master of Public Administration degree.

Howard will report to Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Sheena Wright.


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