Commission Bio: Kenneth J. Knuckles, Esq

photo of Kenneth Knuckles

Kenneth J. Knuckles is a prominent business and civic leader from the Bronx who has distinguished himself over the past two decades as an attorney and public servant. Mr. Knuckles was appointed Vice Chair of the City Planning Commission in February 2002 and in December of 2011 was reappointed as Vice Chair by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Mr. Knuckles is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation (UMEZ), a position he has held since January 2003. Previously, he had served on the UMEZ Board of Directors. Prior to joining UMEZ, Mr. Knuckles spent seven years at Columbia University where he was the Vice President of Support Services, the university’s Chief Procurement Officer.

From 1990 through 1993, during the David N. Dinkins mayoral administration, he was Commissioner of the New York City Department of General Services. From 1987 through 1990, Mr. Knuckles served as Deputy Bronx Borough President during the first term of former Borough President Fernando Ferrer. He has also served as an Assistant Housing Commissioner, as well as legal counsel to several city agencies.

A graduate of the University of Michigan with a B.S. degree in architecture, Mr. Knuckles also holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the Howard University School of Law and is a member of the New York State Bar. He is the 2005 recipient of the Harvey Picker Award for distinguished public service, from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and is a Board Trustee of Continuum Health Group and NYC Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Mr. Knuckles was recently appointed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to be a member of the New York City Regional Economic Development Council.