What to Know
- Mayor Bill de Blasio has selected Deanne Criswell to become the next head of New York City's Office of Emergency Management, sources said
- The news of Criswell's appointment comes six months after the former OEM Commissioner was ousted after more than five years on the job
- Esposito spent 45 years at the NYPD, including more than 12 years as the NYPD’s top-ranking uniformed officer
Mayor Bill de Blasio has selected Deanne Criswell to become the next head of New York City's Office of Emergency Management, the administration announced Tuesday.
Criswell is currently a principal at The Cadmus Group, a consulting company based in Waltham, Massachusetts, according to her LinkedIn profile. Criswell's bio on the group's website details her experience working with homeland security and emergency management clients. She also worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for six years, coordinating with state and local leaders in the aftermath of disasters across the country.
"NYC Emergency Management is at the forefront of our city’s response to threats and disasters, and they must be prepared for anything that might come our way," said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a release Tuesday night. "Deanne is a trailblazer with the experience, passion, and skill necessary to prepare us for the unexpected."
The news of Criswell's appointment comes six months after the former OEM Commissioner was ousted after more than five years on the job.
Joseph Esposito became commissioner of OEM in 2014. Before that he spent 45 years at the NYPD. For more than 12 years, Esposito was the NYPD’s top-ranking uniformed officer, helping to oversee the city’s historic drop in crime. He was also at Ground Zero when the towers fell on 9/11 and helped implement the NYPD’s new counter-terror strategies.
Esposito is not expected to stay with the current administration, according to sources, despite de Blasio saying at one point he might take on a different role. The mayor thanked Esposito for his "steadfast leadership over the last five years" in the press release.
"It is impossible to overstate Commissioner Esposito’s significant contributions to our city’s safety while at OEM and the NYPD," a statement from the mayor's office read in December.
Although his ouster came just weeks after the city's mishandling of a surprise November snowstorm, many public officials came to Esposito's defense, laying blame with the administration instead.
"I’m a little shocked that Esposito is being fired," NYC City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said in a tweet at the time. "The Admin did not explicitly place blame on OEM in the days after the storm or at our Council hearing."
Other members of the City Council supported Espositio as well, including Queens councilman Barry Grodenchik, who said his firing would be a "man made disaster."
Criswell will take over as OEM Commissioner on July 1.