coronavirus in new york

Mayor Names Lorraine Grillo NYC's ‘Recovery Czar' in Response to Ongoing Pandemic

Grillo has served at the School Construction Authority since 1994 and serving as its president since 2010.

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What to Know

  • Mayor Bill de Blasio has named Lorraine Grillo as the Senior Advisor for Recovery -- a position that will call for Grillo to coordinate the mayor's recovery agenda in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In this new position as the city's "Recovery Czar," Grillo, who is the current CEO of the New York City School Construction Authority, will coordinate the city's recovery efforts across government agencies, non-profits and the private sector.
  • Grillo has served at the School Construction Authority since 1994 and serving as its president since 2010.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has named Lorraine Grillo as the Senior Advisor for Recovery -- a position that will call for Grillo to coordinate the mayor's recovery agenda in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In this new position as the city's "Recovery Czar," Grillo, who is the current CEO of the New York City School Construction Authority, will coordinate the city's recovery efforts across government agencies, non-profits and the private sector. Additionally, Grillo will work with the New York City Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity to push for economic justice across all recovery efforts.

“New York City was hit with an unprecedented health care and economic crisis. Together, we’re taking unprecedented steps to drive a recovery for all of us,” de Blasio said in a statement. “As New York City’s first-ever Recovery Czar, Lorraine will cut through bureaucracy, coordinate across all agencies, and reach out to non-profit and private partners to make sure our recovery is felt in every borough, every neighborhood, and every block.”

Grillo’s new appointment is effective immediately. She will transition from her roles as Commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction and CEO of the New York City School Construction Authority. According to the city, Grillo brings experience "in building physical infrastructure, fair and equitable contracting, and putting the concerns of low-income New Yorkers first."

Grillo has served at the School Construction Authority since 1994. After successfully opening 26 new schools, which at the time was the single most successful year in SCA history, she was appointed the agency's president and CEO in 2010.

Subsequently in February 2014, de Blasio reappointed Lorraine to her position making her one of only two re-appointments from the prior administration and the longest serving SCA president.

Over the years, Grillo has built over 80,000 K-12 school seats and over 9,000 universal Pre-K seats, the city notes. Grillo has coordinated almost 4,000 capital improvement projects in the Big Apple and has managed a total of $28 billion in budgets. Grillo’s team was also responsible for the reopening of 71 schools damaged by Hurricane Sandy in record time.

“I build things. That’s what I do. And together, we are going to build a recovery that lifts up every New Yorker,” Grillo said. “Every job I’ve had serving the people of New York City, from responding to Hurricane Sandy to expanding universal Pre-K, has required an intense coordination across different agencies, companies and non-profits. That’s the same aggressive approach I’m going to take to lead a recovery for all of us.”

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