Photo Courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office
New City DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman
By Michael V. Cusenza
Mayor Bill de Blasio recently appointed Henry Gutman as New York City’s next commissioner of the Department of Transportation.
Gutman, who serves as chairman of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and serves on the Board of Brooklyn Bridge Park, was a member of de Blasio’s BQE Expert Panel in 2019 and 2020.
“Hank Gutman is a visionary leader whose decades of civic life in this city have made New York City fairer, better, and more accessible,” de Blasio said. “We made permanent and progressive changes to city streets last year, and we have more to do this year. I can’t wait to work with him to expand transportation options to every New Yorker and build a recovery for all of us.”
De Blasio also announced that Acting Commissioner Margaret Forgione, who has led DOT on an interim basis since December, will remain in the department and serve as Gutman’s First Deputy Commissioner. And Jee Mee Kim, currently a principal at HR&A Advisors and a 20-year veteran of national transportation and urban development projects, will join DOT as Chief Strategy Officer.
“I have served in City government since the 1990s, and I’ve seen the remarkable evolution of DOT’s mission. This administration has tasked the agency with creating a City for the people: safe streets, high quality public spaces and an equitable transportation system,” Forgione said. “I know Hank and Jee Mee believe deeply in that agency’s vision. I’m excited to welcome them to the team, and I can’t wait to start this new chapter alongside them.”
Jee Mee Kim added, “As a long-time transportation planner – and resident of the Rockaways in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy – I believe in the power of transportation to uplift neighborhoods and transform our city. I am optimistic about the opportunity we have before us, and I can’t wait to advance this agency’s mission and deliver recovery for all of us.”
Gutman, a 45-year Brooklyn resident, is a Retired Partner of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP, where he headed the Intellectual Property Practice Group from 1996 until his recent retirement. During his 40-year legal career, Gutman litigated a wide range of high-profile cases, including Lotus v. Borland, which he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Gutman is a trustee of the Brooklyn Public Library, where he co-chairs the Digital Innovation Committee, and a member of the Board of St. Ann’s Warehouse. He previously served as Vice Chairman of the New York League of Conservation Voters, and as a Board member of the National Center for Law and Economic Justice.
“We have an opportunity to chart a new path for this city – one that leaves Robert Moses’ vision behind, beats back COVID-19, protects our environment, and builds a fair, safe, and equitable recovery for all of us,” Gutman said. “Today’s commitment to build 10,000 bike parking spaces will give more New Yorkers than ever an appealing alternative to car culture, and it will transform biking in this city. I’m grateful to Mayor de Blasio for giving me the chance to serve the city I love. I can’t wait to get started.”