Photo Courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office
By Forum Staff
Mayor Eric Adams on Friday announced that First Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo will depart his administration at the beginning of January. A native of Astoria and public servant for nearly three decades, Grillo’s appointment was part of a historic first when Adams announced five incoming deputy mayor roles would be filled by women.
In her time as first deputy mayor, Grillo played a critical role in creating and unveiling plans for the CUNY Brookdale Campus that will create career pipelines for students in the life sciences, health, and public health industries; overhauling the capital project process and ensuring faster and cheaper project delivery; leading the city’s COVID-19 recovery; representing the Adams administration in responding to the scene of a mass shooting in Sunset Park, Brooklyn; and championing minority-and-women-owned business efforts (M/WBEs), creating a model program that has been replicated across the country. New York City has awarded $6.5 billion in contracts for M/WBEs in Fiscal Year 2022 from city agencies and authorities — an increase of more than 65 percent from Fiscal Year 2021.
“New York City, as a whole, is better off today because Lorraine Grillo brought her invaluable expertise and inimitable work ethic to this administration and served the people of this great city,” said Adams. “She’s a living example of what ‘Getting Stuff Done’ truly means, and I, and all New Yorkers, will always be in her debt for her dedicated service to New York City. We wish her all the best and will miss her deeply.”
Before being appointed first deputy mayor, Grillo was appointed as the first-ever pandemic “Recovery Czar,” leading strategy and planning efforts while coordinating across the public and private sector to ensure a strong comeback for the Big Apple. Grillo began her career as community relations specialist for the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) in 1994. She then served in several senior roles and was appointed SCA’s president and CEO, in 2010, by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg after successfully opening 26 new schools — the single most successful year in SCA history at that time. Grillo was reappointed by former Mayor Bill de Blasio, making her one of only two re-appointments from the prior administration and the longest-serving SCA president.
In another historic first, in 2018 Grillo was appointed commissioner of the City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) — serving as lead for both DDC and SCA simultaneously.
“Public service has been my life’s work and it has been the honor of a lifetime to serve in the Adams administration in this capacity,” Grillo said. “Mayor Adams leads from the front with a very steady hand, and his historic team of amazing majority-female deputy mayors have made profound contributions in this first year alone. From spearheading our recovery, to helping those seeking asylum, to ensuring equity is at the center of the work being done — I look forward to seeing how this administration will build on the progress we’ve made to continue bettering the lives of every New Yorker.”