Brooklyn Boro

Eric Adams appoints 5 deputy mayors — all women

Brooklyn well-represented in his choices

December 21, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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On Tuesday, Mayor-elect Eric Adams announced the appointment of five deputy mayors to his incoming administration — all women, and at least two of them from Brooklyn.

Those appointed include: Lorraine Grillo, first deputy mayor; Anne Williams-Isom, deputy mayor for health and human services; Meera Joshi, deputy mayor for operations; Maria Torres-Springer, deputy mayor for economic and workforce development, and Sheena Wright, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives.

The incoming deputy mayors were each introduced by a trailblazing woman from New York City’s history, including former Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, former City Comptroller Elizabeth Holtzman (also a former Brooklyn congressmember), former Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger, former State Senator Velmanette Montgomery (representing a Brooklyn district) and former Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

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“For us to ensure that this city recovers quickly while addressing the inequalities that plagued us well before COVID-19 struck, we must have top leadership that can both deliver for New Yorkers and is representative of New Yorkers,” Mayor-elect Adams said. “I am so proud of the history these new deputy mayors are making today, and I hope it sends a message that the most qualified people should not sit on the bench when the game is on the line just because of their gender, their ethnicity, or any piece of their identity.”

Joshi, who lists herself as a Brooklyn resident on her Linkedin profile, is currently Deputy Administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and a visiting scholar at NYU’s Rudin Center for Transportation policy. She also served as Commissioner of the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

Maria Torres-Springer, new deputy mayor for economic and workforce development. Twitter photo

“I am deeply honored to serve Mayor-elect Eric Adams and all New Yorkers,” Joshi said. “I am equally honored and humbled to share today’s stage with some of the most formidable and transformative women leaders. Our work ahead is clear. The operations of our city must meet and exceed the needs of every community, respond in real time and be a model of excellence for all urban centers.”

Torres-Springer, who lives in Park Slope with her family, is the Vice President for U.S. Programs at the Ford Foundation. She formerly served for 15 years in various positions in New York City government, including as Commissioner of the Department of Housing and Preservation Development, Commissioner of Small Business Services and the President of the Economic Development Corporation.

Meera Joshi, the new deputy mayor of operations. Photo courtesy of US Dept. of Transportation

“I am deeply humbled to serve as Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development,” Torres-Springer said. “The pandemic and its economic fallout have impacted New Yorkers across the five boroughs, with lower-income and Black and brown New Yorkers hit the hardest. Under Mayor Adams’ leadership, we will ensure that our economic recovery leaves no one behind and that we implement policies that match the scale of this challenge.”

Lorraine Grillo is the Senior Advisor to Mayor de Blasio for Covid Recovery. She has also been President and CEO of the School Construction Authority since 2010, when she was elevated by former Mayor Bloomberg. Grillo is also the Commissioner of the NYC Department of Design and Construction.

Anne Williams-Isom is the James R. Dumpson Chair of Child Welfare Studies at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Services and the former CEO and COO of Harlem Children’s Zone. Williams-Isom has also previously served as Deputy Commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services.

Sheena Wright is the first female President and CEO of United Way of New York City, leading a transformation of the organization and implementing several major citywide initiatives, including ReadNYC, the Together We Thrive Black Business Initiative, and the Campaign for Equity.


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