Mayor de Blasio Appoints ‘Recovery Czar’

Mayor Bill de Blasio at City Hall. (Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

Mayor Bill de Blasio has named Lorraine Grillo to oversee New York City’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

As ‘recovery czar,’ she will head the return to in-person working, expanding grants to small local businesses, increase funding for mental health programs, encourage economic growth, and pushing for the city to become a hub for the medical technology industry.

“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,” said de Blasio. “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 previously served as the CEO of the School Construction Authority and Commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction.

She was involved with more than 4,000 capital improvement projects in New York City buildings, with a total of $28 billion in budgets. She led the widely admired and extremely quick reopening of 71 schools that had been damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

“I build things. That’s what I do. And together, we are going to build a recovery that lifts up every New Yorker,” said Grillo, appearing alongside Mayor Bill de Blasio at his press conference on Monday. “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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