Mayor de Blasio Names Samir Saini as DoITT Commissioner, Dominic Williams as Chief Policy Advisor, Debbie Rosen as Chief of Staff to First Deputy Mayor and Avi Fink as Chief of Staff at OMB

January 10, 2018

NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio has named Samir Saini as the new Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, and announced the retirement of DoITT Commissioner Anne Roest. The Mayor also announced the appointment of Dominic Williams as his new Chief Policy Advisor, and Debbie Rosen as Chief of Staff to First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan. Additionally, Avi Fink has been promoted to Chief of Staff at the Office of Management and Budget.

“I’m confident Samir Saini’s impressive work in Atlanta makes him well-equipped to take on the crucial work of this agency, including continuing the modernization of our 911 system – which touches the lives of all New Yorkers. I want to thank Anne for her years of service and her tireless efforts to manage, maintain and streamline city technology and keep our data secure,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We’re building out a world-class team to continue the progressive work we’ve been doing for four years, and these well-deserved promotions at City Hall and OMB will further our mission to lift up all New Yorkers.”

Samir Saini, who was previously the IT Commissioner and Chief Information Officer for the City of Atlanta, will take over New York City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, where he will be responsible for maintaining the foundational IT infrastructure and systems that touch every aspect of city life – from public safety to human services, education and economic development – crossing the full spectrum of governmental operations. Samir Saini’s experience in a similar role in Atlanta, as well as strong experience at complex private sector organizations, makes him well-equipped for the agency’s priorities, including modernizing the 911 system to include Text to 911, and moving City data to a cloud-based system to improve efficiency and security– both of which Saini helped successfully deploy in Atlanta. Saini will also continue the important work begun under this administration to bolster cybersecurity operations across City agencies.

As Commissioner, Anne Roest streamlined and improved DoITT’s service delivery to more than 100 City agencies and public entities. She led the successful Emergency Communications Transformation Program, which in partnership with NYPD, FDNY, and others has been streamlining and unifying the city’s emergency communications systems. Following a 2014 review, DoITT took over management of the City’s long-delayed second 911 call center, leading to an on-time and on-budget completion of the building, which has created crucial backup capacity for the City’s 911 system. Roest also strengthened the City’s cybersecurity defenses with the creation of the role of Citywide Information Security Officer and through staffing up the City’s new Cyber Command, which defends government’s digital information and assets and emphasizes safe practices across agencies. Under Commissioner Roest’s leadership, the City’s franchise team also launched LinkNYC, a public-private partnership to create the largest, fastest, free municipal Wi-Fi network anywhere in the world.

Dominic Williams will now serve as Chief Policy Advisor to the Mayor and will oversee the Mayor’s Office of Policy and Planning. He will report to the First Deputy Mayor and provide coordination across all the Deputy Mayor teams. Dominic Williams previously served as Chief of Staff to the First Deputy Mayor and as Chief of Staff in the Public Advocate’s Office. 

Debbie Rosen was named Chief of Staff to the First Deputy Mayor, where she will provide crucial support and coordination across the First Deputy Mayor’s team. She was previously Chief of Staff at the Office of Management and Budget, where she advised the Budget Director on key issues, represented the Budget Director within City government and outside entities, supervised key staff and managed OMB’s day-to-day operations. Ms. Rosen also has extensive experience in New York City and State government.

Additionally, Avi Fink will now serve as Chief of Staff at the Office of Management and Budget. Avi Fink was previously Deputy Chief of Staff to the Mayor, and worked in the Public Advocate’s Office and on the 2013 de Blasio campaign.

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