Mayor De Blasio Announces Independent Quadrennial Advisory Commission, Bringing Together Three Highly-Respected Experts in Management and Compensation

September 18, 2015

Commission Chaired by Fritz Schwarz, Chief Counsel at the Brennan Center

NEW YORK—As required by the City’s Administrative Code, Mayor Bill de Blasio today appointed an independent Quadrennial Advisory Commission for the review of compensation levels of elected officials, chaired by Frederick A.O. (“Fritz”) Schwarz, Jr., the Chief Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice.

Per Administrative Code § 3-601, it is required that the Mayor appoint a three-person commission for the review of compensation levels of elected officials every four years. The members of the commission must be private citizens generally recognized for their knowledge of management and compensation. The Commission is required to study and potentially recommend changes to the compensation levels for the mayor, public advocate, comptroller, borough presidents, council members, and district attorneys.

The three-member commission includes leading experts in management and compensation from three major New York City-based organizations: Fritz Schwarz, the Chief Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice, who will chair the Commission; Jill Bright, Chief Administrative Officer at Condé Nast; and Paul Quintero, Chief Executive Office at ACCION EAST, Inc, a non-profit that works to empower low- to moderate-income business owners with access to capital and financial education.

The Commission will report back with its recommendations in November 2015.

“Fritz, Jill, and Paul represent some of the best and the brightest when it comes to management and compensation,” said Mayor de Blasio. “I appreciate these three leaders dedicating their time and energy to public service through the Commission.”

“I am excited and honored to serve as Chair of the Quadrennial Commission. The issues before the Commission are important ones facing New York City. I look forward to learning by listening,” said Quadrennial Commission Chair Fritz Schwarz.

Frederick A.O. (“Fritz”) Schwarz, Jr. is Chief Counsel of the Brennan Center, which he joined full time in 2002. Since graduation from law school in 1960, Mr. Schwarz has had an uncommon career, mixing the highest level of private practice with a series of critically important public service assignments. Mr. Schwarz’s private practice was all at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, where he was a litigation partner with a broad and varied practice.

In government: from 1975-76 Mr. Schwarz was Chief Counsel to the Church Committee (or as it was formally known, the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Activities with Respect to Intelligence Activities). He was New York City Corporation Counsel under Mayor Edward I. Koch (1982-86). Then in 1989, he chaired the Commission that extensively revised New York City’s Charter. And from 2003-08 he chaired the New York City Campaign Finance Board.

Mr. Schwarz received an A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1957 and a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1960, where he was an editor of the Law Review. After a year’s clerkship with Chief Judge J. Lumbard of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, he worked one year for the government of Northern Nigeria as Assistant Commissioner for Law Revision under a Ford Foundation grant, then in 1963, he started at Cravath where he became a partner in 1969.

Mr. Schwarz has long been involved in the nonprofit sector. Among many other things, for almost twenty years, he served as Chair of the boards of both NRDC and the Vera Institute of Justice, on whose boards he continues to serve. He also chaired the board of Atlantic Philanthropies and the Fund for the City of New York.

While at the Brennan Center, he was awarded the New York State Bar Association’s Gold Medal for distinguished service in the law, and the Ridenhour Courage Prize “in recognition of his life-long commitment to strengthening democracy and the rule of law.” 

Jill Bright is the Chief Administrative Officer for Condé Nast. In this role, she works with the executive leadership team to coordinate cross-company strategic business initiatives. Her responsibilities include managing key performance enhancement projects and providing guidance on people, productivity, and alignment.  As Chief Administrative Officer, Ms. Bright also oversees Licensing, Branded Events & Experiences and Contracts and Rights.

Ms. Bright joined Condé Nast in 1993 and led Human Resources from 1996 until her appointment as Chief Administrative Officer in 2010. Prior to joining Condé Nast, she worked in various senior HR roles at Macy's, American Express and PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division.

Ms. Bright serves on the Advisory Board of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, the Executive Committee of the Alliance for Downtown New York and the National Board of Girls Inc.  Ms. Bright is also a member of the Board of Directors of Qubed, a higher education services company that partners with top tier colleges and media brands to deliver high quality academic programs.

Ms. Bright received her bachelor's degree from Marymount Manhattan College and her MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business.

Paul Quintero serves as Chief Executive Officer of ACCION EAST, Inc. Mr. Quintero has over 20 years of experience in banking, public accounting, and community development investment in the nonprofit microfinance sector. Prior to joining ACCION EAST in 2007, Mr. Quintero served as senior vice president of business investments at the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ). Mr. Quintero also served as a vice president at Lehman Brothers, and as a senior associate at Schroder & Co. Mr. Quintero began his investment banking career with Chase Securities. Prior to investment banking, Mr. Quintero worked as a senior staff accountant for Deloitte & Touche. He also served as board chairman for The Point Community Development Corporation. Mr. Quintero earned a BA in Business Administration and Accounting from the University of Washington and received his MBA from Columbia Business School.

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