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December 23, 2015

New York City DDC Commissioner Peña-Mora Receives First Annual Dominican Role Model Award from MTA Society

Dominican Society of Professionals in Transit honors Commissioner Peña-Mora for inaugural award

Shavone Williams
Public Information Officer

Dan Leibel
Junior Public Information Officer

NEW YORK—The Commissioner of the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC), Feniosky Peña-Mora, accepted the 2015 Dominican Role Model award – the first ever presented by the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) Dominican Society of Professionals in Transit (DSPT) on Wednesday, December 23, 2015. The Society hosted their third annual holiday luncheon and honored the commissioner with a plaque “in recognition of his high achievements and inspirational leadership, serving as a positive role model for generations to come.”

MTA Program Officer and DSPT board member, Robert Gomez, cited years of hard work in engineering and academia, in which Commissioner Peña-Mora resided as the Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, the Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering, and the Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University, Associate Provost at the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign and Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – where he also earned his Master of Science and Doctor of Science degrees in civil engineering.

Additionally, Gomez acknowledged Commissioner Peña-Mora’s work as the Commissioner of the NYC DDC, where he directs a $10 billion portfolio of 900 sustainable and resilient construction projects including the East Side Coastal Resiliency project, as well as the City’s Build-It-Back program, which helps residents who have been affected by the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

But, the underlying theme amid these accomplishments was the humble beginnings of the commissioner, who lived in the Dominican Republic until moving to New York at 21 years of age.

“It is a great honor and I’m thankful to receive this prestigious award among my peers and the Dominican Society of Professionals in Transit,” said Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora. “I look forward to collaborating with MTA under Mayor DeBlasio’s initiative for equity among New Yorkers in order to make New York the best city to live and work.”

DSPT President, Cibelis Rosado-Mota, said she was happy to have a role model such as the DDC Commissioner for kids to look up to. Aside from professional baseball players, she said, there are not many Dominicans in the public spotlight and it is good for up and coming Dominicans to see that it is feasible to be publicly recognized for achievements in the fields of science and engineering.

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction/br> The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $10 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative, and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit