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June 21, 2017

Mayor de Blasio Announces Departure of DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora

Ian Michaels

New York, NY Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the departure of Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora, who has served the administration since April 8, 2014 while on public service leave from Columbia University. Dr. Peña-Mora will return to Columbia as the Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, a Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering, and Professor of Computer Science.

“I deeply appreciate Feniosky Peña-Mora’s extraordinary service to New York City. From his work awarding nearly $1.2 billion in M/WBE contracts, to instituting wide reforms that have already made the agency more responsive, to improving our response to Hurricane Sandy, he made our City a better place,” said Mayor de Blasio. “He navigated the agency through a period of robust growth, overseeing more than 860 construction starts and completions valued at more than $9 billion – all while winning more than 80 design awards and helping 1,600 students participate in DDC engineering programs. This is impressive stuff. While I am sorry to see him go, we did know this day would come. Indeed, he put off his return to Columbia, where he is a tenured professor, for an additional year to continue to serve the city. As we search for an equally strong candidate to run this critical agency, I thank Feniosky Peña-Mora for his service.”

“It has been my tremendous honor to serve this great City, and to promote Mayor de Blasio’s vision for a more equitable, sustainable, resilient, and healthy New York,” said Commissioner Peña-Mora. “I thank the talented staff at DDC for their support and hard work, and for the dedication they show in delivering high quality public building and infrastructure projects. From major projects, such as the new Police Academy or Times Square, to local sewer replacement or new community theaters, DDC delivers projects that strengthen and enhance communities. I thank Columbia University for allowing me extended public service leave, and look forward to resuming my academic career. With the advantage of this great experience, I have been privileged to work for Mayor Bill de Blasio in advancing his goals for a growing, thriving City.”

Under Commissioner Peña-Mora’s leadership, the Department of Design and Construction has enjoyed many successes and embraced numerous new challenges. He has navigated the agency through a period of robust growth, overseeing more than 860 construction starts and completions valued at more than $9 billion. DDC now has more than 1,200 active projects in its portfolio valued at $15.6 billion, and more capital funds have been registered for DDC projects than in any other time in the agency’s history, with a 32% increase in the Capital Plan funding from Fiscal Year 2014 to 2017.

DDC has delivered numerous major public projects under Commissioner Peña-Mora’s leadership, including the High Bridge, Public Safety Answering Center II, and Fordham Plaza in the Bronx; Times Square Plaza, the Spring Street Salt Shed, and the Wavertree Historic Vessel in Manhattan; the NYPD Police Academy, Emergency Medical Services Station 50, and the Elmhurst Community Library in Queens; and Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Ocean Breeze Athletic Center, and the new Family Justice Center in Staten Island. DDC projects have earned 83 industry awards, a record for any three-year period at DDC, including the prestigious “Owner of the Year” award from Engineering News Record

Also, during Commissioner Peña-Mora’s tenure at DDC, the agency has added critical capital construction programs to its portfolio, including East Side Coastal Resiliency and Select Bus Service, and has performed extensive work on the City’s “Vision Zero” initiative.

Commissioner Peña-Mora’s commitment to ensuring the vendors who work with the agency reflect the diversity of the people of our great city, has transformed DDC into the leading agency for Minority- and- Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) contract opportunities, with more than $1.2 billion in contract awards over the past three fiscal years. 

As an educational ambassador for the City, Commissioner Peña-Mora also founded DDC’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Architecture and Mathematics) education initiative, which has now touched the lives of almost 1,600 students. The first of its kind within any NYC public agency, STEAM establishes a diverse and inclusive pipeline to engage New York City’s youth in educational opportunities otherwise inaccessible to them.

See Mayor de Blasio’s statement here:

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
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 such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 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