Julie Menin is an attorney and civic leader who has over two decades of experience in the legal, regulatory and public sectors. She currently serves as the Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, an agency encompassing the key economic and creative sectors of film, TV, theater, music, advertising, publishing, nightlife, digital content and real estate as it relates to these industries. In total, these portfolios account for over 305,000 jobs, and an economic output of $104 billion. Commissioner Menin also oversees NYC Media, the largest municipal broadcasting entity in the country including five TV Stations and a radio station with a reach of 18 million viewers in a 50-mile radius. As Commissioner of MOME, Menin manages all regulatory functions of the agency. She is also regularly called upon to address proposed legislation related to industries in NYC's creative sector. In addition to her role at MOME, Menin serves as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs where she teaches a course on the legal role cities play as regulators.
Previously, she served as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), the nation's largest municipal consumer affairs agency. As DCA Commissioner, she presided over the settlement of the agency's largest case (a debit collection case involving 4500 consumers), launched groundbreaking initiatives to protect consumers and was instrumental in implementing the Paid Sick Leave Law, the Small Business Relief Package to reduce fines on businesses, and the Living Wage Executive Order. Under Commissioner Menin's stewardship, DCA achieved a remarkable turnaround by reducing fines on businesses by one third while increasing consumer restitution by 70 percent. She also launched investigations into not-for-profit colleges, fraudulent auto loans, debt collectors, and other industries preying on New Yorkers. In addition, she launched the City's first expanded Earned Income Tax initiative, creating an outreach program that resulted in an extraordinary 50 percent increase in New Yorkers using the City's free tax centers and returning $260 million to low-income New Yorkers.
Under her leadership, the Office of Media and Entertainment has launched several groundbreaking initiatives. A five-part women's initiative, including a $5 million fund for women filmmakers and playwrights, is the first municipal program in the country designed to promote equality behind and in front of the camera in film and television, as well as onstage. The One Book, One New York program is the largest community read in the country. NYC Film Green is the first sustainable production designation program in the U.S. administered by a governmental entity. Commissioner Menin also spearheaded the negotiations to being the Grammy awards back to New York City after a 15-year hiatus, which is expected to generate $200 million in economic benefit to the City.
Before her appointment to lead the Media and Entertainment Commission, for nearly two decades, Commissioner Menin has been a pioneering leader in consumer protection. As a small business owner impacted by 9/11, she founded and ran Wall Street Rising, a non-profit devoted to promoting and sustaining businesses in lower Manhattan. Wall Street Rising helped local businesses and organizations battle insurance fraud and access government assistance programs which enabled more than 600 local entities to stay in lower Manhattan.
In 2005, Menin was elected Chairperson for Community Board 1, a position she held for seven years. She was widely acknowledged for her leading role in the revitalization of lower Manhattan. During her tenure as Chairperson, she helped build three new public schools, numerous new parks and secured $150 million of public funding to construct the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center. In 2009, she created, hosted and co-produced NBC's Give & Take, an interview program focused on politics, current events, media and health. In 2013, she ran for Manhattan Borough President.
An accomplished lawyer and community leader, she began her career as a regulatory attorney at Wiley, Rein & Fielding in Washington D.C., where she specialized in consumer protection issues and worked as Senior Regulatory Attorney at Colgate-Palmolive in New York City handling regulatory matters for the agency encompassing DOJ, FTC and consumer litigation. Menin has received numerous awards recognizing her leadership, including City and State New York's Power 100 award, the National Association of Women Business Owners Community Service Award, the Women's City Club of New York "City Spirit Award," the New York League of Conservation Voters "Public Service" award, the Women's Campaign Fund's "Rising Star" award, the New York State Senate's "Women of Distinction" award, City and State's "40 Under 40" award, and Citizen Union's "Civic Leadership" award. Menin has served on the boards of the Municipal Art Society, Governor's Island, the National September 11th Memorial & Museum, the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center, and is currently on the board of Public Service at Harvard College, the Columbia College Board of Visitors, the Paley Center for Media and NYC & Company.
Menin earned her B.A. Magna Cum Laude at Columbia University and her J.D. at Northwestern University School of Law.