Chirlane McCray has redefined the role of First Lady of New York City, managing a robust portfolio to advance an ambitious agenda in support of all New Yorkers.
Nationally recognized as a powerful advocate for mental health reform, she has been named a 2019 “World Health Organization Champion” and 2020 "Empire Whole Health Hero" by Crain’s New York. Ms. McCray created ThriveNYC, the most comprehensive mental health plan of any city or state in the nation. She leads the Cities Thrive Coalition, bringing together more than 200 mayors, county officials, and thought leaders from all 50 states to improve our mental health care delivery system.
As Chair of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, she brings together leaders across government, philanthropy, and the private sector. Most recently, the Fund has raised more than $60 million through its COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund—fueling New York City’s recovery through initiatives like the Restaurant Revitalization Program, which guarantees displaced workers a fair wage, and Food For Heroes, which has delivered more than 70,000 free meals to health care workers and first responders.
She also serves as Co-Chair of the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity, whose mission is to ensure New York City’s recovery from COVID-19 is rooted in fairness and justice. Ms. McCray has rallied city agencies and leaders in common cause to help revive our hardest-hit communities with access to critical resources and services like mental health care, small business support, and broadband.
Ms. McCray’s other responsibilities are extensive. As co-chair of the Commission on Gender Equity, she is a persistent voice for creating a 50-50 city and world. She led the city’s Domestic Violence Task Force, and in 2015, with her signature, New York City became the first city in the country to join the United Nations Women’s Safe Cities Global Initiative. She also launched and leads the NYC Unity Project, an unprecedented citywide effort to make sure LGBTQIA young people in New York City are safe, supported and healthy.
The First Lady is a graduate of Wellesley College. She and Mayor Bill de Blasio live in Gracie Mansion, the official residence, and are proud parents of Chiara and Dante.
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A PATH FORWARD: Mental Health and the United States Pandemic Response