February 17, 2017
NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio today appointed Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez as a Senior Advisor. Cortés-Vázquez has extensive experience serving communities across New York State and was the first Latina to serve as Secretary of the State in New York.
As Senior Advisor, Cortés-Vázquez will advise and assist the Mayor’s Office, the Community Affairs and Public Engagement Units, and agencies across the Administration to expand their community outreach across the five boroughs. She will specialize in engaging the Latino community around issues related to immigration; Universal pre-K; criminal justice reform; housing and economic development; M/WBE contracting and outreach; economic justice; and job creation. Cortés-Vázquez will be working within the Mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.
“Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez’s vast managerial experience in government, the private and non-profit sector, partnered with her clear dedication to the Latino community and the community as a whole, make her the perfect candidate for this advisory position,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I am looking forward to working closely with Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez as she continues to work to make an impact in the community.”
“I am honored to work with Mayor de Blasio and his team who have given this City Universal Pre-K, which will increase the educational achievements of all communities for many years; took a critical step to address income inequality by increasing the minimum wage; and who have halted the unbalanced stop and frisk policy and simultaneously brought crime down in one of the nations' largest and most diverse Cities. I am most proud to support the Mayor’s Federal and State agenda to ensure that we continue to protect and preserve the rights and dignity of all New Yorker's regardless of their status, sexual preference and religion – a New York that works for all” said Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez.
About Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez
In September 2015, Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez joined Emblem Health as Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations and Government Affairs. Previously, Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez was the Executive Vice President for the American Association of Retired People (AARP). She oversaw implementation of overall Brand Awareness and Acquisition Campaign for target audiences. She also oversaw formation of the Multicultural Markets and Engagement Unit.
Prior to joining AARP, Lorraine was Secretary of State in New York from 2007 to 2010 – the first Latina to serve in that role. During her tenure she re-aligned the Community Services Block Grant Program to target specific areas that include at risk youth, healthy families and workforce development. Before her appointment by Governor Spitzer, Lorraine served as Vice President of Government and Public Affairs at Cablevision. She also worked for 14 years at the New York City Department for the Aging's Bureau of Program and Resource Development. Earlier in her career, she held a variety of social impact positions in East Harlem.
From 1998 to 2004, Cortés-Vázquez served as President of the Hispanic Federation, aiding more than 2 million Latinos annually. She also has prior experience on the New York State Board of Regents; she was Chief of Staff to Assemblyman Roberto Ramirez; and she oversaw the Puerto Rican Hispanic Task Force and the Somos El Futuro Conference. She was also Executive Director of ASPIRA of New York, the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit Latino youth leadership development and education advocacy agency.