April 29, 2019
NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today appointed Melissa A. Browne as the new Executive Director of the Mayor's Office of Special Projects and Community Events (MOSPCE). As Executive Director, Melissa will bring her extensive experience to bear to help create and manage events that highlight the diverse background of New Yorkers.
“The work of our special projects and community events team is key to celebrating the diversity of our great city and bringing New Yorkers together,” said Mayor de Blasio. “I welcome Melissa, who brings a wealth of knowledge to this role and will ensure The People’s House continues to live up to its name. I am confident that she will serve our entire city well.”
"Our city is home to many vibrant communities and much of MOSPCE's work revolves around bringing them together to strengthen our bond as New Yorkers," said First Lady Chirlane McCray. "Melissa's extensive experience in creating thoughtful, memorable events has ensured that Gracie remains The People's House. We are thrilled to welcome her into this new role."
“What a privilege to accept this position from the Mayor,” said MOSPCE Executive Director Melissa A. Browne. “I look forward to continuing to find ways to advance the Mayor and First Lady’s mission to make the City’s events and projects inclusive and open to all New Yorkers. Having had the pleasure of working closely with the hardworking MOSPCE team, I’m thrilled to join them as Executive Director and the work they do in celebrating the diversity of New York’s communities.”
About Melissa A. Browne
Melissa A. Browne is coming to the role from Gracie Mansion, where she oversaw events, managed staff, worked with the Conservancy on making tours and exhibits more open to all New Yorkers, and was part of the First Lady's team, where she looked for ways to bring her vision to Gracie programs.
She has an extensive background as an external relations professional with knowledge of designing unique experiences, fundraising, creating strategic partnerships, managing prominent principals, and ability to connect with dignitaries.
In 2014, Melissa was tasked with establishing the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative-US, now the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. Melissa organized worldwide events to raise institutional awareness and funding. These high-profile events included dignitaries and members of the Forbes 100.
As a development-event consultant, Melissa produced activities for organizations including Kai Kai Group, Civic Builders, Lycée Français de New York, and Corlears School. Melissa also serves on the executive board of the LARS Foundation and previously served on the board of Y.E.S!, a volunteer arm of Dress for Success.
"Melissa has spent her career working at the intersection of the public and private sectors, and understands the power of partnership to bring people together in furtherance of a broader public good," said Darren Bloch, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Mayor's Office of Strategic Partnerships. "Over the past several years she has been a great advocate in our efforts to engage key partners throughout the City, and I'm thrilled to see her taking on this new role in our administration."
“The Mayor’s Office of Special Projects and Community Events plays a central role in celebrating the lives of all New Yorkers from all backgrounds, regardless of gender identity, or gender expression. Melissa Browne brings considerable expertise in building inclusive spaces for diverse communities to celebrate, learn from, and build deeper connections to each other. The Commission on Gender Equity congratulates Melissa as she takes the helm of this critical office and is proud to continue to partner with MOSPCE to engage all New Yorkers in building a fairer New York through celebration and understanding,” said Jacqueline Ebanks, Executive Director, Commission on Gender Equity.
Paul Gunther, Executive Director of the Gracie Mansion Conservancy said, “The various strands of Ms. Browne’s career as fund raiser, event planner, staff manager, gracious host, and, most recently, as committed public servant tie together perfectly for the assignment to direct MOSPCE. I look forward to continuing our work together at Gracie Mansion as both “The People’s House” and official mayoral residence, where so many of the special events she will now oversee unfold for the tens of thousands of New Yorkers who visit annually. No one is better prepared to play this vital gateway role.”
Mayor's Office of Special Projects and Community Events supports the Mayor and First Lady's commitment to honor the diverse communities of our City by organizing, managing and directing Mayoral public ceremonies, celebrations and receptions, in partnership with city agencies and with the support of the private sector. These special events are hosted at Gracie Mansion—also known as the People's House—and other iconic sites across the City.