April 15, 2021
NEW YORK—Today Mayor de Blasio appointed Keri Butler as the Executive Director of the Public Design Commission (PDC), New York City’s design review agency. Butler, who has served at PDC in various roles for 15 years, has served as Acting Executive Director since December 2020.
“Keri Butler has already brought vision, energy, and creativity to the Public Design Commission throughout my administration. She has earned this expanded role, and I know she will continue to make our public spaces even more dynamic as this city continues to build a recovery for all of us,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
"Keri has been an invaluable member of the Public Design Commission, and I am delighted that she will be leading PDC as it continues to advocate for equitable, innovative, and sustainable design of our public spaces," said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. "The last year demonstrated just how crucial these spaces are to public health and expression, so we are especially lucky to be able to draw on the wealth of knowledge and experience that Keri brings to the role."
"I am honored to accept this position and I look forward to continuing to work with the Public Design Commission and our City agency colleagues to design civic spaces that inspire and welcome New Yorkers, while meeting the needs of communities we serve,” said Keri Butler. “The Commission will advocate for innovation and excellence in design, enhanced mobility, social infrastructure, equity, and resilience in public projects. In addition, we will continue to develop working relationships with our partner agencies and applicants to enhance and streamline the design review process."
This year, Butler has focused on PDC's "Designing New York: Streetscapes for Wellness," an initiative to better understand how the pandemic and racial justice movement changed how we use city streets and open spaces. The project aims to find ways to better utilize these spaces through innovative policy and design.
In addition to overseeing the PDC’s design review process, Butler has represented the Commission on panels and public events that highlight the City’s art collection and women designers. She has managed collaborative projects and events such as the Annual Awards for Excellence in Design, Women-Designed NYC, and Sustainable NYC. Additionally, Keri has worked with numerous agencies and private partners to preserve the City’s art collection and expand the City Hall tour program to highlight Black history.
Butler managed Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts in 2012-13 and led the Commission through the abrupt transition to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, developing online events that have increased public engagement and participation in the design review process. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.