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Mayor de Blasio Names Board of Directors of NYC Global Partners

May 7, 2015

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today appointed Ceci Kurzman, Michael Landau, Michael Vachon and Timothy Wilkins and reappointed former New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins to the Board of NYC Global Partners, Inc.

As members of the Board of Directors of NYC Global Partners, these appointees will work to develop partnerships supporting the Mayor’s local-to-global equity agenda. The organization’s mission is to foster an international dialogue centered on common urban challenges, and share strategies that are working here in New York City.

“From income inequality to climate change, so many cities across the globe face similar challenges – and by working together, we can find innovative solutions that will lift up people in every community. Our administration is committed to working with other global cities on these issues through action-oriented partnerships, and Global Partners is a key tool for engaging in that critical work,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I’m confident that today’s appointees have the experience and skills to work with other world leaders to foster ideas and find solutions that will improve the lives of New Yorkers and people everywhere.”

“We consistently see that among the top strategies for tackling today’s toughest urban policy challenges are partnerships in which global cities can share best practices with each other,” said Commissioner for International Affairs Penny Abeywardena. “A strong and active Global Partners Board is an important part of implementing that strategy. This new board brings a wealth of experience to this endeavor, and I am confident they will guide the work of Global Partners toward more success.”

Mayoral Appointments

David N. Dinkins, the 106th Mayor of the City of New York, is being reappointed to the Global Partners Board. He began his career in public service in 1966 as a member of the New York State Assembly. He then served as president of the New York City Board of Elections, and as City Clerk for 10 years before he was elected to the office of President of the Borough of Manhattan in 1985. In 1989, Dinkins was elected Mayor of the City of New York. Former Mayor Dinkins is currently a Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at the Columbia University School of International & Public Affairs, where he also serves on the advisory board and hosts the Annual Dinkins Leadership & Public Policy Forum – which welcomed Hillary Rodham Clinton to deliver its keynote address on April 29, 2015. In 2003, the David N. Dinkins Professorship Chair in the Practice of Urban & Public Affairs was established at Columbia University SIPA. In 2013, Dinkins published his memoir A Mayor’s Life: Governing New York’s Gorgeous Mosaic, which chronicles his career as a devoted public servant and a New Yorker in love with his city.

Ceci Kurzman is the Founder and President of Nexus Management Group, a talent management and business development company. She has managed business and career strategy for several high-profile artists, including Shakira and Alicia Keys, with her involvement extending beyond entertainment. Nexus currently focuses on partnering capital resources with talent-driven brand-to-business strategies. In addition to running Nexus Management Group, Kurzman plays an active role as an operational investor in a variety of early and growth-stage companies. Kurzman has previously worked as Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for Epic/Sony Music where she spearheaded global campaigns for artists including Shakira, Sade, Tori Amos and George Michael. Prior to her work at Epic/Sony Music, Kurzman was a Director of Artist Development and Special Projects at Arista Records. Kurzman serves on the boards of Revlon, Spring Studios, Migreat, Choate Rosemary Hall, The Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation, Médecins du Monde, and The Royal Academy of Arts. She is also a member of The Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Communications Advisory Committee.

Michael Landau is co-Founder and Chairman of MAP International, a company that uses technology to expand banking services in developing African countries. Landau is also the co-Founder and Chairman of The Joseph Initiative, an innovative agriculture company that specializes in post-harvest loss mitigation and crop aggregation. These services are part of the framework for the agricultural economy in Uganda, where Landau and his organizations work with the UN Office for Food Security, the World Food Programme, and numerous public-private partnerships. Landau is also a member of the International Jewish Coalition for Interfaith Consultations, Chairman of the West Side Council on Orthodox Jewish Organizations, and Clergy Liaison to NYPD’s Chief of Community Affairs. He also serves on the Strategy Council of the UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development.

Michael Vachon is Advisor to the Chairman at Soros Fund Management, and serves as spokesperson for both the Fund and Mr. George Soros. In this role, Vachon advises Mr. Soros and other executives on media relations and external affairs. He also acts as Mr. Soros’ chief-of-staff for special projects, and oversees Mr. Soros’ political contributions. Prior to joining SFM, Vachon was Director of Communications and a member of the Executive Committee of The Commonwealth Fund, one of the nation’s oldest private foundations. He previously served as Director of Communications at the Open Society Institute and the Soros Foundation network, and worked for several years as a financial journalist.

Timothy A. Wilkins is a corporate M&A partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and serves as the co-Chair for the New York Office’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Wilkins advises leading international corporations on cross-border mergers and joint ventures. Prior to joining Freshfields, Wilkins was an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and also served as a Ford Foundation Fellow at the International Peace Academy, an NGO think-tank on international peacekeeping missions. Wilkins is currently an adjunct professor of International Law at Hunter College. Wilkins is also a member of a number of arts and social justice organizations, including the Board of Directors of the Public Theater, the Board of Directors of the City Bar Fund of the New York City Bar Association, the advisory board of Equality Now, the advisory board of Legal Outreach. He is also a Committee Member of the Cyrus Vance Center for International Justice. Wilkins is also the founding Chair of the Steering Committee of The Opportunity Agenda, a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding equal opportunity.

About Global Partners

In collaboration with the Mayor’s Office, NYC Global Partners strives to create a global platform to promote what is working in New York City, drive innovation, and pilot collaborative, action-oriented partnerships with communities around the world. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization housed in the New York City Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, NYC Global Partners combines a unique fundraising capacity with the ability to develop programming to support the Mayor’s local-to-global equity agenda. First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris and Commissioner for International Affairs Penny Abeywardena both hold ex officio positions on the Global Partners Board of Directors.

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