March 24, 2016
NEW YORK––The son of a Korean immigrant entrepreneur will have an essential role in Mayor de Blasio’s efforts leveling the playing field for minority and women-owned firms seeking to do business with the City of New York.
Michael Owh – who knows firsthand what it means to start a small business – has been appointed as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services. MOCS is responsible for the policy and compliance monitoring of more than $13.8 billion in procurements and works with City agencies, vendors and community-based organizations to ensure that the contracting process is fair, efficient, transparent and cost-effective for the City.
“Just as millions of New Yorkers depend on initiatives like Pre-K for All and the Summer Youth Employment Program, we depend on the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services to make sure we are getting the very most out of every single taxpayer dollar,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Michael Owh has a long track record of developing and managing contracting systems that are effective and inclusive. As Director of MOCS, he will do even more to engage our minority and women-owned organizations and businesses, and he will make sure the City’s roster of partners is as diverse as the people we serve.”
About Michael Owh
Michael Owh has been with MOCS since 2014, serving as First Deputy Director and Special Counsel. In these roles, Owh supported the procurement process for City agencies and the growth of initiatives such as the City’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) program, in partnership with the Department of Small Business Services and under the leadership of Maya Wiley, Counsel to the Mayor and Citywide M/WBE Director. As Director, Michael Owh will be tasked with protecting taxpayers while making sure every organization – including M/WBEs and neighborhood nonprofits – have a fair shot at obtaining City contracts.
Prior to MOCS, Owh served as the General Counsel at the Department of Youth and Community Development, where he oversaw the contract award process for 280 afterschool programs. Owh also served as Deputy General Counsel at the Department of Small Business Services and helped implement programs such as the Workforce1 Career Centers and NYC Business Solutions Centers, which help foster the City’s small businesses by offering business owners financial assistance, legal advice and more. Owh received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and his J.D. from the St. John’s University School of Law.