Mayor de Blasio Appoints Lorraine Grillo as the Commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction

July 16, 2018

Jamie Torres Springer appointed First Deputy Commissioner at Department of Design and Construction

NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today appointed Lorraine Grillo as Commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction. Grillo will also continue on in her post as the President and CEO of the New York City School Construction Authority.

“Lorraine Grillo is universally admired as someone who gets it done. She’s proven it with 75,000 new schools seats and now she is going to prove it on our streets and public buildings,” said Mayor de Blasio. “I also want to thank Ana for her service as interim commissioner and am delighted she’s taking new leadership at the DEP.”

“We’ve worked very hard at the SCA on creating and improving projects across the five boroughs and I look forward to bringing that same type of efficiency to the DDC,” said Lorraine Grillo. “Thank you to Mayor de Blasio for the opportunity to continue serving the people of New York City in this additional capacity and help bring new solutions to the agency. 

“I’m excited to draw on my experience with planning and delivery of infrastructure nationally to help DDC modernize and improve in its ability to deliver key projects,” said Jamie Torres Springer. “I’m grateful to Mayor de Blasio for the opportunity to help build infrastructure and buildings in neighborhoods across the city that will benefit all New Yorkers.”

“I have long admired Lorraine Grillo and consider her to be a truly outstanding public servant. DDC needs strong leadership and I look forward to seeing what Lorraine and the new First Deputy Commissioner Jamie Torres Springer can do together,” said Speaker Corey Johnson.

Grillo is a dedicated public servant. She began her career at the New York City School Construction Authority over 24 years ago as a Community Relations specialist. In 2010, Grillo took over as Acting President and CEO of the SCA. In February 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio reappointed her to her position - making her one of only two re-appointments from the prior administration and the longest serving SCA president.

As a manager of one of the city’s largest contracting agencies, Grillo has spearheaded a major expansion of the agency’s outreach to minority and women-owned businesses, ensuring more opportunity for New Yorkers to participate in its projects.

Under her leadership, the SCA has successfully completed over $25 billion of construction, produced over 75,000 new school seats and completed thousands of capital improvement projects in existing school buildings. Over the last eight years, the SCA has never missed a school opening.

“Hallelujah! If there is a more ardent admirer of Lorraine Grillo in city government I would like to know who that person is. I respect Lorraine. I admire Lorraine. My affinity for her has been forged by years of working with her and seeing her deliver on the commitments she has made to Staten Islanders and New Yorkers. Lorraine is an immediate injection of leadership, accountability, and professionalism into an agency whose mission is to see New York City builds on time and on budget. I cannot wait to get to work with Lorraine in addressing so many infrastructure projects on Staten Island that are so critical to our borough,” said Staten Island Borough President James S. Oddo.

"The appointment of Lorraine Grillo as DDC Commissioner is great news for New York City," said Council Finance Chair Daniel Dromm.  "As President of the SCA, she has taken our city to new heights.  For years, Grillo and I have worked closely together to build new schools in Queens, effectively driving down overcrowding in the most overcrowded school districts in the city.  SCA and our city at large has benefited from her leadership.  I have no doubt that DDC will also thrive with Grillo at its helm."

"Lorraine Grillo is exactly what DDC needs: a no-nonsense, hard-working, results-oriented leader who will spearhead efforts to streamline city projects. I am excited about her selection as commissioner and look forward to working with her to get things done for our constituents," said Minority Leader Steven Matteo.

“I applaud the Mayor for his appointment of Lorraine Grillo to be the next Commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction. Ms. Grillo’s record as an experienced, innovative and dedicated public servant is exactly the kind of leadership we need steering our public projects. With a track record that speaks volumes about her skill as an administrator, I’m excited for the agency’s future.  I look forward to working with her, and newly-appointed First Deputy Commissioner Torres-Springer, on behalf of the constituents of my district and all New Yorkers,” said Council Member Joe Borelli.

“I've had the distinct pleasure of working closely with Lorraine Grillo during my days at the Department of Education and now as an elected official. Lorraine is the epitome of the consummate professional; a person you can depend on at every turn who has all the knowledge, capability, diplomacy and tact to handle any situation. Lorraine refuses to surrender to the glacial pace of bureaucracy and is someone who just wants to get things done. I have no doubt that in an undisclosed, underground laboratory somewhere far away, scientists are hard at work trying to clone her, but for now, there is only one Lorraine Grillo and New York City is lucky to have her,” said Council Member Justin Brannan.

“Lorraine and Jamie represent two of the very best this city has to offer. I am confident their combined experience will make DDC an even stronger agency capable of bringing more and better facilities to people throughout New York City,” said Council Member Robert Cornegy.

“Lorraine Grillo is universally respected, admired and appreciated. Her public service and leadership has benefited nearly every neighborhood in New York City,” said Council Member Eric Ulrich. “Mayor de Blasio could not have picked a better person to lead DDC. She really is terrific!”

"The Department of Design and Construction is moving forward with an ambitious library capital program throughout our borough", said Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda E. Johnson. "We are thrilled Lorraine Grillo and Jamie Torres Springer will bring their considerable talents and expertise to lead this important work."

"Lorraine Grillo is a dedicated public servant with a proven track record, and an excellent choice to lead the Department of Design and Construction," said New York Public Library Chief Operating Officer Iris Weinshall. “The Library looks forward to working with her on our record number of branch renovations and improvement projects, and to transforming our footprint to best serve the public now and in the future."

“Lorraine Grillo and Jaime Torres Springer will make a great team at DDC, bringing extensive and complimentary experiences to the management of the city’s capital program. Both are familiar with innovative planning, design and construction methodologies, which will ensure an efficient and creative approach to the city’s construction activities,” said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO, Partnership for New York City.

“Congratulations to my friend Lorraine Grillo on being appointed the new Commissioner of DDC. Lorraine is a dedicated public servant and has been a leader in the construction industry for decades,” said Carlo A. Scissura, President and CEO, New York Building Congress. “Leading two departments is a challenge, but no one is more qualified or more capable than Lorraine. She will ensure quality, on-time and on-budget completion of some of the most challenging and important design and construction projects in the five boroughs. I look forward to working with her to ensure New York's construction industry continues to grow and succeed.”

“Lorraine Grillo is an experienced and knowledgeable professional who will be an outstanding defender of taxpayer dollars and someone who will be willing to engage the construction industry in meaningful dialogue to improve the construction process,” said Louis J. Coletti, President and CEO, BTEA.

Today, the Mayor also announced the appointment of Jamie Torres Springer as First Deputy Commissioner at DDC. Torres Springer has worked with public, private and non-profit sectors to drive growth through inclusive city planning and infrastructure development for over 20 years. He has previously served as the lead consultant for the preparation of the Mayor’s OneNYC infrastructure plan and served as the Deputy Director of the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency as part of the recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy.

Ana Barrio will become Deputy Commissioner of DEP’s Bureau of Engineering Design & Construction.

About Lorraine Grillo

Lorraine Grillo began her career at the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) over 24 years ago as a Community Relations specialist. Over the years, she held a variety of positions within the agency including Director of Government and Community Relations, Senior Director of Real Estate Services and then Executive Director/Chief of Staff to the President.

In May of 2010, Lorraine took over as Acting President and CEO.  After successfully opening 26 new schools, at the time, the single most successful year in SCA history, she was appointed President and CEO.  In February 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio reappointed Lorraine to her position making her one of only two re-appointments from the prior administration and the longest serving SCA president.

Over the past eight years, the SCA, under her leadership, has successfully completed over 25 billion dollars of construction, producing over 75,000 new school seats and completing thousands of capital improvement projects in existing school buildings.  She has led the SCA in its effort to find new and innovative ways to address school overcrowding including developing strong public/private partnerships with major developers. She met the challenge of completing the replacement of PCB containing light fixtures in 760 schools within five years.  Her team was responsible for the reopening of 71 schools damaged by Hurricane Sandy in record time. In addition, in 2015, under her leadership, the SCA met the administration’s mandate opening 35 Universal PreK centers for the city’s four-year-old children in less than six months.  Now that work continues with the addition of the 3K for All initiative. Throughout her career, she continues to be a tireless advocate for the MWLBE community, maintaining the SCA’s reputation for the best MWBE program in NY State, and as a national model.

About Jamie Torres Springer

Jamie Torres Springer has worked with public, private and non-profit sectors to drive growth through inclusive city planning and infrastructure development for over 20 years. As a partner at HR&A Advisors, a real estate and economic development consulting firm headquartered in New York, his national practice has included work on urban infrastructure, including a global resilience planning practice he created at HR&A; funding strategies and approvals for real estate and open space projects; and citywide strategic plans for inclusive growth and sustainability.

In New York, he has served as lead consultant for preparation of OneNYC: A Strong and Just New York, Mayor De Blasio’s long-term plan, and has helped the City to plan for and invest in critical infrastructure in Downtown Far Rockaway, Coney Island, Sunset Park, Hunts Point, Lower Manhattan, Governors Island, the Gowanus and Red Hook neighborhoods, and for the effort to close Rikers Island and build a smaller, safer and fairer borough-based jail system.

Jamie’s previous experiences in government include serving as Deputy Director of the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency in the Mayor’s Office after Hurricane Sandy, where he helped to create the City’s $20B long-term resiliency strategy, and as Project Director for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation during its capital planning and approvals phase. He is a past board chair of Fifth Avenue Committee, a community development corporation that builds and preserves affordable housing in South Brooklyn, and current board member of New Yorkers for Parks and the Coro New York Leadership Center. He is an accredited member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University.

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