Mayor de Blasio Appoints Darren Bloch as Senior Advisor, Director of Office of Strategic Partnerships; Toya Williford as Executive Director of the Mayor's Fund

September 12, 2018

NEW YORK— Today, Mayor de Blasio appointed Darren Bloch as Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Mayor's Office of Strategic Partnerships and named Toya Williford as Executive Director of the Mayor's Fund to Advance NYC.

"During his time at the Mayor's Fund, Darren proved himself to be an adept coalition-builder who raised over $90 million to support programs to make New York the fairest big city in America," said Mayor de Blasio. "He understands that the philanthropic, business, and government sectors must work together to address our greatest challenges. I am proud to appoint Darren as a Senior Advisor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships, where he will continue his work as a liaison to the private sector and oversee all City-affiliated nonprofits. I am also proud to appoint Toya Williford to Executive Director of the Mayor's Fund, where she will build upon the progress of the last four years to help even more New Yorkers in need."

"We are excited to welcome Toya Williford into her new role as Executive Director of the Mayor's Fund. Her expertise in education policy, sustainability and human services positions her well to forge a wealth of new partnerships to further the mission of the Mayor's Fund," said First Lady Chirlane McCray, Chair of the Mayor's Fund Board of Directors. "Under Darren's leadership the Mayor's Fund has tackled some of the City's philanthropic challenges with huge success. We are fortunate that he will continue his service to New York City in the Office of Strategic Partnerships."

The Office of Strategic Partnerships oversees the City-affiliated nonprofit organizations, which serve as vehicles for New York City's business and philanthropic communities to contribute to public programs and enhance government's ability to serve residents.

The Mayor's Fund is a non-profit organization that works with over 30 city agencies and 300 institutional funders to advance initiatives to make New York City the fairest big city in America. Since 2014 the Fund has supported signature partnerships like the Center for Youth Employment, the Connections to Care, and programs to offer legal services and other protections to New York's immigrant communities.

"Few cities around the world inspire the collective civic pride and good will that New York City engenders. That interest to help New York and New Yorkers succeed – from industry, nonprofits, philanthropy, and everyday New Yorkers – stands as a powerful catalyst for creating partnerships and social investments that help to expand access, opportunity, and fairness across the five boroughs," said Darren Bloch, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships. "I am extremely proud of the partnerships we have been able to foster and advance through the Mayor's Fund these past four years; and I am excited to take on this new role in helping the Mayor and our City's leaders bring lasting change for all New Yorkers through the power of partnership.

"I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with First Lady Chirlane McCray, the Board of Directors, and our Board of Advisors to facilitate innovative public-private partnerships. Building productive collaborations between funders, city agencies, and community based organizations is what makes the Mayor's Fund unique," said Toya Williford, Executive Director of the Mayor's Fund. "With their help we are able to identify and invest private dollars into creative, impactful, and evidence-based models that help the most underserved communities in New York City. I look forward to working with the Mayor's Fund leadership, our philanthropic partners, and civic leaders as we continue to build the fairest big city in America.

"It has been a privilege to work alongside Darren over the past four-and-a-half years to address such important Mayor's Fund priorities as mental health, youth employment and immigrant services. On behalf of the Board of Advisors, we wish him all the best in his transition to Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships," said Rob Speyer, Chair of Mayor's Fund Board of Advisors. "We also look forward to continuing the Mayor's Fund's efforts to improve our City under the leadership of First Lady Chirlane McCray and new Executive Director Toya Williford."

"The Office of Strategic Partnerships is a critical liaison between City Hall and the business and philanthropic communities, coordinating public-private initiatives that address unmet needs in health, education, youth development and other areas. Darren helped establish the office and is the right person to build on its cross-sector relationships to expand this important work," said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO, Partnership for New York City.

"A close partnership with the City of New York is critical to our impact fighting poverty with innovative interventions," said Wes Moore, CEO of Robin Hood. "We consider ourselves lucky to have been able to work closely with Darren Bloch in his capacity as Director of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, and we're eager to collaborate with him as he moves into his exciting new role as Senior Advisor and Director of Mayor's Office of Strategic Partnerships."

Darren Bloch

Darren Bloch formerly served as Executive Director of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, as well as Counsel to the Mayor's Office of Strategic Partnerships. Appointed to both positions in March, 2014, Bloch oversaw the overall management of the Mayor's Fund. As Counsel to the Mayor's Office of Strategic Partnerships, Darren provided broader strategic guidance to City leaders as they sought to expand access, opportunity and equity across the five boroughs.

Darren joined the Mayor's Fund following nearly two decades of work that has emphasized the value of civic innovation and engagement, consensus building, and entrepreneurial problem solving. Recent roles included serving as the Executive Vice President for the Empire State Development Corporation; Vice President, Public Affairs for New York Law School; NYC Deputy Public Advocate, for Intergovernmental & Community Affairs; and the Publisher and Executive Director of Capitol Publishing. Bloch graduated with a BA from Middlebury College as a double major in Political Science and Philosophy, and received his J.D. cum laude from New York Law School. He was born and raised in Manhattan, and now lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters.

Toya Williford

Toya Williford previously served as the Programs and Policy director at the Mayor's Fund and has over 15 years of experience in philanthropic services, program and organizational development, and community organizing. Prior to joining the Mayor's Fund, Toya served as the Program Director at the Brooklyn Community Foundation, the first and only foundation solely dedicated to Brooklyn's charitable community. Committed to the advancement of her community, Toya takes special interest in policy related to education and youth development, environmental sustainability, economic development, health and human services, and workforce development. She received a Master's degree in Urban Studies from Cleveland State University and a Bachelor's degree in Rural Sociology from Cornell University. She currently lives in Bedford Stuyvesant with her husband and four children.

Office of Strategic Partnerships

The Mayor's Office of Strategic Partnerships was created in 2014 to develop partnerships that further the Administration's goal of making New York City the fairest big city in the nation. The Office oversees the city-affiliated nonprofit organizations, which serve as vehicles for New York City's business and philanthropic communities to contribute to public programs and enhance government's ability to serve residents. From its unique vantage point in City Hall, the Office is able to match the needs of communities and service providers with the resources of the City's diverse private and philanthropic partners in a way that is aligned with the priorities of the Administration. Since 2014, the Office of Strategic Partnerships has helped raise over $400 million.

Mayor's Fund

The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization working with over 30 City agencies and offices, 300 institutional funders, and 100 community-based partners to advance initiatives that improve the lives of New Yorkers from all walks of life and across all five boroughs. The Fund has made strategic investments to promote mental health services for all New Yorkers, increase workforce development opportunities for young New Yorkers, and meet the needs of New York City's diverse immigrant community. In building partnerships, the Mayor's Fund seeks to seed promising, evidence-based models; evaluate the efficacy of new programs and policies; bring innovative solutions to scale; and respond to the emerging needs of the city.

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