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Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces Appointment Of Edna Wells Handy As Acting NYCHA Chief Compliance Officer

November 20, 2017

NEW YORK— Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the appointment of Edna Wells Handy to The New York City Housing Authority’s Executive Compliance Department as Acting Chief Compliance Officer. Handy will begin full-time in December.

Handy currently serves as legal Counsel to the NYPD Commissioner, and previously served as Commissioner of the City’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services. She grew up in New York City public housing.

For the first time in its history, NYCHA is creating an Executive Compliance Department. As Acting Chief Compliance Officer, Handy will lead that department and be responsible for oversight of NYCHA’s regulatory compliance. The department will be responsible for the compliance training for NYCHA’s employees and the accuracy of external reporting by NYCHA. Additionally, this Executive will respond to employee and resident complaints regarding compliance issues. Handy will report directly to the NYCHA Chair.

“We take our job to keep the residents of public housing safe extremely seriously. Edna will be a voice for residents and an aggressive agent for protecting them,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“I grew up in New York City’s public housing and I am ready to serve as NYCHA’s first Chief Compliance Officer. This is about holding the agency accountable to laws at every level of government and, most importantly, to the 400,000 New Yorkers who call NYCHA home,” said incoming Acting Chief Compliance Officer Edna Wells Handy.

“I am looking forward to working with Edna Wells Handy to address compliance at NYCHA. We owe it to the 1 in 14 New Yorkers who call NYCHA home to ensure their apartments are safe,” said NYCHA Chair Shola Olatoye.

Today’s appointment is part of NYCHA’s broader reforms to address immediate and long-term compliance with both lead regulations as well as other regulations to protect and improve residents’ safety. In addition to establishing a new compliance department, the agency is engaging a team of lead experts to advise on best practices.

About Edna Wells Handy:

Edna Wells Handy currently serves as the Counsel to the NYPD Commissioner.

She began her legal career as a law clerk at the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York in 1976, and also served as an Assistant District Attorney and Bureau Chief at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office; Vice President for Legal Affairs at the NYC Health & Hospital Corporation and as Deputy Attorney General for Administration for then-New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. 

From 2004 through 2007, Wells Handy served as Deputy Executive Director of the NYC Department of Education, Human Resources. She also served as Co-Leader of the Change Management Team responsible for the redesign of the division’s Human Resources Diversity Initiatives.

Wells Handy previously served as the Commissioner, Department Citywide Administrative Services, where she oversaw 2,100 employees supporting more than 150,000 City workers and 80 agencies in critical areas of Civil Service Administration, Human Capital/EEO and diversity. 

Counsel Wells Handy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law School. She is also a candidate for Master in Public Administration, Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs, 2019.


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