Press Release

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Mayor Bill de Blasio Names Derrick D. Cephas to NYCHA Board

Derrick D. Cephas, banking executive with significant experience in regulation and compliance, has been appointed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to the New York City Housing Authority Board, NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye announced today.

“Derrick’s vast experience in banking and commerce will be a great asset to NYCHA, and I’m proud to welcome him aboard,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “As we work to protect and strengthen public housing for New Yorkers across the five boroughs, bringing in talented and knowledgeable leaders is more important than ever.”

“We’re so fortunate to have Derrick’s guidance as we develop new ways to preserve New York’s public housing for future generations,” said Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “We must seek and develop new funding mechanisms to address the challenge of federal divestment and Derrick’s background will strengthen that effort.”

As a partner of Manhattan-based international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and director of Weil’s Financial Institutions Regulatory practice, Mr. Cephas brings broad-based experience in virtually every important aspect of bank regulation and compliance for the past 30 years. He has significant expertise in public policy matters relating to the banking industry and has testified numerous times before the New York State Legislature, the U.S. Congress, bank regulatory bodies and other similar institutions with respect to regulation of the financial services industry.

From 2006 to 2011 and during the height of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, Mr. Cephas served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Amalgamated Bank, then a $4.5 billion commercial bank headquartered in New York City. Before this executive role at Amalgamated, he served for 11 years as a banking and corporate law partner in the New York office of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and was a longtime member of that firm’s Management Committee.

Prior to Cadwalader, Mr. Cephas served as the Superintendent of Banks for the State of New York from 1991 to 1994. While Superintendent of Banks, he was nationally recognized for his leadership in several areas of bank regulatory reform, including the creation and implementation of a more rational and hospitable regulatory environment for foreign banks to do business in the United States, the revision of regulations governing the conversion of mutual thrift institutions to stock form, and the enactment of interstate branch-banking legislation. Mr. Cephas graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

As she welcomed Mr. Cephas, Chair Olatoye also thanked outgoing NYCHA Board member Diahann Billings-Burford for her service. Ms. Billings-Burford, Executive Director of Corporate Responsibility at Time Warner, Inc., was a tremendous asset for NYCHA during Hurricane Sandy recovery and a diligent and supportive advisor throughout her tenure on the board. The NYCHA Board is comprised of seven members appointed by the Mayor and includes three public housing resident members. The Mayor designates one of the members as the Chair. The Chair is the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority and is responsible for supervising the business and affairs of the Authority. Members’ duties include voting on contracts, resolutions, policies, motions, rules, and regulations.