Councilmember Donovan Richards. Image credit: William Alatriste/NYC Council
Donovan Richards was elected to the City Council from the 31st District in February 2013. When you speak with City Council member Donovan Richards, two things become readily apparent: an encyclopedic knowledge of the needs of his Southeast Queens Council district and the drive to pursue solutions for each of those needs simultaneously.
Department of Probation Commissioner Ana Bermudez. Image credit: NYC Department of Probation
Ana Bermudez was named DOP Commissioner in April 2014. Born in the Guaynabo suburb of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Bermudez grew up with her mother’s commitment to social justice and a belief that humans have a responsibility to care for each other. Bermudez left Puerto Rico in 1982 to attend college at Brown University and later Yale Law School. Originally intending to become a hospital administrator, Bermudez quickly found a passion for trial work through Yale’s public interest clinics, specifically representing children and teenagers in family court.
After graduating Yale in 1992, Bermudez first worked for the Legal Aid Society, but felt “something was missing for me” with the legal process as it was. An open position at the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services finding an alternative to family court for juveniles proved to be the missing piece for Bermudez. “A lawyer by profession but a teacher by vocation” in her words, Bermudez worked at CASES for ten years before moving on to Children’s Aid Society, eventually joining the Department of Probation as Deputy Commissioner for Juvenile Operations in 2010.
Wayne Hawley. Image credit: NYC Conflicts of Interest Board
Wayne Hawley has served with the Conflicts of Interest Board since 1999. Born in California, Hawley grew up in a military family and moved frequently, completing high school in Virginia before returning to California as an undergrad at Claremont McKenna College. He relocated to the East Coast again for Yale Law School, then in his words, “followed the bouncing ball” back to Los Angeles for two years of private practice. Hawley crossed the country again to work as staff counsel to the Cleveland chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, finally arriving in New York City as executive director of MFY Legal Services in 1985. He held that position until joining the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board in 1999.
David Farber, New York City Housing Authority General Counsel and Executive Vice-President for Legal Affairs. Image credit: NYCHA
David Farber was appointed New York City Housing Authority Executive Vice-President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel in August 2014. When speaking with David, his clear love for New York City is readily apparent and supplemented by a driving desire to leave the city better than he found it. Turning 50 this year, David has spent the majority of his professional career in service to his city with great satisfaction.
Born in Manhattan and raised in Yorktown, Westchester County, David’s parents imparted both a love of New York and a tradition of civic responsibility to David. After retirement, David’s father worked as a math teacher in a Bronx high school for five years, while his mother was a social worker. David spent a childhood in music, playing the violin through his twenties but setting it aside in later years, and made trips to the Bronx when he could to see the Yankees play. “As soon as I could drive, my best friend and I would drive down to Yankee games, but worry about where we were going to park the car.”
Robert Carroll, playwright, “The Believers”
Robert Carroll graduated New York Law School in 2013 and his first written play The Believers opened in 2014. While a person could draw many inferences about Robert Carroll’s career path from examining his family history, “playwright” is not likely one that immediately comes to mind. The 28 year old has pursued his interests in theater and politics in parallel, demonstrating a conscious refusal to let his job description restrict him all the while.