Mayor Appoints City’s First “Rat Czar” to Handle Rodent Mitigation

The City’s new “rat czar” Kathleen Corradi speaks at the announcement of her appointment. Image credit: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

On April 12, 2023, New York City Mayor Eric Adams appointed Kathleen Corradi as the City’s first-ever citywide Director of Rodent Mitigation, also known as the “Rat Czar.” Corradi is tasked with working and coordinating with multiple city agencies, community organizations, and private entities to achieve the City’s goal of reducing the rat population and improving the health issues related to rodents.

“Rat mitigation is more than a quality-of-life issue for New Yorkers,” Kathleen Corradi said regarding her recent appointment. “Rats are a symptom of systemic issues, including sanitation, health, housing, and economic justice…New York may be famous for the Pizza Rat, but rats, and the conditions that help them thrive will no longer be tolerated…”

As the Rat Czar, Corradi will oversee the creation and implementation of strategies to reduce rats in neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs of the City by relying on several agencies with related expertise, including the New York City Housing Authority, the Department of Sanitation, and the Department of Education, as well as private sector partners. There will be a focus on testing and utilization of new technologies to detect and exterminate existing rat populations and creating innovative solutions to cut rats off from their food supply, all in the effort to mitigate what Mayor Adams has deemed “public enemy number one.”

Despite being the City’s first Rat Czar, this is not Corradi’s first experience dealing with rodent problems in New York City. Corradi worked in the Department of Education’s Office of Sustainability where she developed New York City’s Zero Waste School program and implemented the agency’s rodent reduction efforts that brought pest mitigation plans to over 120 city public schools. Corradi has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Eckerd College and a Master of Science in Urban Sustainability from The City College of New York.

In conjunction with Corradi’s appointment, Mayor Adams also announced the Harlem Rat Mitigation Zone, which will be a $3.5 million investment in an accelerated rat reduction plan covering public and private housing properties, parks, and schools in Harlem.

Mayor Adams stated, “New York City has done a lot recently when it comes to fighting public enemy number one: rats. But it was clear we needed someone solely focused on leading our rat reduction efforts across all five boroughs, and today I’m proud to announce Kathy Corradi as New York City’s first-ever ‘rat czar.’ Kathy has the knowledge, drive, experience, and energy to send rats packing and create a cleaner more welcoming city for all New Yorkers. Beginning with this $3.5 million investment toward rodent mitigation in Harlem, Kathy will take the lead on our multi-agency effort to test new mitigation techniques, expand outreach and education efforts, and increase maintenance and remediation work. The rats are going to hate Kathy, but we’re excited to have her leading this important effort.”

By: Vanessa Cameron (Vanessa is a CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2024.)



2 thoughts on “Mayor Appoints City’s First “Rat Czar” to Handle Rodent Mitigation

  1. Part of this problem is the all the restaurants that were allowed to put up outside eating areas. the garbage they were allowed to leave outside and food that was dumped outside.
    Start reenforcing the laws that are in place for outdoor cafes and take down all these outdoor build ups that don’t comply.
    Also enforce that every restaurant needs to have exterminating as do the buildings HPD needs to do their job and check to enforce.
    The stores as forced to get exterminators as part of their leasing for business, Let HPD enforce and give warnings and then tickets to all that don’t follow..
    All food businesses need to clean fronts of food from theire outdoor cafes and don’t and should have cafe out door permits. Take all out door cafes without permits down.You will see it better.
    Also put cans on corners as we use to have and have them emptied regularly this will also help make a cleaner NY.
    Right now the City of NEW YORK IS FILTY> and the poor areas even more

  2. How about having Sanitation do garbage pick-up twice a day, instead of one and having street cleaners come more often, and having city trash baskets emptied several times a day? Decreasing rat population is a City responsibility, beyond giving out garbage cans and changes times of day for garbage pick-up. A clean neighborhood encourages a clean neighborhood. Rats don’t have watches and City should be proactively providing its services and funding same.

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