Mayor Appoints Jimmy Oddo as DOB Commissioner; Molly Wasow Park as DSS Commissioner

Jimmy Oddo will be the new DOB Commissioner. Image Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

On April 27, 2023, Mayor Eric Adams announced his appointments for Commissioners for the Department of Buildings and Department of Social Services. Jimmy Oddo will be the new commissioner of the Department of Buildings, and Molly Wasow Park will be the new commissioner for the Department of Social Services, after serving as Acting Commissioner since March 2023. 

Jimmy Oddo – Department of Buildings Commissioner

Jimmy Oddo received a bachelor’s degree in history from Fordham University and a Juris Doctor from New York Law School. He served as a Council Member for parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn from 1999 to 2013. In 2014, he began serving as the Staten Island Borough President. He was Borough President until 2022, when he began as Chief of Staff to Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. In this role, he helped oversee multiple infrastructure agencies, including the Department of Buildings, Environmental Protection and Design and Construction. 

Commissioner Oddo will report to Deputy Mayor Joshi. Kazimir Vilenchik, who was serving as Acting Commissioner of Buildings, will return to his previous position as First Deputy Commissioner of Buildings. 

Commissioner Oddo stated, “I am grateful for Mayor Adams’ continued belief in me, and I am excited to continue serving this city at the Department of Buildings. Ensuring the safety of every New Yorker and workers alike will always be the top priority. As we undertake that critical work, we will continue reorienting the agency to be more efficient and customer friendly. Having built and been a part of highly successful teams, I will work every day to foster a culture within the agency that best positions the talented professionals there to address and advance our agenda — from keeping New Yorkers safe and deploying cutting-edge technology to do so to reinvigorating our city’s public space. I am grateful to Deputy Mayor Joshi for her partnership these last 16 months, and I am thrilled to be able to continue to closely work with her and the talented operations team.”

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine stated, “Jimmy Oddo is a veteran of city government, a serious professional who has little patience for nonsense or drama. He is truly a decent human being who is about one thing above all: delivering results for New Yorkers. The Department of Buildings will be in good hands as we tackle important issues, from permitting and safety to reforming scaffolding. I couldn’t be more excited to partner with him as the department’s next leader.”

Molly Wasow Park – Department of Social Services Commissioner

Molly Wasow Park is the new DSS Commissioner. She served as Acting Commissioner since March 2023. Image Credit: NYC DSS.

Molly Wasow Park is a graduate of Amherst College and received a master’s degree in public policy from the University of California – Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy. From 2010 to 2014, she served as the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s (HPD) deputy commissioner of budget, fiscal, and performance management. 

In 2014 she began to serve as chief operating officer for Settlement Housing Fund. She spent three years as deputy commissioner of development at HPD, working on housing production. Park joined the Department of Homeless Services in 2019. She served as the DHS first deputy commissioner overseeing rehousing and capacity development. 

In March 2023, she was appointed as acting Department of Social Services Commissioner, where she will now continue in her role. As DSS Commissioner, she will oversee both the Department of Homeless Services and the Human Resources Administration. She will report to Deputy Mayor Williams-Isom. 

DSS Commissioner Park stated, “Homelessness, affordable housing, and economic insecurity are all intrinsically linked, and we must tackle all of these challenges to ensure every New Yorker can thrive. As commissioner, I look forward to drawing on my experience in both housing and social services to break down the silos that have traditionally existed and innovate to make each of these systems serve all New Yorkers. Thank you to Mayor Adams for this opportunity to continue serving this city and help build a stronger, more prosperous future for all.”

Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz stated, “Homelessness is a housing problem. There is no one who knows this better than Molly Park, which is why I am thrilled to see her appointed as commissioner of the Department of Social Services. Molly is a ‘houser’s houser,’ and having her lead DSS, overseeing DHS and HRA, shows New York City is on the right path to finally solving our homelessness crisis. She’ll need an army behind her, but having Molly at the helm demonstrates to our neighbors experiencing homelessness that they will get the services and support they need to find permanent housing.”

Mayor Adams praised both Park and Oddo, stating, ““Our administration has always been laser-focused on finding the right people for the right jobs at the right time, and Jimmy Oddo and Molly Wasow Park are exactly those people. Commissioner Oddo is an expert at building and running high-functioning teams, and he will bring the leadership the Department of Buildings needs to oversee our city’s buildings and protect New Yorkers who work in construction and walk on our streets. Commissioner Park has a proven track record of helping connect thousands of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness on our subways to shelter and making it easier for people to access critical services, and I am confident she has the experience, vision, and compassion to continue leading this agency and make life better for those in need. Each of them brings decades of invaluable experience to the job, and New Yorkers thank them for stepping up to serve at this crucial time.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)



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