Mayor Appoints Lorraine Grillo as City “Recovery Czar”

Lorraine Grillo is the City’s new “Recovery Czar,” responsible for coordinating the City’s economic recovery efforts. Image Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

Grillo has prior experience managing recovery efforts from after Superstorm Sandy. On February 22, 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the appointment of Lorraine Grillo as the City’s Senior Advisor for Recovery. As “Recovery Czar”, Grillo will coordinate the City’s recovery agenda, “Recovery for All,” across City agencies and work with non-profits and the private sector. The “Recovery for All” agenda highlights vaccination efforts, addressing unemployment, inequality, neighborhood policing, environmental justice issues and closing the achievement gap in schools as a result of COVID-19.

Most recently, Grillo was the Commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction and the CEO of the New York City School Construction Authority. Grillo has been with the School Construction Authority for over 25 years and served in various roles there, including as the Director of Government and Community Relations, Senior Director of Real Estate Services, Executive Director/Chief of Staff to the President, and most recently the President. 

In the past decade, Grillo has built over 80,000 school seats, coordinated almost 4,000 capital improvement projects and managed $28 billion in budgets. After Superstorm Sandy, Grillo led a team in charge of reopening 71 schools damaged by the storm. 

Mayor de Blasio stated, ““New York City was hit with an unprecedented health care and economic crisis. Together, we’re taking unprecedented steps to drive a recovery for all of us. As New York City’s first-ever Recovery Czar, Lorraine will cut through bureaucracy, coordinate across all agencies, and reach out to non-profit and private partners to make sure our recovery is felt in every borough, every neighborhood, and every block.”

Senior Advisor for Recovery Grillo stated, “I build things. That’s what I do. And together, we are going to build a recovery that lifts up every New Yorker. Every job I’ve had serving the people of New York City, from responding to Hurricane Sandy to expanding universal Pre-K, has required an intense coordination across different agencies, companies and non-profits. That’s the same aggressive approach I’m going to take to lead a recovery for all of us.”

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


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