The three new appointees bring diverse experience and backgrounds to the board. On June 26, 2019, Mayor de Blasio’s office the appointment of three new members to NYCHA’s seven-member board of directors. The three appointees, Joseph K. Adams Sr., Paula Gavin, and Matt Gewolb, have traveled very different paths to the directorships.
Joseph K. Adams has been a resident of public housing in the City for over 20 years. His appointment reflects the City’s efforts to foster greater resident input and inclusion, which is at the heart of the NYCHA 2.0 initiative. Adams is a member of New York Communities for Change and a longtime Union Shop Steward and Grievance Representative for the Teamsters Local 237 union. Previously, Adams was Vice President of John Jay College’s Able Forces Club, an advocacy organization for students with disabilities. Adams himself overcame a learning disability and earned a Bachelor of Arts and a master’s degree in Public Administration from John Jay College. Adams currently resides at the Sondra Thomas Apartments in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, having lived previously in Manhattan’s Woodrow Wilson Houses and the Bronx’s Patterson Houses. Adams raised four of his six children in NYCHA housing as a single parent.
Paula Gavin comes off a four-year stint as New York City Chief Service Officer, where she led the de Blasio administration’s promotion of volunteerism. Gavin has also worked in the private sector, primarily as an AT&T executive for 20 years. Gavin has extensive experience in top management positions of nonprofit organizations, ranging from the YMCA to the New York City Center for Charter School Excellence. The Mayor has also appointed Gavin to the 2019 City Council Charter Revision Commission.
Matt Gewolb is an Assistant Dean and General Counsel to New York Law School. Gewolb recently served as Executive Director and Counsel to the 2018 New York City Charter Revision Commission. Before that, Gewolb was the City Council’s Legislative Director and Chief of Staff to then-Georgia Senate Minority Leader Robert Brown. Gewolb has also held faculty positions at Fordham Law School and Columbia Law School, where he focused on teaching public service and government. Gewolb, a Cornell University and Emory Law School graduate who has master’s degrees in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Columbia Teacher’s College as well, was the Executive Director of Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington.
By: Sean Scheinfeld (Sean is a CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2021).