Lieber on Love, Marriage and Daniel Doctoroff

More from The Observer‘s November interview with Robert Lieber, the new Deputy Mayor for Economic Development:

Why did you take this job?

Because I had a great career at Lehman Brothers. I had been there for 20-some-odd years and had always been intrigued by New York City. I was not born here and didn’t go to school here. I moved here in ’76, ’77. If you look back, it was kind of New York at its worst. I told my girlfriend that I would go to New York because she was going to graduate school. I said I was going there for a year and a half; there was no chance I was going to stay there in that hellhole. And that was 30-some-odd years ago. I ended up marrying her and she is the mother of my two children, and so this is our home.

How old are you now?

Fifty-three. So I started at what became Lehman Brothers as a summer associate in 1983 and retired from Lehman last February. I had worked with [Deputy Mayor] Dan Doctoroff when he was in the private sector. I didn’t know him well but knew him a little bit and then did some work with him around developing an alternative plan for getting the World Trade Center development or reconstruction back on track. And then following that, Dan and I were talking about maybe something else to do. [The former president of the Economic Development Corporation, Andrew Alper] had left in June of 2006, and so one thing led to another. I said what the hell. It’s a great administration. It’s a great time in New York. I had some experience in the real estate world, so why not?