Bill de Blasio Names Wife Chair of the Mayor’s Fund, Gabrielle Fialkoff Senior Adviser

Bill de Balsio and Chirlane McCray.  (Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Bill de Balsio and Chirlane McCray. (Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Mayor Bill de Blasio today formally clarified his wife’s role in his administration, confirming previous reports indicating she would likely chair the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.

He also named Gabrielle Fialkoff, the chair of his inauguration, as a senior adviser and director of his Office of Strategic Partnerships. Ms. Fialkoff, who worked with the mayor on Hillary Clinton’s first senate campaign, will oversee public-private partnerships for the administration, including the fund.

“Chirlane’s voice and experience profoundly shaped our work,” Mr. de Blasio said this afternoon at a press conference in the Bronx announcing the appointments, where he and Ms. McCray seemed to act like a young couple in love.

Ms. McCray appears frequently at her husband’s side and is expected to play a larger role in his administration.

“My mission is to help families get the support they need. No matter how much they earn or what zip code they call home, I want them to have access to the same kind of resources my family depended on,” she said in a statement. “We have our work cut out for us, and I am eager to roll up my sleeves and get out into the communities and start building one New York, where everyone rises together.”

Ms. McCray’s position will be unpaid. The fund, which works to foster public-private partnerships with the city, had an annual budget of $37 million in 2012.

Read the full press release below:

MAYOR DE BLASIO APPOINTS FIRST LADY CHIRLANE MCCRAY AS CHAIR OF THE MAYOR’S FUND TO ADVANCE NEW YORK CITY AND GABRIELLE FIALKOFF AS SENIOR ADVISOR AND DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS

NEW YORK – Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that he is appointing First Lady Chirlane McCray as Chairwoman of The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. This is a voluntary, unpaid position. Her office will be at 253 Broadway.

Established more than 20 years ago, the Mayor’s Fund fosters strong public-private partnerships and investments across the city in the fields of youth development, health, the environment and the arts. The 2012 annual budget for the Mayor’s Fund was $37 million.

As Chair, McCray will guide the Mayor’s Fund’s mission and priorities by building on its previous successes, and, after a thorough review of current projects, charting new territory reflecting the de Blasio administration’s agenda. McCray will also serve as an ambassador to the Mayor’s Fund’s community partners and funders.

“My mission is to help families get the support they need. No matter how much they earn or what zip code they call home, I want them to have access to the same kind of resources my family depended on,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “We have our work cut out for us, and I am eager to roll up my sleeves and get out into the communities and start building one New York, where everyone rises together.”

“I can’t think of anyone with a better grasp of the core mission of this administration than my wife and partner, Chirlane,” said Mayor de Blasio. “The Fund is an exciting opportunity to offer vital support to worthy projects and causes across the city, and I know Chirlane will help direct the Fund’s resources to shine a light on communities and families in need. We have been handed a very strong foundation by Mayor Bloomberg, and we look forward to building on it.”

The mayor also appointed Gabrielle Fialkoff to serve as Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships. Fialkoff will oversee and direct public-private partnerships for the administration, with oversight of The Mayor’s Fund, The Fund for Public Schools, the Fund for Public Health, and other 501c3’s.

“The Office of Strategic Partnerships has incredible potential to direct private funds toward vital city agencies and projects,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff. “I look forward to harnessing these resources to further the mayor’s agenda of fighting economic inequality and lifting all New Yorkers up together.”

“Gabrielle has been a close friend and trusted advisor for years, and I’m proud to officially bring her on to the de Blasio team today,” said Mayor de Blasio. “As Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships, Gabrielle will offer valuable leadership and direction to the city’s public-private partnerships – and as senior advisor, she will continue to lend her expertise and knowledge to this administration.”

About The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City: The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, which facilitates innovative public-private partnerships throughout New York City’s five boroughs. The Fund relies on individuals, foundations, and corporations to support public programs in areas including the environment, youth development, financial empowerment, health, volunteerism and the arts.

About the Office of Strategic Partnerships: The Office will oversee and direct public-private partnerships for the administration with oversight of The Mayors Fund, The Fund for Public Schools and the Fund for Public Health, among other 501c3’s associated with city agencies. The Office will coordinate the mission and strategy of the Funds, leverage assets and administer private funds to the agencies where applicable.  The Office will coordinate inter-agency efforts as they relate to raising private funds to further the strategic initiatives established by the Office to help the people of New York.