De Blasio Hires Pauline Toole to Oversee Department of Records

Pauline Toole. (Photo: LinkedIn)

Pauline Toole. (Photo: LinkedIn)

Mayor Bill de Blasio today added another face to his slowly-growing administration, appointing Pauline Toole as the next Commissioner of the Department of Records and Information Services.

Mr. Toole previously served as assistant commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs, where she is credited with helping to boost the resolution of consumer complaints, according to the mayor’s office. She currently serves as the assistant director of communications for the New York City Employees’ Retirement System and previously worked as chief of staff to the executive director at 1199SEIU Benefit and Pension Funds.

In her new role, Ms. Toole will be charged with preserving and providing access to city records, as well as operating the Municipal Archives and the City Hall Library, according to the mayor’s office.

“New Yorkers deserve clear and simple access to this city’s records and municipal archives,” Mr. de Blasio said in a statement. “Pauline has a long and distinguished career of increasing translated services and simplifying delivery pathways for city and state residents, and we’re proud to bring her on as commissioner today. Pauline’s innovative methods of providing data and records will ensure all New Yorkers can easily access the information they need — and I know Pauline will usher in a new era of transparency to the Department of Records and Information Services.”

According to campaign finance records, Ms. Toole is a de Blasio donor and lives on the same street as the mayor in Park Slope with her husband.

She is married to Gene Russianoff, who works for the New York Public Interest Research Group and its Straphangers Campaign.

Additional reporting by Colin Campbell.

DE BLASIO ADMINISTRATION APPOINTS PAULINE TOOLE AS DEPARTMENT OF RECORDS AND INFORMATION SERVICES COMMISSIONER

Seasoned operations expert pledges accessibility and transparency for all New Yorkers 

NEW YORK–Mayor de Blasio appointed Pauline Toole as Commissioner of the Department of Records and Information Services, building on his commitment to create a progressive, diverse administration of qualified leaders for New York City. A seasoned operations executive, Toole brings decades of experience building more accessible and effective information delivery systems, both in the public and not-for-profit sectors, to DORIS. Toole is tasked with bringing broad transparency and increased efficiency to the department to ensure all New Yorkers can easily and effectively access city municipal records and archives.

Toole has dedicated much of her career to responsive communication and transparency between government agencies and the public. As associate and assistant commissioner of New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs, Toole developed and implemented a multi-lingual, multi-media outreach program to inform consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities. Toole also increased the resolution of consumer complaints at DCA by 19 percent over the previous year, and launched a new telephonic translation service to better serve immigrant New Yorkers.

Throughout her career, Toole has used innovative solutions with a focus on technology to simplify information delivery paths and accessibility. As assistant director of communications for the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, Toole dramatically improved the quality and clarity of information NYCERS sends to its members, and at DCA, Toole streamlined operations by combining divisions and upgrading technology – including designing the agency’s first online process to check license status. As commissioner, Toole will be charged with improving efficiency and organizational capacity at DORIS, preserving and providing access to city records, and operating the Municipal Archives, City Hall Library and Visitor Center.

“New Yorkers deserve clear and simple access to this city’s records and municipal archives,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Pauline has a long and distinguished career of increasing translated services and simplifying delivery pathways for city and state residents, and we’re proud to bring her on as commissioner today. Pauline’s innovative methods of providing data and records will ensure all New Yorkers can easily access the information they need — and I know Pauline will usher in a new era of transparency to the Department of Records and Information Services.”

“From court records to marriage certificates to family historical records, DORIS maintains a trove of critical information that should be easily accessible and navigable to all New Yorkers,” said incoming Department of Records and Information Services Commissioner Pauline Toole. “This administration shares my belief that we owe our city’s residents clear access and transparency in every sector of city government – and I look forward to applying this ethos to the Department of Records and Information Services.”

About Pauline Toole

 A seasoned operations executive, Pauline Toole brings decades of experience building more accessible and effective organizations to the Department of Records and Information Services. Toole was most recently assistant director of communications for the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, where she standardized processes and dramatically improved the quality and clarity of information NYCERS sends to its more than 300,000 members. Before joining NYCERS, Toole was the project director of the CUNY Research Foundation’s “We Are New York Community Project.”

Prior to her work at CUNY, Toole was the chief of staff to the executive director of 1199 Benefit and Pension Funds, where she improved service to members and medical providers by consolidating 20 call centers, reorganizing operations, adopting uniform service standards, and establishing one phone number, from 57, to handle 3 million calls per year. Before joining 1199, she served as associate and assistant commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, where she directed public policy, communications, and technology operations for the agency. At DCA, Toole streamlined operations by combining divisions and upgrading technology, and launched the city’s successful EITC Coalition, which became the most successful EITC filing program, outside the military, in the United States.

In 1995, Toole helped start the New York Capital Defender Office, a statewide office charged with providing defense attorneys to defendants in death penalty cases, and served as the organization’s director of administration and communications. At the New York Capital Defender Office, Toole grew the organization’s budget, expanded the staff from 20 to 84, and hired a technology team to develop a secure statewide network for the office’s multiple locations.

Toole received her M.A. from New York University and her B.A. from the University of Michigan. She was a Revson Fellow at the State University of New York Center for Women in Government in Albany.

Toole currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Gene Russianoff, and their two teenage daughters.