De Blasio Names Kathryn Garcia Next Sanitation Commissioner

Bill de Blasio and Kathryn Garcia at today's event.

Bill de Blasio and Kathryn Garcia at today’s event.

With most of the winter season now behind him, Mayor Bill de Blasio today named Kathryn Garcia to lead the city’s Department of Sanitation.

Ms. Garcia, currently the chief operating officer at the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, replaces John Doherty, a sanitation veteran who began working as a trash collector in 1960 and rose through the ranks over the decades.

Mr. Doherty, a holdover from the Bloomberg administration, agreed to stay on the job to assist Mr. de Blasio’s new administration keep the streets clear during the remainder of the winter. The past few months have had an unusually heavy series of snowstorms, however, and Mr. Doherty suffered some criticism as a result.

In a statement, Mr. de Blasio praised Mr. Doherty’s service to the city. 

“We are so grateful today for the service these past two and a half months—and the 51 years prior—of our outgoing Commissioner John Doherty. His integrity, his spirit and his capacity for the superhuman have driven this department for decades. As I have time and time again this winter, I thank John for everything he’s done for this city,” said the mayor.

Capital New York first reported Mr. Doherty’s intent to resign at the end of the month.

View today’s full announcement below:

NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today appointed Kathryn Garcia as the city’s Department of Sanitation Commissioner. A tested manager with extensive operations experience, Garcia will be charged with running an effective department that keeps New York City’s streets clean and safe, and builds a more sustainable city.

A native New Yorker, Garcia is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, where she has overseen the operations of the Bureaus of Water Supply, Water and Sewer Operations, and Wastewater, with a combined staff of 4,000 employees, a $540 million expense budget, and a $1.9 billion four-year capital budget.

As head of day-to-day operations at DEP, Garcia developed and managed DEP’s performance program, H20Stat, which significantly decreased DEP’s response time to 311 complaints and street repair requests, and developed a number of DEP’s crisis management plans, including the Continuity of Operations Plan and a Water Contamination Response Plan. Garcia is committed to bringing her innovative approaches to sustainability to DSNY to help New York City reach PlaNYC’s goals, and will increase the city’s waste diversion rate through recycling, composting, and reuse programs.

“New York’s Strongest deserve the best. This is some of the toughest, most demanding work in our city—and Kathryn has what it takes to do this department and our city proud. From plowing streets to daily collections, our sanitation department will continue to deliver the services New Yorkers expect and deserve—even as we cut down on waste and make ours a greener, more efficient city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We are so grateful today for the service these past two and a half months—and the 51 years prior—of our outgoing Commissioner John Doherty. His integrity, his spirit and his capacity for the superhuman have driven this department for decades. As I have time and time again this winter, I thank John for everything he’s done for this city.”

“This work can keep a city running or stop it in its tracks. It’s that critical. This is an incredible department, but we won’t rest on our laurels. I am committed to strengthening and expanding DSNY’s programs to deliver these critical services to every resident and business, in every neighborhood. We’ll do it consistently, effectively and equitably, and we will seek out every opportunity to do it better and more sustainably,” said incoming DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.

About Kathryn Garcia:

A native New Yorker, Kathryn Garcia is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, where she has worked in various capacities for the past eight years. As COO, she has been responsible for the operations of the Bureaus of Water Supply, Water and Sewer Operations, and Wastewater, with a combined staff of 4,000 employees, a $540 million expense budget, and a $1.9 billion four-year capital budget. She also has overseen the Energy Office, Fleet Management, and Strategic Planning as COO. Before becoming COO, Garcia served as Deputy Commissioner for Operations for two years, Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Projects for three years before that, and Chief of Staff prior to that role.

Garcia came to the city’s Department of Environmental Protection after spending 10 years as Vice President of Appleseed, the non-profit consulting firm and advocacy organization. At Appleseed, Garcia specialized in economic development strategies and urban planning, working to ensure equity of access and fair allocation of resources to schools and neighborhoods across the city. Garcia began her career as a policy analyst at the New York City Department of Finance and as a press officer at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

Garcia attended Stuyvesant High School, and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She currently resides in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.

Article continues below
More from Politics
Lyon is challenging incumbent Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce.
Hank Lyon Takes a Shot at NJ Assembly—and at BettyLou DeCroce