Home » Caribbean News » Caribbean Americans Among NYC Mayor-Elect’s Transition Team

Caribbean Americans Among NYC Mayor-Elect’s Transition Team

Former NYC Councilwoman Una Clarke, l, with her daughter, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and Mayor Elect De Blasio at a campaign rally in the summer. (FILE Photo)

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Nov. 20, 2013: Several prominent Caribbean Americans were today unveiled as part of New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s 60-member transition team.

They include a former New York City Councilmember and a college president.

Jamaican-national and former NYC City Councilwoman, Una Clarke, is on the team that will advise the mayor-elect on the formation of his new administration.

Others include Dr. Marcia Keizs, president, York College, The City University of New York; Elsie Saint Louis, executive director, Haitian-Americans United for Progress; Dr. Marta Moreno Vega, president and founder of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, who is of Puerto Rican roots.

Clarke, the mother of Jamaican American Congressmember, Yvette Clarke, served as the councilmember of Brooklyn’s 40th councilmatic district from 1994 –2002. She is now president of Una Clarke Associates.

Dr. Keizs, also born in Jamaica, is the sixth President of York College in Jamaica, Queens.
Saint Louis, a national of Haiti, also serves on the Board of the New York Immigration Coalition, the York College President Council, and Congressman Gregory Meeks’ Immigration Task Force.

Dr. Vega’s Institute focuses on African descendant communities’ histories, legacies, arts and education. I developed the organization to document and promote the contributions of African Diaspora cultures throughout the Americas, connecting them to their African roots. She is also an adjunct professor at NYU in the Arts and Public Policy Department where she teaches a course entitled the ‘Cultural Imperative – Achieving Cultural Equity.’

Panama-born, Rev. A.R. Bernard, founder and senior pastor, and CEO, Christian Cultural Center is also on the team.

“My charge to the transition team is to identify women and men from every part of our city and walk of life that share a commitment to progressive and competent city government,” de Blasio said in a statement Wednesday. “They will be advising me based on their wealth of experience and knowledge of specific issue areas and government agencies.”

The other transition members are:
• Thelma Golden, director and chief curator, Studio Museum of Harlem
• Cheryl Cohen Effron, founder, Greater NY; former president, ATC Management
• Karen Brooks Hopkins, president, Brooklyn Academy of Music
• Alexa Avilés, program officer, Scherman Foundation; co-president, Parent Teacher Association of Public School 172
• Zakiyah Ansari, advocacy director, Alliance for Quality Education
• Maxine Griffith, executive vice president and special adviser for campus planning, Office of Government and Community Affairs, Columbia University
• Kate Sinding, senior attorney, New York Urban Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
• MaryAnne Gilmartin, president and CEO, Forest City Ratner Companies
• Bertha Lewis, president and founder, The Black Institute
• Marcia A. Smith, president, Firelight Media
• Ana Oliveira, president and CEO, the New York Women’s Foundation
• Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, senior rabbi, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah
• Darren Walker, president, Ford Foundation
• Martha Baker, executive director and CEO, Nontraditional Employment for Women
• Dr. Katherine LaGuardia, assistant clinical professor, obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science, Mount Sinai Medical Center
• Dr. Conchita M. Mendoza, chief of geriatrics, University Hospital of Brooklyn, Long Island College Hospital
• Actress Cynthia Nixon
• Arnold L. Lehman, director, Brooklyn Museum
• Oskar Eustis, artistic director, the Public Theater
• Edward (Ed) Lewis, founder, Essence Communications
• Richard Buery, Jr., president and CEO, the Children’s Aid Society
• William Floyd, head of external affairs, Google
• Meyer (Sandy) Frucher, vice chairman, the NASDAQ OMX Group
• Orin Kramer, founder, Boston Provident LP
• Vincent (Vinny) Alvarez, president, NYC Central Labor Council
• Peter Madonia, COO, the Rockefeller Foundation
• Ken Sunshine, founder, Sunshine Sachs
• Harold Ickes, former White House deputy chief of staff
• Dr. Rafael Lantigua, professor of clinical medicine, New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center
• John Banks, vice president of government relations, Con Edison; Board Member, Metropolitan Transit Authority
• Douglas (Doug) Durst, chairman, the Durst Organization
• Derrick Cephas, partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges; former CEO and president, Amalgamated Bank
• Herb Sturz, co-founder, Vera Institute of Justice
• Jeremy Travis, president, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York
• Rabbi Michael Miller, executive vice president and CEO, Jewish Community Relations Council
• Pastor Michael Walrond, Jr., director of Ministers Division, National Action Network; Seventh Senior Pastor, First Corinthian Baptist Church
• Udai Tambar, executive director, South Asian Youth Action
• David Jones, president and CEO, Community Service Society of New York
• Marvin Hellman, president, OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services
• George Gresham, president, 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East
• Dr. Steven Safyer, president and CEO, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
• Ken Lerer, managing director, Lerer Ventures; former chairman and co-founder, Huffington Post
• Imam Khalid Latif, executive director and chaplain, Islamic Center, New York University
• Marian Fontana, board member, Lower Manhattan Development Corp., Families Advisory Council
• Tim Armstrong, chairman and CEO, AOL.
• Kevin Ryan, founder and chairman, Gilt
• Pam Kwatra, president, Kripari Marketing; executive committee, Indian National Overseas Congress
• Vanessa Leung, deputy director, Coalition for Asian American Children & Families
• Paula Gavin, executive director, Fund for Public Advocacy
• Kim Sweet, executive director, Advocates for Children of New York
• Jukay Hsu, founder, Coalition for Queens
• Arnie Segarra, activist and longtime NYC public servant
• Elba Montalvo, founder, president and CEO, the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families
• Mindy Tarlow, executive director and CEO, Center for Employment Opportunities
• Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer, executive director, Queens Council on the Arts