Eric Adams announces ‘seasoned’ admin, including social services boss

Mayor-elect Eric Adams on Thursday announced the selection of several “seasoned” administration officials, including an appointment to head the Big Apple’s social services agency.

Gary Jenkins, the Human Resource Administration administrator, will serve as commissioner of the agency, the incoming mayor said in a press release. Jenkins has served in the agency, which oversees the Big Apple’s city’s food stamp and employment services programs, for more than 30 years, and in his current role since September 2020.

“I am humbled and honored to be appointed by Mayor-elect Eric Adams,” said Jenkins in a statement. “I look forward to working collaboratively with partners across government to implement the mayor-elect’s vision — strengthening the social safety net, streamlining service delivery, and maximizing our relationships with state and federal partners to get the funding New Yorkers need.”

Asked if Jenkins will head the Department of Homeless Services and the Department of Social services like his current boss, Steven Banks, a rep for Adams said, “Announcements about office organizational structure and leadership will be made next week.”

Banks, who Adams praised over the summer, will at the end of the year depart City Hall, where he’s worked since the start of Mayor de Blasio’s tenure.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office of Management and Budget director Jacques Jiha (right) will stay in City Hall.
Chad Rachman

Also Thursday, Adams revealed that de Blasio’s Office of Management and Budget director Jacques Jiha will remain in his position during the new administration, as will acting Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Dawn Pinnock. Preston Niblack, deputy city comptroller for budget, will helm the Department of Finance, he announced.

Sherif Soliman, the current finance commissioner, will join the Adams administration as director of the Mayor’s Office of Policy and Planning, according to the press release.

Meanwhile, Maxwell Young, the head of public affairs at gun-control group Everytown for Gun Safety, will be Adams’ communications director. He previously advised Sen. Chuck Schumer (D- NY), and led the MTA’s external affairs.

De Blasio administration and Adams campaign alum José Bayona will be the first-ever executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Ethnic and Community Media, Adams announced.

“Our administration is assembling a team of seasoned public servants who are battle-tested and ready to get to work on behalf of the people of this city,” Adams, currently the Brooklyn borough president, said in a prepared statement. “These appointments announced today will ensure we are ready to meet the challenges this city faces, and I thank all the appointees for answering the call to service.”

Eric Adams, NYC Democratic Mayoral Candidate, spoke about the importance of getting vaccinated. In front of First Steps Pediatrics, 705 E 180st., Bronx, NY. Here he takes a moment to speak to Jose Bayona, Founder & CEO of grassroots strategies, who was organizing this press event.
José Bayona will be heading the Mayor’s Office of Ethnic and Community Media.
Robert Miller

Six of the seven appointees either currently or previously served in the de Blasio administration.

The announcement comes after on Monday Adams introduced the five women who will act as his deputy mayors.