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New Sustainability Director Selected
August 11th, 2010

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today that David Bragdon will take the reins as the city’s new sustainability czar.

Bragdon, who was most recently the president of the Portland, Oregon Metro Council, replaces Rohit T. Aggarwala, who helped spearhead the administration’s PlaNYC 2030 sustainability agenda. Aggarwala had been hailed as a chief architect of the administration’s environmental policy, and his departure in April threw much of the 127 PlaNYC proposals up in the air.

Bragdon, however, appears to have a decade of experience in the sustainability area.

At the Metro Council, he coordinated the region’s land use and transportation planning. As part of his role there, Bragdon attempted to plan how the Portland area would handle a million more residents in the next 20 years.

Now he will be doing the same thing here in New York.

As an aside, Bragdon couldn’t run for president of the council again this year because of term limits, according to the The Oregonian. (I am sure he’ll get even more familiar with the subject when he relocates to the Big Apple.)

For more on Bragdon, check out his bio here.

The mayor also announced he has selected Elizabeth Weinstein to head the Mayor’s Office of Operations. She had been the Mayors Office Director of Agency Services and Director of Customer Service.

The full release is after the jump:

Here it is:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today appointed David Bragdon as Director of the Mayors Office of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability, the office responsible for the creation and implementation of PlaNYC, the Citys long-term vision for a greener, greater New York. Bragdon joins City Hall after serving as the President of the Portland, Oregon Metro Council, an elected body that oversees regional planning, protection of natural areas, handling of solid waste and recycling, and management of regional facilities for over one and a half million people in the Portland metro region. The Mayor also appointed Elizabeth Weinstein as the Director of the Mayors Office of Operations, which oversees the daily operations of City agencies, assists agencies in improving customer service and measures agency performance. Weinstein previously served as Mayors Office Director of Agency Services and Director of Customer Service.

With nearly a decade of experience as the leader of a highly respected and influential regional planning agency, David has a rich experience looking across agencies and entities to create a vision for a sustainable future, just as we have done with PlaNYC, said Mayor Bloomberg. David is an exceptional addition to our team here as we continue to implement the initiatives in PlaNYC and work to update the plan and expand it to include solid waste. I am also proud to appoint Liz Weinstein to Director of Operations. Liz has been integral to our efforts to make government more responsive to its customers as well as our new effort to save $500 million in back office functions while improving services. She has taken on big projects and done well with them, I am glad to give her more responsibility.

Through PlaNYC, our Administration has improved New Yorkers air and water quality, parks and open space and transportation options. As we embark upon developing and implementing the update to the plan, and tackling new subjects like solid waste, I am glad that a nationally recognized expert like David will lead that effort for us, said Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith. In these difficult budget times, we are also lucky to have Liz in charge of our wide-ranging effort to make government more efficient and effective and unlock the potential of our workforce.

I am excited to return to New York City and I am honored to work in an Administration with such an ambitious sustainability agenda, said David Bragdon. My appointment is a credit to the people of the Portland region, who have been at the forefront of green buildings, bicycle transportation and natural resource protection.

Its an honor to have the opportunity to lead the Office of Operations and to continue to implement Mayor Bloombergs vision of a fully transparent, accountable and accessible government, said Liz Weinstein. I am looking forward to the hard work of implementing Deputy Mayor Goldsmiths efficiency programs and to finding new and creative ways to work across agencies to save taxpayers even more.

As President of the Portland region Metro Council, Bragdon has managed the acquisition of land for parks, preservation of the natural environment and the improvement of water quality. More than 10,000 acres have been purchased with money raised from two voter-approved bond measures, including a $227 million bond that Bragdon championed to protect natural areas and stream corridors. The Portland region Metro Council is also responsible for solid waste management and recycling; the region has an impressive 56.7 percent solid waste recycling rate.

Mr. Bragdon created an environment of regional collaboration among local governments and non-governmental agencies, businesses and citizens to implement the regions plans and build a sustainable region. He has also improved the Portland Region Metro Councils financial performance, resulting in an improved bond rating and healthy fiscal reserves.

Prior to his service on the Metro Council, Mr. Bragdon worked in the transportation industry as a maritime chartering agent at Lasco Shipping Co., managing Oregon lumber shipments to Japan, and representing Evergreen International Airlines. For five years, he also served as marine marketing manager at the Port of Portland. Bragdon is a graduate of Harvard University. He was born in New York City and moved to Portland at the age of twelve.

In her role as Director of Agency Services, Ms. Weinstein supervised efforts to manage agency accountability, implement strategic project management initiatives and enhance customer service. As the Director of Operations, Ms. Weinstein will be responsible for these functions, as well as overseeing 311, the City’s Web site and call center for government information. During her time at Operations she created the Customer Service Group, which developed the first citywide agency secret shopper program, and set citywide standards for customer service. She also led the implementation of the Citys language access program and helped create the Street Condition Observation Unit (SCOUT), which drives every city street every month, reporting on visually identifiable, quality of life conditions, that are sent to 311 for corrective action.

Working for Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, Ms. Weinstein is also leading an effort to find and implement efficiencies across City government in areas including information technology and fleet management. Prior to working in the Mayors Office, Ms.Weinstein worked as Chief of Staff at the New York City Department of Transportation. Ms. Weinstein has her Masters degree in Social Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Brooklyn.

The Mayor thanked Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, Nathan Leventhal, Chairman of the Mayors Committee on Appointments and Andrea Shapiro Davis, Special Advisor to the Mayor, for their efforts.

By on August 11, 2010, 12:58 pm
In category: Gotham City | 8 Comments »

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8 Responses to “New Sustainability Director Selected”

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  2. stepbackandtakeabreath Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    “Through PlaNYC, our Administration has improved New Yorkers air and water quality, parks and open space”

    How can this claim be made. We have just been through a summer with the worst air quality ever! An 11 year old just died in our local park while trying to enjoy the open space provide by this city.

    Hope this new team can do better on the “sustainable” scale because we don’t need another summer with air quality like that of 2010!

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    February 22nd, 2011 at 7:03 pm

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