Batista Schlesinger Departs DMI, Joins Administration
January 8th, 2010

Longtime Drum Major Institute executive director, Andrea Batista Schlesinger, will leave the progressive public policy group to join the Bloomberg administration as senior policy advisor to Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs and special assistant to the mayor.

Batista Schlesinger took a leave of absence from the think tank last year to serve as an advisor to the Bloomberg campaign — which came as a surprise to some of the city’s progressives. Batista Schlesinger had previously served as an aid to former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, who ran for mayor in 2005 against Bloomberg.

Now — somewhat less surprisingly — she is making a move to the administration full time.

DMI fellow and former council candidate in the 36th district, Mark Winston Griffith, will be heading up the search for her replacement.

At a recent book release party thrown by the institute, Batista Schlesinger and Bloomberg sat down to discuss how to make the city more sustainable (more on that here). Many of the book’s themes — and DMI’s work in general — focus on social and economic justice issues. With Batista Schlesinger in City Hall, you can imagine many of these same issues will end up on Bloomberg’s third term agenda.

The full release from the institute is after the jump.

Here it is:

The Drum Major Institute for Public Policy (DMI) announced today that, after eight years of service, Andrea Batista Schlesinger will resign her position. DMI will undertake a national search for its next Executive Director.

Andrea joined the Drum Major Institute in 2002 as Chief Policy Analyst and has served as Executive Director since 2004. Under her leadership, DMI has become a leading center of research and analysis on economic policy, the middle-class, immigration reform, and urban policy; highlighted effective progressive policies from across the country and built the foundation for their replication through the Marketplace of Ideas and Progressive Urban Model Policy projects; established a successful national program to connect college students from under-represented communities to careers in policy; and thrived as a major source of policy ideas for political leaders and advocates in New York City. Andrea has tripled DMI’s staff, capacity and budget. Throughout her tenure she has positioned DMI as a next-generation think tank, working in partnership with those on the frontlines of the movement for social and economic justice. Last year, she published her first book, The Death of Why: The Decline of Questioning and the Future of Democracy.

Effective February 15, 2010, Andrea will join the Bloomberg administration as a senior policy advisor to Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs and special assistant to the Mayor. She will develop policy initiatives to reform the safety net and make the city more affordable and equitable for New Yorkers. Andrea will also be tasked with recommending new approaches to improve city social policies.

Andrea ran a terrific organization that brings fresh thinking to help improve people’s lives and solve our great urban challenges. She was a tremendous asset to our policy team on the campaign trail–and I look forward to benefiting from her wise counsel and energy at City Hall. She’s a tremendous addition to our team, said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

Mark Winston Griffith, senior fellow in economic justice at the Drum Major Institute, will oversee an extensive search for new leadership to direct the organizations focus on advancing progressive policies in cities and for cities, and will serve as interim executive director until Andreas replacement is hired.

We are grateful for the remarkable job Andrea has done to get us to this place. The organization is stronger than ever, with a dedicated staff and board of directors committed to ensuring that the Drum Major Institute remains at the forefront of progressive policy in cities across the country, and I have complete confidence that we will continue to raise our profile and broaden our impact in the months and years ahead, said Mr. Griffith.

By on January 8, 2010, 10:51 am
In category: City Hall,Community Development,Economy,Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Governing,nextNY | 1 Comment »

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One Response to “Batista Schlesinger Departs DMI, Joins Administration”

  1. Daniel Millstone Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    As one critical of the policies of Mayor Bloomberg — especially those which fall under the purview of Linda Gibbs — I look forward with great curiosity as to the impact Andrea Batista Schlesinger has on Mr. Bloomberg’s virulent war against lower income New Yorkers. Will she make things better or will she become like her employers? For example: will we hear Ms. Schlesinger defend the (in my view, insane) barriers to food stamps applicants that are so dear to the heart of the Mayor(assuming without evidence that the Mayor has one, of course)?

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