Mayor Bill de Blasio has named a new chair to the Commission on Human Rights less than a month after announcing he was replacing the long-serving head of the agency.
De Blasio announced Friday that he was appointing Carmelyn P. Malalis as chair. She is a partner at Outten and Golden LLP and co-chair of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Workplace Rights Practice Group.
Malalis replaces Patricia Gatling, who was appointed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2002.
The search for a replacement for Gatling had been ongoing for months, the mayor's office said. Gatling said on Nov. 7 that she was aware she would not be reappointed.
Earlier this month, Public Advocate Letitia James called out Gatling for running a “moribund” agency.
On Friday, James hailed the appointment of Malalis in a statement. “New Yorkers deserve a Human Rights Commission that is functioning and aggressive when it comes to protecting the rights of our residents,” she said.
De Blasio also named eight new commissioners: Ana Oliveira, Catherine Albisa, Arnaldo Segarra, Domna Stanton, Steven Choi, Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Jonathan Greenspun, and Reverend Dr. Demetrius Carolina.
The commission enforces the city’s Human Rights Law, which affords a range of protections for New Yorkers.