Governor Kathy Hochul has appointed former New York City mayoral candidate Kathryn Garcia to a senior role within her administration, she announced Wednesday.
The governor has tapped Garcia for the role of Director of State Operations, where she will oversee all state agencies and authorities, along with state infrastructure projects and contracts.
“When I was officially sworn in last week, I outlined my top priorities to combat the Delta variant, get aid out the door to New Yorkers as quickly as possible, and to change the culture in Albany,” Hochul said in a statement Sept. 1.
Under disgraced ex-governor Andrew Cuomo, the position was held by Kelly Cummings, a former Republican.
Garcia, a former city Department of Sanitation commissioner, came in at a close second in the hotly-contested Democratic primary for mayor behind Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams in June.
She served at the helm of New York’s Strongest for more than six years and also stepped in as the interim head of the sprawling New York City Housing Authority in the winter of 2019.
As a political newcomer, she ran on her experience with the city’s bureaucracy and was popular with white moderate voters, especially in wealthier parts of Manhattan and brownstone Brooklyn — voter-heavy precincts Hochul will want to gain support from when she runs to keep the governorship in 2022.
“I’m excited and honored to work for the people New York as Director of State Operations,” Garcia wrote on Twitter shortly after the announcement. “I’ve spent my career serving New Yorkers and I want to thank @GovKathyHochul for the opportunity to continue that service. Now, let’s go get things done.”
I’m excited and honored to work for the people New York as Director of State Operations. I’ve spent my career serving New Yorkers and I want to thank @GovKathyHochul for the opportunity to continue that service.
Now, let’s go get things done.
— Kathryn Garcia (@KGforNYC) September 1, 2021
Hochul also announced the appointment of Neysa Alsina as a special advisor on pandemic relief. Alsina previously worked as a counsel to City Comptroller Scott Stringer — also a former mayoral candidate — and as a policy advisor for Democratic Brooklyn Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez.
“Kathryn Garcia and Neysa Alsina are tremendously accomplished and dedicated public servants,” Hochul said. “They know how to run effective and professional operations, and they will be instrumental in making our State government work better for New Yorkers and restoring trust in government.”