As Commissioner, Mr. Diamond will continue to direct the City’s efforts to prevent homelessness, and provide short-term emergency shelter and re-housing support for New Yorkers who need it.  He will also look to further enhance support systems for shelter clients who are working, and assist them in making the transition out of shelter to self sufficiency. Commissioner Diamond succeeds Robert Hess who told the Mayor last month he would be accepting a position with The Doe Fund. The Mayor made the announcement in the Blue Room of City Hall, where he was joined by Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs, and outgoing Homeless Services Commissioner Hess.

“Seth’s experience directing the nation’s largest welfare reform program makes him a great choice to lead the Department of Homeless Services,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “Because of his leadership at the Human Resources Administration, this City is providing more assistance to those who need it, while helping more people become self sufficient than at any other time in recent history.  Seth’s contributions have made the lives of thousands of New Yorkers better.  We are fortunate to now have him as the Commissioner for Homeless Services and as one of the next generation of leaders in this administration.”

“The New York City Department of Homeless Services oversees one of the most comprehensive shelter systems in the nation,” said Deputy Mayor Gibbs.  “It brings real support to homeless New Yorkers when they need it most.  Seth’s work at the Human Resources Administration has prepared him to lead New York City’s homeless efforts as we look to not just manage homelessness throughout the city, but create viable permanent solutions for families to escape it.”

“I am grateful to Mayor Bloomberg for giving me the opportunity to serve the people of the City of New York as Commissioner of the Department of Homeless Services,” said Commissioner Seth Diamond. “Government service is a privilege and I am honored to have spent my career fighting for greater opportunities for low income New Yorkers. I look forward to continuing the efforts of the Department of Homeless Services to strongly support those in shelter who take steps to go to work and improve their lives.”

Prior to his appointment, Commissioner Diamond served as Executive Deputy Commissioner of the Family Independence Administration at the City’s Human Resources Administration. He oversaw the administration of the City’s Cash Assistance and Food Stamps programs, which serve nearly two million New Yorkers.  He also directed the nation’s largest welfare reform program managing 5,000 employees in a network of centers throughout the city.  During his tenure at the Human Resources Administration, he helped transform the agency by playing a lead role in devising a welfare strategy that prioritizes work and personal responsibility.  Because of these efforts, the City’s Human Resources Administration placed more than 75,000 cash assistance clients in jobs last year, in the midst of a national recession.

 

 

 

Listen to the complete interview.

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In this issue of The Business of Government magazine, we survey the intersection where leadership, complex challenges, and the need for transformation meet. Whether it’s in the response to the global financial crisis, the national deficit, or the myriad of other pressing issues facing us, uncertainty seems boundless while constraints on resources are very real. It is within this context that we’ve assembled a varied group of government executives and thought leaders who are focusing on these problems and working to mitigate their effects. They offer their insights, lessons learned, and recommendations on these topics. It’s about connecting research to practice—crafting smart approaches that tame immediate demands without losing sight of the iterative nature of problem solving. This goes to the core of the Center’s mission: linking theory to practice as a way of shaping the business of government.

Listen to the entire program.

Stephen Goldsmith is the Deputy Mayor for Operations. Deputy Mayor Goldsmith is focused on creating a City government for the 21st Century that is smaller, more efficient, and more cost effective; uses fewer vehicles; consolidates back office functions and reduces redundancies across agencies; shares data, and uses technology to better serve the public.

From 1992-1999, Goldsmith served as Mayor of Indianapolis, where he earned a reputation as one of the country’s most innovative public officials. His transformative efforts to revitalize urban neighborhoods and to transfer real authority to community groups received national acclaim. Deputy Mayor Goldsmith served as a special advisor to President Bush on faith-based and nonprofit initiatives and served as the Chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service for eight years under President Bush and President Obama, where he helped lead efforts to expand and strengthen the government’s service agenda. Deputy Mayor Goldsmith was District Attorney for Marion County, Indiana from 1979 to 1990.

Prior to his appointment as Deputy Mayor, Goldsmith was the Daniel Paul Professor of Government and the Director of the Innovations in American Government Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He has authored a number of books, including The Power of Social Innovation: How Civic Entrepreneurs Ignite Community Networks for Good, Governing by Network: the New Shape of the Public Sector, Putting Faith in Neighborhoods: Making Cities Work through Grassroots Citizenship and The Twenty-First Century City: Resurrecting Urban America.

Listen to Mr. Goldsmith’s entire interview.

Doug Criscitello was sworn in as HUD’s CFO on February 16, 2010, bringing with him 25 years of experience in government budgeting and finance. As CFO, Doug oversees the Department’s financial management activities by playing three primary roles: 1) Chief Accountant and Budgeteer – aimed at ensuring HUD properly controls, spends, and accounts for taxpayer dollars; 2) Financial Risk Manager – directed at identifying and planning for financial risks, including analytically focused work involving the Department’s credit and insurance, rental assistance, grant, and other programs; and 3) Taxpayer Advocate – focusing on ensuring taxpayer impacts are given substantial consideration in the development of HUD’s policies and operating procedures.

The common thread of his career is public sector financial management. Within government, he has served in a number of financially involved positions at both the federal and local levels. His most recent position in the public sector was as the founding Director of the New York City Independent Budget Office (IBO), a municipal government agency modeled after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to provide nonpartisan, objective research and analysis of NYC’s budget. Prior to IBO, Doug spent a number of years as a career civil servant in the federal government focused on financial management and budgeting at the Small Business Administration where he led the establishment of that agency’s CFO office, the Office of Management and Budget where he served as a budget examiner in the Housing, Treasury, and Financial Institutions Division, and at CBO where he worked as a budget analyst in the Budget Analysis Division.

From 2000 until his appointment at HUD, Doug worked in the private sector as a consultant and service provider to the federal government. At PricewaterhouseCoopers, he helped establish a public sector financial services practice to support federal financial stabilization initiatives. For most of the past decade, Doug worked in JPMorgan’s Governments Institutions Group, where he provided relationship management and operational, investment banking, and financial advisory services to U.S. government agencies and related entities along with multilateral development banks based in Washington DC.

Doug holds a Master of Science degree in public policy analysis from the University of Rochester.

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Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced the appointment of Seth Diamond to head the City’s Department of Homeless Services. As Commissioner, Mr. Diamond will continue to direct the City’s efforts to prevent homelessness, and provide short-term emergency shelter and re-housing support for New Yorkers who need it. He will also look to further enhance support systems for shelter clients who are working, and assist them in making the transition out of shelter to self sufficiency. Commissioner Diamond succeeds Robert Hess who told the Mayor last month he would be accepting a position with The Doe Fund. The Mayor made the announcement in the Blue Room of City Hall, where he was joined by Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs, and outgoing Homeless Services Commissioner Hess.

Learn more about Seth Diamond’s career and listen to all the audio files.

Kamal Bherwani, Chief Information Officer & Executive Director of HHS-Connect,
New York City Health and Human Services, discusses the plans for the future.

Kamal Bherwani, Chief Information Officer & Executive Director of HHS-Connect
New York City Health and Human Services discusses the management challenges surrounding HHS -Connect.