Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the appointment of former New York City Councilman James F. Gennaro as Deputy Commissioner for New York City Sustainability and Resiliency at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
This year, the State is reimagining New York for a new climate reality, building back better and more resilient after the major storms from the last few years, Governor Cuomo said. I am pleased to have Mr. Gennaro join our team at DEC where he will bring his many years of environmental experience to help protect and prepare New York City for extreme weather. Superstorm Sandy, which heavily impacted New York City, made clear that we have much to do to fortify the community for the future. Mr. Gennaro will be a valuable leader in those efforts, and I look forward to working with him.
Jims demonstrated passion for improving the environment and his leading role in shaping environmental policies to protect New Yorkers make him a natural fit for DEC, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. Jims breadth of experience will be put to good use as he works to ensure New York City is equipped to face future storm events. He will work directly with DECs partners at the newly created NYS Resiliency Institute for Storms and Emergencies toward that goal.
In his new role, Mr. Gennaro will further DECs efforts to prepare and make New York City more resilient to meet the challenges associated with climate change and to rebuild after recent storm events. Mr. Gennaro also will serve as DECs liaison to the New York State Resiliency Institute for Storms & Emergencies (NYS RISE). Governor Cuomo announced the creation of NYS RISE in November to provide scientific information to policymakers and stakeholders to use in developing comprehensive plans to better protect communities from extreme weather and natural disasters.
Mr. Gennaro served as a New York City Councilman from 2002 to 2013, representing portions of the Borough of Queens. He chaired the Councils Committee on Environmental Protection and authored environmental laws on such issues as reducing New York Citys greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030, reducing water and air pollution, creating climate change adaptation strategies, improving the Citys resiliency to major storms, restoring Jamaica Bay, increasing clean and reliable energy, and increasing brownfields cleanup. In addition, Mr. Gennaro served on New York Citys Sustainability Advisory Board. Before representing the 24th district, Mr. Gennaro acted as an environmental policy analyst for the New York City Council for eleven years.
Mr. Gennaro has received numerous accolades and awards for his environmental leadership, including the 2013 Environmental Quality Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Mr. Gennaro earned his masters and bachelors degrees from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.