Mayor Adams Appoints Nathifa Forde As Executive Director Of NYC’s HER Future

March 29, 2024

New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the appointment of Nathifa Forde as the executive director of the newly-created “NYC Her Future.”

Forde currently serves as the acting executive director of the New York City Young Men’s Initiative (YMI). Situated within the Mayor’s Office of Equity and Racial Justice (MOERJ), NYC Her Future will foster positive change and create a brighter future for all young people as a companion office to YMI, with a special focus on young women and girls in communities of color across New York City. The creation of NYC Her Future was part of “Women Forward NYC: An Action Plan for Gender Equity,” the city’s $43 million action plan aimed at making New York City a national leader on gender equity. 

“When we invest in creating a better, more equitable future for all young people, especially young women and girls of color, our entire city wins,” said Mayor Adams. “The work to build that future starts a new chapter today with the newly-created ‘NYC Her Future’ under the leadership of Nathifa Forde. Nathifa brings a proven track record of uplifting young New Yorkers to help them realize their full potential and shatter glass ceilings. When we open the door and provide young people with opportunities, we remind them that New York City is still the place where dreams become a reality. Together with ‘NYC Her Future,’ New York City will show the endless possibilities when you empower young women and girls.”  

“I am confident that Nathifa Forde is the right leader to serve as the inaugural executive director for ‘NYC Her Future,’” said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. “Nathifa is a dedicated civil servant and leader, who has demonstrated the ability to develop partnerships across various industries and lead teams through dynamic change. Under Nathifa’s leadership, ‘NYC Her Future’ is poised for success.” 

“I am proud to have Nathifa Forde as the inaugural executive director for ‘NYC Her Future’ to lead the charge as we continue work to build a better city for our women and girls of color,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Ana J. Almanzar. “From teaching theater and dance after school to young people in Brooklyn, to stepping in and leading the work within the Young Men’s Initiative since the beginning of this administration, Nathifa has consistently demonstrated her commitment to serving the young people of New York City.” 

“From delivering direct on-the-ground youth services to leading program design and development within the government, Nathifa Forde has dedicated her career to investing in and uplifting young people,” said New York City Chief Equity Officer and Mayor’s Office of Equity and Racial Justice Commissioner Sideya Sherman. “Building on her successful track record at YMI, I have no doubt ‘NYC Her Future’ will become a beacon of innovation, driving new programs and approaches for serving young people, especially women and girls, and tackling disparities ranging from economic mobility to health and reproductive justice. I am thrilled to continue working with Nathifa, whose passion, creativity, and commitment will surely make a lasting impact on our city’s young people of color.” 

“I am thrilled and honored to have been selected as the inaugural executive director of ‘NYC Her Future,’” said NYC Her Future Executive Director Nathifa Forde. “As someone who has worked with young people for over a decade, I have seen firsthand the challenges they face, the beauty in their resiliency, and their ability to dream big. This office will help address the systemic barriers that many face. We will work to expand access to resources and opportunities like education, job training, and health care. My goal is for young people, especially women and girls of color in New York City, to feel empowered to pursue their dreams while celebrating their cultural background and differences, regardless of the circumstances. I look forward to partnering with community groups, advocates, and all levels of government to develop innovative programs that support the development of our next generation of leaders. This is an exciting new chapter in our work to build a more just and equitable society.” 

“Working in collaboration with Nathifa Forde and the initiatives created under My Sister’s Keeper, our city’s public schools have expanded their ability to nurture the leaders of the next generation,” said New York City Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor David C. Banks. “We look forward to continuing our vital partnership with Nathifa as she assumes the role of executive director of the newly-created ‘NYC Her Future’ office. These efforts will ensure we empower, celebrate, and uplift women and girls across our city and within our school communities.” 

“I commend the establishment of ‘NYC Her Future’ and congratulate Nathifa Forde. This pivotal new office symbolizes a step forward in breaking down systemic barriers and uplifting young women and girls, particularly those in communities of color,” said New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Commissioner Christina Curry. “We look forward to collaborating with Ms. Forde and her team to ensure that the programs and initiatives developed are accessible and meet the diverse needs of young women and girls with disabilities. Together, we can create a city that truly champions the rights and potential of every individual, making New York City a model of inclusivity and empowerment.” 

“The New York City Department of Youth and Community Development congratulates Nathifa Forde, who played a pivotal role in the creation of our Advance and Earn and Emerging Leaders workforce initiatives and supported mentoring programs in partnership with the Young Men’s Initiative,” said New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Commissioner Keith Howard. “Mayor Adams continues to put women front and center in his administration, and DYCD is excited to partner with Nathifa and ‘NYC Her Future’ to advance ‘Women Forward NYC,’ and open even more doors for women and girls across the city.”  

“While we have made tremendous gains in rebounding our economy, many young people are missing out on key career or educational opportunities that would help put them on a path to advancing economic mobility,” said Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation President and CEO Lindsay Greene. “Nathifa Forde brings years of on-the-ground experience working with young people and non-profit organizations and is one the most ‘dedicated-to-the-mission’ people I know. Under her leadership, ‘NYC Her Future’ will help break down barriers to success through strategic investments and partnerships for the next generation, especially for girls and women of color.”  

“Nathifa Forde is a dedicated civil servant and leader with a proven track record as an advocate for young people in New York City,” said New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin D. Kim. “Under her leadership, ‘NYC Her Future’ is poised to establish the essential support systems that young women and girls of color need to thrive. I’m excited to see what SBS and ‘NYC Her Future’ can accomplish together as we work towards our shared goals of promoting economic opportunity, fostering wealth in communities of color, and providing pathways to success for our youth. I’m confident that ‘NYC Her Future’ will be an important partner as we build the ‘City of Yes’ for all New Yorkers.” 

“Nathifa Forde is a fearless change agent and thought leader. Her appointment ensures that ‘NYC Her Future’ can deepen critical work to dismantle the barriers facing young women,” said Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity Executive Director Carson Hicks. “‘NYC Her Future’ reflects the city’s commitment to fostering inclusive progress. We know that targeted investments such as this can drive innovation, expand pathways to success, and produce transformative change.” 

“The Adams administration could have not chosen a better leader in Nathifa Forde to launch this much needed office,” said New York City Mayor’s Office of Talent and Workforce Development Executive Director Abby Jo Sigal. “Nathifa has a proven track record, deep commitment, and the relationships needed to tackle the many barriers that too often keep women, and particularly young women of color, from thriving, both personally and professionally. Under her leadership, ‘NYC Her Future’ will not only tackle the systemic barriers, but also develop the partnerships, programs, and policies needed to create opportunities to empower all girls and women from every neighborhood in New York City to live healthful lives, realize career success, and achieve their dreams.” 

NYC Her Future will design, build, and partner with city agencies to implement and evaluate programs addressing the disparities young people face, with a focus on women and girls of color. To further close disparity gaps, the new office will help establish programs and pathways of opportunity that will focus on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) education; workforce development; and health, justice, safety, and mentoring programs for impacted young women and girls of color. 

Under Mayor Adams’ leadership, the city has made significant investments and enacted policies to support women, and girls, and gender-expansive people in New York City. In January, the Adams administration announced Women Forward NYC with the ambitious goal of becoming the most women-forward city in the United States. Supported through city dollars, private and public partnerships, academic institutions, and federal grant funding, the action plan addresses gender disparities by connecting women to professional development and higher-paying jobs; dismantling barriers to sexual, reproductive, and chronic health care; reducing gender-based violence against women; and providing holistic housing services, including for formerly incarcerated women and domestic and gender-based violence survivors.  

Additionally, the Adams administration created a “Women’s Health Agenda” to close the gaps in women’s health care caused by long-standing structural inequities, including lack of access to care, lack of inclusion, and lack of innovation. Building on his work as Brooklyn borough president to address Black maternal mortality, Mayor Adams announced expansions to the city’s doula services, the midwifery initiative, and general maternal health services programs. 

Mayor Adams also launched New York City Pathways to Industrial and Construction Careers, an innovative new talent development initiative to bring women into emerging high-growth sectors.  

Finally, child care is an issue that disproportionately impacts women, specifically women of color, who often act as primary caregivers while also representing a large number of child care sector employees. The Adams administration’s multi-billion-dollar child care blueprint  invested in making child care more affordable and accessible for parents to get the care they need while simultaneously investing in the non-profit sector’s workforce. 

New Yorkers can learn more about NYC Her Future online

Nathifa Forde  

Nathifa Forde brings an expansive career across the government and nonprofit sectors, developing wide-ranging youth programs, advancing workforce development initiatives, and creating growth opportunities across diverse communities. As YMI acting executive director, Forde oversees the ongoing operations and procedures as she strategically develops policies, programs, and partnerships that support youth and young adults of color in eliminating disparities and structural barriers that negatively impact their pursuit of a high quality of life.  

At YMI, Forde spearheaded the creation of programs that provided over 900 students from The City University of New York (CUNY) and the DOE with access to job and paid internship opportunities in the health care sector. Additionally, she fostered a new partnership with CUNY aiming to increase the number of practicing doulas in communities of color to address maternal-infant mortality rates. Forde has also developed empowering programs for young women in collaboration with DOE’s My Sister’s Keeper initiative. 

Before joining YMI in 2020, Forde served as the assistant director of strategic partnerships at the New York City Center for Youth Employment. Prior to that, she held the position of National Urban Fellow at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. 

Forde earned a bachelor of science degree in Public Administration at Medgar Evers College, and currently serves as an adjunct professor within their Public Administration Department. Forde also holds a master of public administration degree as a National Urban Fellow from Bernard M. Baruch College. 

Forde will report to New York City Chief Equity Officer and Commissioner Sideya Sherman. 

“Nathifa Forde is exactly the person we need driving forward a women’s equality agenda. I congratulate her on becoming the first-ever executive director of ‘NYC Her Future,’ a groundbreaking new initiative that will open the door to opportunities for women and girls in communities of color,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “Ms. Forde has a wealth of experience empowering our youth, forging partnerships to put hundreds of young people on career paths. With Ms. Forde at the helm, we will address inequalities in careers, education, healthcare, safety, and housing. I look forward to working with Mayor Adams and Executive Director Forde so that the ‘NYC Her Future’ initiative is a huge success, making New York City the national model for gender equity.” 

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