Mayor Adams Assembles Independent Panel Of Experts To Provide Guidance On City’s Fiscal Affairs

January 16, 2024

 New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced an independent Budget Advisory Panel that will help the city identify creative ways to protect vital services for New Yorkers.

Achieve efficiencies and cost savings, and maximize federal and state aid to the city. Assembled by the Partnership for New York City at the request of the Adams administration, and led by former Obama administration U.S. Department of the Treasury official Antonio Weiss, the panel consists of independent experts with a broad range of experiences in federal, state, and city government, as well as in the private sector.

“Throughout New York City history, those who love and care about our city’s future have come together during moments of crisis to help be a part of the change. The formation of this independent Budget Advisory Panel is one of those moments,” said Mayor Adams. “This esteemed group of independent, cross-sector experts have come together with one goal: continue to strengthen the city’s financial position and deliver on the needs of working-class New Yorkers. I look forward to working with this panel to help write the next chapter of our city’s story.”

The Budget Advisory Panel has been meeting regularly for the past six weeks with current and former city, state, and federal officials and other stakeholders to review data on the city’s current fiscal situation and consider the range of opportunities for reducing gaps and strengthening the city budget. The panel had no input on the Fiscal Year 2025 Preliminary Budget but is supportive of the decisions made and will have further comments during budget negotiations. When the panel has relevant findings and recommendations, they will be shared with City Hall and the public.

“As we deliver a balanced budget for New York City later today, we appreciate the voice of an independent group of leaders who can simultaneously help the city advocate for our most pressing needs,” said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. “We are grateful for this esteemed group of professionals who have offered their expertise and look forward to their continued collaboration in the days ahead. Helping our administration find creative solutions to complex problems is an important part of delivering efficient and effective government and making sure all New Yorkers can thrive.” 

“The Adams administration has made real progress in addressing the city’s budget challenges, which were made worse by the migrant crisis. But there is more to do,” said Antonio Weiss, former counselor to the secretary, U.S. Department of the Treasury. “All levels of government, organized labor, business, and the nongovernmental sector should work together to develop more cost-effective and innovative ways to deliver municipal services and modernize infrastructure. Further support from the state and federal government will be necessary, and the city will need to transition management of the migrant influx from emergency response to an approach that has long-term sustainability. The members of our panel are a diverse group who are committed to assisting the city in addressing these challenges.”

Budget Advisory Panel Members

Antonio Weiss served as counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury, where he led the Domestic Finance department. Currently, Weiss is an investor at SSW Partners LP, a trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission, and a fellow at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Adam Blumenthal previously served as New York City’s first deputy comptroller and chief investment officer between 2002 and 2005. He also served as the investment chair of the United Auto Workers Retiree Medical Benefits Trust and investment chair of the Community Service Society of New York. Currently, Blumenthal is the founder and chairman of Blue Wolf Capital Partners.

Abby Joseph Cohen is a professor at Columbia Business School. She is a former partner and chief U.S. investment strategist at Goldman Sachs. She chairs the steering committee of the Jacobs-Technion Innovation Center at Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island and was previously on the White House Innovation Advisory Board. Currently, Joseph Cohen is a member of the New York State Assembly’s Board of Economic Advisors.

Carol O’Cleireacain served as budget director and commissioner of the New York City Department of Finance under Mayor David Dinkins. O’Cleireacain has also served as Detroit’s post-bankruptcy deputy mayor for economic policy, planning, and strategy, as well as chief economist at District Council 37 American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. Currently, she is an adjunct professor at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Martha E. Stark was the commissioner of the New York City Department of Finance. She previously served as a White House Fellow at the U.S. Department of State and a board member of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. Currently, Stark is a professor at New York University Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a life trustee of the New York University Law School Foundation Board.

Robert Steel was New York City’s deputy mayor for economic development under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Steel also served as U.S. Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance, CEO of the Wachovia Corporation, and a partner at Goldman Sachs. Currently, Steel is a partner and vice chairman of Perella Weinberg Partners.

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