Mayor de Blasio Nominates Georgia Pestana As New York City’s Corporation Counsel

Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced he will nominate Georgia Pestana to be New York City’s Corporation Counsel, the head of the City of New York’s Law Department.

Pestana, who has served as First Assistant Corporation Counsel since 2015, will succeed outgoing Corporation Counsel James Johnson, who has served in the role since 2019.

Pestana is a historic choice. While she would be the 80th Corporation Counsel in New York City history, Pestana would be the first woman and the first Latina to lead the City’s Law Department.

Pestana is a historic choice. While she would be the 80th Corporation Counsel in New York City history, Pestana would be the first woman and the first Latina to lead the City’s Law Department.



The Law Department pursues justice and fairness on behalf of the City government and city residents as a whole.

“The Law Department is at the forefront of New York City’s fights for fairness and justice, and Georgia Pestana has the experience and vision needed to win those battles,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Georgia is an outstanding legal thinker and a compassionate leader, and I look forward to working with her to build a recovery for all of us.”

“I am deeply honored to be nominated to be the City’s 80th Corporation Counsel. When I started at the Law Department right out of law school, I never dreamed that I’d be sitting in this seat more than 33 years later. In every role, there was more to learn, new challenges to take on, and problems to solve,” said Georgia Pestana. “That experience and perspective is why I know that, despite being a little bit in awe, I am up to this role. And it’s why I will make other women and Latinas in this City proud.”

“It’s been an honor to lead the Law Department and a great privilege to serve with Georgia Pestana, one of the finest lawyers in this city and a fantastic friend and colleague,” said outgoing Corporation Counsel James Johnson. “I am grateful to Mayor de Blasio for the chance to be an advocate for the common good and am thrilled to be able to pass the baton to one of the very best in the profession.”

Johnson will depart the Law Department to become the Chief Operating Officer of Trinity Church. As Corporation Counsel, Johnson led the City through the COVID-19 pandemic and successfully fought off numerous legal attacks from the Trump Administration on immigrants and New York City’s federal funding.

Georgia Pestana joined the Law Department’s General Litigation Division directly after graduating from NYU School of Law.

After a brief period as deputy general counsel at one of the City’s agencies, she returned to the Law Department as the Managing Attorney of the General Litigation Division and was later promoted to Deputy Chief in 1996.

In 2002, she was appointed Chief of the Law Department’s newly created Labor and Employment Law Division, which handles all the litigation arising out of the City’s role as employer of more than 300,000 workers.

In 2002, she was appointed Chief of the Law Department’s newly created Labor and Employment Law Division, which handles all the litigation arising out of the City’s role as employer of more than 300,000 workers.

In 2013, she was promoted to Executive Assistant Corporation Counsel for Employment and Policy Litigation, where she oversaw the General Litigation, Administrative Law, and Labor and Employment Law Divisions.

She has served as First Assistant Corporation Counsel since 2015.

Photo credit: Screenshot Georgia Pestana.

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