Adams Mayoralty Begins

January 10, 2022

Eric Adams was sworn in as Mayor on January 1. In his first official address, which focused on the ongoing Omicron wave, he declared: “Despite COVID-19 and its persistence, New York is not closed. It is still open and alive because New Yorkers are more resilient than the pandemic.” Mayor Adams introduced his plan to combat the Omicron wave several days before assuming office. The plan includes encouraging vaccines and boosters; distributing two million masks, a million at-home tests, and antiviral pills when available; and retaining the vaccine mandate for private sector employers. Mayor Adams has said he will decide on a vaccine mandate for public school students in the spring.

Mayor Adams has also appointed several individuals to fill key positions in his Administration:

  • Lorraine Grillo, a longtime public servant who mostly recently was former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s pandemic recovery czar, is the new First Deputy Mayor. She will help the Mayor with day-to-day operations at City Hall and oversee the other deputy mayors.
  • Anne Williams-Isom, a former not-for-profit executive, is the new Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. Williams-Isom will oversee the City’s health and social services agencies. She will also help guide the City’s pandemic response.
  • Maria Torres-Springer, a former not-for-profit executive and former head of several City agencies, is the new Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development
  • Meera Joshi, a former chair of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, is the new Deputy Mayor of Operations
  • Sheena Wright, the former president of United Way of New York, is the new Deputy Mayor for Strategic Operations
  • Ashwin Vasan, MD, a primary care physician and former CEO of a mental health not-for-profit, will become Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner. Dr. Vasan will serve in an interim City Hall role until March 15, when he will replace Dave Chokshi, MD, who is staying on to ease the transition.
  • Frank Carone, Mayor Adams’s personal attorney and former counsel to the Brooklyn Democratic Party, is the Mayor’s chief of staff