City Hall’s tech czar Jessica Tisch has been named as the new head of the Department of Sanitation, Mayor Eric Adams announced Monday.
Tisch – whose family owns the Loews Corporation – most recently served as commissioner of the Office of Technology and Innovation after former Mayor Bill de Blasio tapped her for the role in 2019.
Before that, she served as the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for information technology.
“Jessica’s knowledge, experience, and unwavering commitment to New York City cannot be overstated,” Adams said in a press release.
Put plainly, Jessica is a ‘Get Stuff Done’ leader, who has delivered continuous results on behalf of all New Yorkers throughout her career. From revolutionizing policing technology in the NYPD, to overseeing critical pandemic programs to supporting New Yorkers in need, Jessica’s work has touched millions, ”he added.
“All New Yorkers deserve clean, safe, and welcoming streets, and I know Jessica will bring the same energy and deliver results leading the sanitation department as we continue building a just and prosperous recovery for all.”
During Tisch’s time in the police department, its high-tech fingerprint database was temporarily crippled by a virus, and the NYPD in 2017 was forced to scrap a $ 160 million smartphone program because the 36,000 Nokia devices given to cops became obsolete after just two years.
At the time, law enforcement sources blamed Tisch for the screw-up, with one saying, “She drove the whole process.”
Three years later, Tisch facilitated the rollout of a digital log app on cops’ phones to replace hand-written paper logs that officers previously used to track their daily activity.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tisch was a member of the City Hall team that managed the vaccination sign-up system.
Tisch – whose billionaire father, James Tisch, is the CEO of the Loews Corporation, founded by her grandfather, Laurence Tisch – first entered city government in 2008, when she began working in the NYPD’s counterterrorism unit.
After serving as Commissioner Ray Kelly’s director of planning for counterterrorism, she was named deputy commissioner for information technology in February 2014 amid a personnel shakeup under the new mayoral administration.
Adams’ appointment of Tisch as sanitation commissioner comes after the departure of Kathryn Garcia, who came in second in last year’s Democratic mayoral primary.
In September, Gov. Kathy Hochul chose Garcia – who is widely regarded as a competent manager – to serve as her director of state operations. Garcia quit the de Blasio administration in September 2020 in protest of budget cuts.
It also comes after the retirement earlier this month of the agency’s most recent commissioner, department veteran Edward Grayson, who worked for the department for 23 years.
“I also want to thank Commissioner Grayson for his decades of service – all New Yorkers owe him a debt of gratitude for his unwavering leadership throughout the pandemic,” Adams said.
Tisch grew up in New York City and is a graduate of both the Harvard College Law and Business school. In February, the Conflict of Interest Board slapped her with a $ 2,000 fine for loaning a friend $ 75,000 to help pay for law school, and subsequently supervising that friend and helping get him a promotion while at the NYPD.
In a press release, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg heaped praise on Tisch.
“New York City deserves public servants like Jessica Tisch, who work hard, solve problems creatively, and take public service seriously,” Bloomberg gushed. “She is a fantastic choice to lead DSNY and will throw herself into the mission of keeping our communities clean, fighting climate change, and bringing innovations and new ideas to this important agency.
“Delivering essential services is the government’s number one job and I know Jessie is more than up to the task.”
Said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), “Jessica Tisch will do a great job as the city’s next commissioner of sanitation.”
“She has the managerial and governmental experience, the energy, and that New York can-do attitude that will keep DSNY humming,” Schumer added. “I wish her all the best.”