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Construction & Design

de Blasio names new Navy Yards boss, construction commissioner

By Holly Dutton

Mayor Bill de Blasio made four key appointments to his administration yesterday (Tuesday), including the president and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation.

“These are leaders who understand the communities they work for. They have the skills to keep the machinery of these agencies running and take them in a progressive direction that delivers for the people of this city,” said de Blasio in a press release.

“This is a group of leaders committed to lifting up and investing in New Yorkers in every community.”

De Blasio named Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora as Commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction, Jacques Jiha as Commissioner of the Department of Finance, Lisette Camilo as the director of the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, and David Ehrenberg was re-appointed as the president and chief executive officer of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC).


Ehrenberg, who is currently the president and chief executive officer of the BNYDC, will continue to oversee the Navy Yard’s tenant base and 1.8 million square-foot expansion.

Prior to being appointed as president and CEO of the BNYDC in 2013, Ehrenberg was a senior manager at the NYCEDC for seven years, where he oversaw major economic development projects including the future Cornell campus on Roosevelt Island, the redevelopment of Seward Park on the Lower East Side, and the Atlantic Yards Project.

“The Navy Yard is one of the great New York success stories. I’m honored to serve this mayor and his administration, and build on the foundation we’ve laid in recent years,” said Ehrenberg in a press release.

“We are going to deepen our connections with employers, schools and workforce programs to help more New Yorkers be a part of this success story and get the skills they need to secure good-paying jobs in our fastest growing sectors.”
De Blasio tapped Peña-Mora, an engineer with 20 years of experience in the industry, as commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction. He will oversee the building of public works from small-scale to large-scale, ranging from the Vision Zero initiative, to renovating and constructing municipal facilities.

“Our standards will continue to be high. We will strengthen resiliency, efficiency and safety in every project we oversee,” said Pena-Mora. “We hope to build a new generation of streets, public works and buildings that weave our diverse communities closer together and enrich the fabric of this city.”


Pena-Mora is currently the Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor of Civil Engineering Mechanics, Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering, and Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), where he has taught since 2009.

He is also the founding partner of Peña-Alcántara Consultants, Inc., a firm specializing in the use of information technology and construction management techniques in infrastructure projects.

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