In yet another example of Baruch College graduates helping shape New York City’s government, economy, and culture, six alumni were recently appointed to high-ranking positions in the administration of NYC Mayor Eric Adams, who assumed office on January 1.

Two of the appointments are groundbreaking. Named commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Manuel “Manny” Castro (MPA ’14) is the first formerly undocumented person to hold that position. Mr. Castro brings to his new role 15 years of immigrant rights advocacy, most recently as executive director of New Immigrant Community Empowerment, a Queens-based nonprofit and member organization of the New York Immigration Coalition. José Bayona (’09) heads up the newly created Mayor’s Office of Community and Ethnic Media, functioning as the liaison to City Hall for media outlets that provide news and information in three dozen languages citywide. Mr. Bayona is CEO and founder of political and community consulting firm Grassroots Strategies and has held numerous communications positions in city government.

Lisa Fitzpatrick (’99, MPA ’10) was named an administrator at the Human Resources Administration (HRA), providing oversight for programmatic and operational areas that help ensure that New Yorkers are able to access essential support and benefits. Ms. Fitzpatrick has served in the HRA for more than 35 years, most recently as chief program officer for the Medical Assistance Program and the Family Independence Administration.

Eric Ulrich (MPA ’16) joins the Adams administration as senior advisor to the mayor. A former New York City Council member who served his southwest Queens district with distinction for a dozen years, Mr. Ulrich helped pass legislation that established the New York City Department of Veterans Services.

José Bayona (’09)

Appointed deputy press secretary, Ivette Davila-Richards (’03) will help Mayor Adams communicate his agenda to the media and the public. Ms. Davila-Richards previously held positions as national assignment editor at Fox News Channel and associate producer at CBS News.

And Dawn M. Pinnock (’93) was named commissioner of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, where she supports the day-to-day operations of various city-wide agencies.

As these high-profile appointees—along with Vanessa L. Gibson (MPA ’09), who won election as Bronx Borough president in November 2021—take their places in New York City government, they join numerous other Baruch alumni serving in New York State government, including seven who hold public office. Their achievements, says Baruch College President S. David Wu, “are great testimonies to the caliber of leadership and relentless pursuit of excellence in Baruch alumni, who continue to make outstanding contributions to iconic organizations in our city, our state, and beyond.”


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