Commissioner Veronica M. White
About Commissioner White
Veronica M. White is Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, which is the steward of more than 29,000 acres of land including 1,700 parks, 14 miles of beaches, 500 community gardens, and 2,500 Greenstreets. Parks also manages the City’s athletic fields, playgrounds, tennis courts, public pools, nature centers, golf courses, monuments, and historic house museums. Since 2002, Parks has committed more than $3.9 billion in capital enhancements and has $1.5 billion in the budget for future projects. Parks’ annual operating budget is $337 million, and there are approximately 3,500 full-time employees and approximately 2,500 seasonal and transitional employees. The Department of Parks & Recreation plays a key role in the PlaNYC and MillionTreesNYC initiatives, Mayor Bloomberg’s signature projects to green the city and develop a more sustainable future. Parks provides free public programs and services in coordination with New York City’s local elected officials, community members, and non-profit partners.
Commissioner White has worked on behalf of New York City as a public official under the administration of Mayors Edward I. Koch, Rudolph Giuliani and Michael R. Bloomberg. She has also served in the private and non-profit sectors. Prior to her appointment to the Department of Parks & Recreation, Commissioner White was the founding Executive Director of the Center for Economic Opportunity, established by Mayor Bloomberg to implement innovative ways to reduce poverty in New York City. Under her direction, the Center launched 50 new programs, raised $130 million in philanthropic grants to complement the Center’s public funding, developed an alternative to the federal poverty measure, and received a federal grant to replicate its anti-poverty programs in New York and cities across the country. Commissioner White’s leadership of CEO and the Center itself has been honored by prestigious awards. In 2011, CEO won the Citizens Budget Commission’s annual Prize for Public Service Innovation and in 2012 CEO won the Harvard University Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance Innovations in American Government Award.
Commissioner White has worked as a consultant specializing in strategic business planning and management for non-profits, real estate development and environmental issues, and public-private partnerships. She has served in various executive positions, including as Chief Operating Officer of the New York City Partnership and President and CEO of the New York City Housing Partnership. She also worked as Deputy Commissioner of Planning, Policy, and Intergovernmental Affairs at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and practiced law at the firms of Brown & Wood and Sidley & Austin. Commissioner White served for eight years on the New York Advisory Council of The Trust for Public Land and for seven years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Taconic Foundation.
A lifelong New Yorker, Commissioner White grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and now lives in Manhattan with her husband, Victor Marrero and two sons, Andrew and Robert. A graduate of Niagara University, she received a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a Juris Doctorate from the Harvard Law School.