Meet the Deputy Commissioners
Liam Kavanagh is the First Deputy Commissioner at Parks & Recreation. A lifelong New Yorker, Mr. Kavanagh was born in Manhattan, raised in the Bronx, and now resides in Brooklyn. A graduate of the City University's Herbert H. Lehman College, Mr. Kavanagh joined Parks in 1981. He has served as Brooklyn Forestry Director, Deputy Chief of Operations in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and Chief of Operations in Manhattan before his appointment as Deputy Commissioner by Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe on February 25, 2002.
As First Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Kavanagh oversees efforts to improve the quality and increase the number of well maintained greenspaces in public parks throughout New York. He traces his involvement in the field to the renovation of the gardens along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade in 1989, where a great gardener and a willing crew of helpers transformed a lackluster landscape into a showpiece. It remains one of his most memorable projects and it demonstrated the tremendous opportunities for growing great gardens in parks throughout the City. "People respond positively to well maintained greenspaces," Mr. Kavanagh notes, "they've become a hallmark of successful public spaces."
Therese Braddick is the Deputy Commissioner for Capital Projects for the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation. She leads over 300 architects, landscape architects, engineers and budget staff responsible for investing $300 million annually in parks, playgrounds, and recreation facilities throughout the five boroughs of New York City.
For six years prior to becoming Deputy Commissioner, Ms. Braddick held two titles: Director of Historic Houses for Parks and Executive Director of the Historic House Trust. During this time, she raised millions of dollars, both public and private, for historic house projects; directed the re-branding of the Trust; and increased the Trust’s services to Parks’ 22 historic properties, addressing education programming and long-term planning needs, in addition to emergency repairs, capital improvements and maintenance issues.
Prior to her work with the Trust, Ms. Braddick served as Deputy Director and Director of Development for the City Parks Foundation where she also raised millions of dollars and managed complex restoration projects including the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre in Central Park.
Ms. Braddick first joined Parks in 1983 as an Urban Park Ranger. Two years later, she moved to Natural Resources Group (NRG), first as Education Coordinator in 1985, and then was promoted to the Deputy Director in 1986. Returning to the Rangers in 1987, she served as a Director, where she managed the 100-member uniformed division. From 1990 to 1992, Ms. Braddick was the Chief of Staff to Queens Borough Commissioner Oliver Spellman. She has a degree in Resource Management from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She lives in Queens with her husband.