Kathryn Garcia, the former sanitation commissioner in New York City and the runner-up in the Democratic mayoral primary this June, is joining Gov. Kathy Hochul's new administration.
Garcia will become the director of state operations, a key management job in the governor's office with a broad portfolio, overseeing everything from disaster and storm response to the day-to-day management of the state.
Hochul also announced on Wednesday Neysa Alsina will become a special adviser on pandemic relief as the delta variant of COVID-19 has led to a rise in COVID cases.
"When I was officially sworn in last week, I outlined my top priorities to combat the Delta variant, get aid out the door to New Yorkers as quickly as possible, and to change the culture in Albany," Hochul said. "Kathryn Garcia and Neysa Alsina are tremendously accomplished and dedicated public servants. They know how to run effective and professional operations, and they will be instrumental in making our State government work better for New Yorkers and restoring trust in government."
But the appointment of Garcia, a first-time candidate this year who drew surprising strength from the city's Democratic electorate, is yet another signal to New York City voters Hochul is working to make in-roads there. Hochul is the first Buffalo resident to serve as governor since the 19th century.
Garcia fell short in the ranked-choice primary vote against Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
Garcia gained a following in large part for her bureaucratic successes and instincts in New York City, something that will likely translate to the management of state operations.