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Mayor Adams Announces Johnny Celestin As Executive Director Of Mayor’s Office Of Nonprofit Services

New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the appointment of Johnny Celestin as the executive director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Nonprofit Services. Celestin will oversee the office’s efforts to engage and communicate critical information to nonprofits, develop and deliver capacity-building programs to support nonprofits to contract with the city more easily, and coordinate activities to advance the recommendations of the Joint Task Force to Get Nonprofits Paid on Time.

“For nearly three decades, Johnny Celestin has led by example — advocating across multiple nonprofits to uplift those who need a helping hand, ensuring our social safety net catches New Yorkers most in need, and providing relief to those in his home country of Haiti,” said Mayor Adams. “In this new role, Johnny will use his expertise to help nonprofits continue to deliver compassion and care to New Yorkers across the five boroughs. Together, with government and nonprofits working together, we can work to build a better, stronger city.”

“The nonprofit community is a vital partner to our administration and requires a strong leader to continue to build out our Mayor’s Office of Nonprofit Services. I am so proud to have Johnny Celestin continue his dedicated service to the City of New York in this new capacity as executive director,” said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. “Johnny will play a crucial role in ensuring our nonprofit partners work alongside us to strengthen our systems and have the support they need to thrive while delivering essential services to New Yorkers. His leadership for this office will further strengthen our city’s capacity to serve all communities and advance equity across New York City.”

“Nonprofits remain our frontline heroes, answering every call to make sure New Yorkers get the services they need — and, in turn, they deserve an office and leadership to help their sector thrive. With Johnny Celestin starting as the new executive director of Mayor’s Office of Nonprofits Services, nonprofits will have a fierce advocate in their corner who has walked a mile in their shoes and knows exactly the support they need,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Ana J. Almanzar. “Johnny’s strategic mindset, proven track record, and data-driven solutions are exactly what the office needs to best serve this vital sector. Under his leadership, we will write an exciting new future for nonprofits in New York City.”

ldquo;The network of nonprofit organizations across New York City is integral to our efforts to support every child, family, and individual across all five boroughs,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “Whether you are a person searching for employment services, a young family seeking support for your children, or an older adult enjoying arts programming, the city’s nonprofits touch the lives of all of us. Our administration recognizes their critical work across the city and works in partnership with so many of these organizations. I look forward to continuing this work and working with Johnny in the months and years to come. Nonprofits play a key role and the Mayor’s Office of Nonprofit Services ensures they always have a seat at the table.”

“I am incredibly humbled by the trust Mayor Adams and Deputy Mayor Almanzar have placed in me to lead the Mayor’s Office for Nonprofit Services,” said Mayor’s Office for Nonprofit Services Executive Director Johnny Celestin. “The nonprofit sector is critical for our city, providing essential services and enriching our communities. My experience fostering opportunity and advocating for equity at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses has prepared me for this exciting new challenge. For the past three decades, I’ve had the privilege of working throughout the nonprofit ecosystem — in philanthropy as well as within nonprofits — where I have served as a staffer, executive director, and board member. I’m excited to work alongside the dedicated Mayor’s Office for Nonprofit team and collaborate with city agencies and our valued nonprofit partners. Together, we can ensure the office fulfills its multifaceted mission head-on, including streamlining funding access for nonprofits to promoting equity and maximizing community impact. I’m eager to start working with all of our partners to build a stronger, more equitable, and more resilient nonprofit sector that empowers all New Yorkers to thrive.”

“Nonprofits provide vital services for our city and are the driving force behind our financial empowerment services — from offering NYC Free Tax Prep to helping New Yorkers access free financial counseling — and we are so excited to see Johnny Celestin appointed to helm the Mayor’s Office of Nonprofit Services,” said New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga. “Thank you to Mayor Adams for prioritizing our city’s nonprofits, and we look forward to working with Executive Director Celestin to further support our nonprofit partners.”

ldquo;The nonprofit community is a meaningfully vital part of New York City’s diversified professional business services sector, yet also critical to our administration’s ability to meet the human services needs of our most vulnerable populations,” said Chief Business Diversity Officer Michael J. Garner. “Not only are these investments in human services wage enhancements, procurement reforms, and other programming timely, but the appointment of Johnny Celestin — whose leadership in the M/WBE space has produced tangible results — only further solidifies that we’re well on our way towards fully realizing a win-win partnership. I stand as a committed ally in the procurement space and look forward to a great return on these investments for all New Yorkers.”

ldquo;The establishment of the Mayor’s Office of Nonprofit Services articulated this administration’s vision for strengthening relationships with our vital nonprofit partners, fostering a more equitable and supportive environment for the sector to thrive,” said New York City Mayor’s Office of Contract Services Director Lisa Flores. “Johnny Celestin’s appointment sends a clear message that this administration remains committed to the furtherance of that vision, and I look forward to working closely with Executive Director Celestin to address our nonprofits most urgent needs. His track record of excellence and strategic leadership make him uniquely positioned for this role and I congratulate him on this much deserved appointment.”

“As the former interim executive director of the Mayor’s Office for Nonprofit Services, it has been an honor to serve our vibrant nonprofit community,” said Deputy Director of Contracting and former Interim Executive Director Mayor’s Office for Nonprofit Services Diane Mamet. “I am delighted to pass the torch to Johnny Celestin, whose vision and dedication will undoubtedly elevate our mission to new heights.”

Under Mayor Adams’ leadership, the city has made significant investments and enacted policies to support the New York City’s nonprofit sector. The Adams administration announced a $741 million investment for an estimated 80,000 human services workers employed by nonprofit organizations with a city contract as part of a new cost-of-living adjustment. To date, the . Additionally, the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services (MOCS) led the ‘Clear the Backlog’ initiative, unlocking now over $6 billion and allowing nonprofits to get paid for their vital services. Together with New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, MOCS, and the Mayor’s Office of Nonprofits, Mayor Adams also announced a new reform for discretionary contracts that it easier for nonprofits that contract with the city to get paid on time. The innovative reform eliminates a total of nine months of discretionary, contracting processing time for nonprofits every year, beginning in the out-years for applicable contracts.

About Johnny Celestin

Johnny Celestin brings nearly 30 years of leadership experience across the private, public, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors to the Mayor’s Office of Nonprofit Services. Celestin’s proven track record includes driving strategic responses to the needs of human services organizations, such as the development and delivery of capacity-building programs to improve operational efficiencies.

Before this role, Celestin served at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) as deputy director. During his tenure, Celestin developed policies to expand M/WBE opportunities and spearheaded strategic planning to streamline the delivery of services.

Before joining city government, Celestin worked extensively across the nonprofit sector, including at the Robin Hood Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, Haitian Center for Leadership and Excellence, Haitian Fund for Innovation and Reconstruction, and the Clinton Foundation.

Celestin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration at Iona University and a master’s degree in International Affairs at the New School University.

Celestin will report to Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Ana Almanzar.

“I applaud the historic appointment of Johnny Celestin as the new executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Nonprofit Services,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “Our diverse nonprofits, including the many I partner with, are the beating heart of our city, doing anything and everything to serve humanity. Under the preeminent leadership of Johnny, New York’s nonprofit community will reach new heights. We will build our nonprofits’ capacities, open the door to more city contracts, and speed up payments. Celestin will report to Deputy Mayor Ana J. Almanzar, who will magnify his success. Working together, the nonprofit community will have unprecedented ability to serve our fellow New Yorkers.”

ldquo;I applaud the Adams administration for selecting an outstanding choice in appointing Johnny Celestin as the executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Nonprofit Services,” said New York City Councilmember Rita Joseph. “Johnny’s expertise and dedication will be instrumental in improving communication with nonprofits, streamlining contracting processes, and ensuring timely payments. His leadership is a significant win for our city and the vital work nonprofits do in our communities.”

“Johnny Celestin embodies the spirit of service and innovation,” said Dr. Darlene Williams, president and chief executive officer, Union Settlement. “His deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the nonprofit sector, combined with his passion for equity and human rights makes him a great leader to guide the Mayor’s Office for Nonprofit Services into a new era of collaboration and impact.”

“With Johnny Celestin as the new executive director, the Mayor’s Office for Nonprofit Services is poised to reach new heights in supporting our city’s nonprofits,” said Frederick Shack, chief executive officer, Urban Pathways. “Johnny’s impressive background, including his work with The Atlantic Philanthropies and The Haitian Fund for Innovation at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, highlights his commitment to fostering social change and community empowerment. We are excited to see the innovative and impactful work Johnny will lead in this vital role.”

ldquo;Johnny Celestin’s appointment as the executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Nonprofits marks a crucial step in the city’s partnership with the nonprofit sector,” said Christian Loubeau, chief strategy officer, Grand Street Settlement. “Having seen Johnny’s extraordinary commitment to advancing equity and inclusion firsthand, both during his transformative leadership in Haiti and through his diligent work at the Mayor’s Office of Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises, I am fully confident in his capabilities to champion the nonprofit sector. Johnny has consistently demonstrated resilience and a strategic mindset in supporting youth and women’s organizations, especially during challenging times. His unwavering drive to ensure the full participation of certified M/WBEs in New York’s procurement process demonstrated his profound commitment to social equity. He will bring that same drive to the Mayor’s Office of Nonprofit Services. I’m looking forward to partnering with Johnny to devise strategies that will benefit the New York nonprofit community and the New Yorkers we serve.”

“Johnny Celestin’s selection as the executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Nonprofits is an exceptionally fitting choice,” said Ellen Baxter, founder, Broadway Housing Communities. “Johnny is not only thoughtful and empathetic, but he also possesses a natural ability to help organizations and their leaders enhance their infrastructures and performance through strategic technical support. As both a capacity-building funder and while serving on our board, Johnny actively demonstrated his commitments to social and economic justice with keen integrity along with a wise balance of intellect and heart. His passion is matched only by his dedication to helping human service organizations uplift and transform the communities they serve. I am confident that under Johnny’s leadership, the Mayor’s Office of Nonprofits will become a pivotal pillar and partner, supporting the innovations of nonprofits and enabling them to expand their reach and impact throughout New York.”

“I am thrilled about Johnny’s appointment as the executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Nonprofits —a milestone for New York City’s partnership with the nonprofit sector,” said Walter Sweetsenior vice president, sponsored projects and funds, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA).  “Johnny’s experience is truly unique in that he has seen all sides of the sector. He has served as an executive director, understanding firsthand the challenges of leading and building a nonprofit organization. He has been a volunteer and board member, and has provided crucial funding and capacity-building support to nonprofits. Few people can boast such a wide array of experience. His work with the Haiti Fund at RPA showcased his passion and effectiveness in philanthropy. Johnny’s diverse experiences, including his strategic roles at Accenture and the Clinton Foundation, have prepared him to bridge public and philanthropic efforts effectively. His deep understanding of both the nonprofit landscape and government will be instrumental in ensuring that nonprofits have the tools they need to serve New Yorkers effectively. Johnny is uniquely equipped to bridge the gap between public and philanthropic efforts, and I am confident his leadership will lead to significant advancements in how the city supports its nonprofit sector.” 

New York, NY June 17, 2024

Sources: Midtown Tribune news – NYC.gov
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