New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the appointment of Elijah Hutchinson as executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice (MOCEJ).
An experienced public servant with expertise in waterfronts and coastal resiliency, Hutchinson will lead the Adams administration’s strategy for creating a healthy, resilient, sustainable city for all New Yorkers, including through the implementation of PlaNYC: Getting Sustainability Done.
MOCEJ leads the city’s efforts to ensure that New York City is both reducing its emissions and preparing to adapt and protect New Yorkers from the intensifying impacts of climate change. Through science-based analysis, policy and program development, and capacity building, with a focus on equity and public health, MOCEJ works to make buildings efficient and resilient; ensure infrastructure is climate-ready; transform streets and the public realm into living, open spaces; and make energy clean and resilient. Victoria Cerullo, the acting executive director, will transition to a senior role with First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright’s team.
“Our Office of Climate and Environmental Justice is the tip of the spear in our fight to dismantle decades of environmental racism and build a cleaner, greener, more sustainable city,” said Mayor Adams. “Elijah Hutchinson has the skills and expertise we need in a leader of that fight. He will continue to innovate and activate in the fight against climate change, because he, like this administration, knows how to ‘Get Stuff Done.’”
“The Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice is charged with fighting on the front lines of the climate crisis,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “Elijah Hutchinson will lead New York City’s efforts to protect New Yorkers from extreme heat and flooding, clean the air New Yorkers’ breathe, and decarbonize our city’s buildings, transportation, and food networks. I am grateful to Vicki Cerullo for her leadership and commitment to climate justice and look forward to working with her in her new role.”
“When he was at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Elijah demonstrated both the vision needed to create and gain support for a priority focus on resilience, as well as the management capability needed to move multiple projects forward on schedule” said New York City Chief Climate Officer and New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala. “He is the right person to deliver Mayor Adams’s ambitious ‘PlaNYC’ objectives and to continue integrating climate action, resilience, and environmental justice into a consistent action agenda.”
“With the most ambitious climate agenda in the nation, we can do more than secure the future of New York. We can improve the daily life of New Yorkers, create jobs and housing, provide more transit and energy options, protect our waterways and environment, and keep our neighborhoods and neighbors healthy and safe,” said Acting Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice Executive Director Hutchinson. “By 2050, emissions from large buildings will be reduced to zero, and, by 2040, we will be powered entirely by clean renewable energy. This will only be possible by giving all New Yorkers the tools, resources, and technologies they need to be resilient in a rapidly changing climate. We must do this with urgency and without leaving vulnerable populations behind. I look forward to working with our local communities, our state and federal partners, and global leaders to future-proof the New York that I love.”
About Elijah M. Hutchinson
Elijah M. Hutchinson led coastal resilience and new greenway initiatives as vice president for waterfronts at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). He established the resilience practice at NYCEDC, working to integrate climate, resiliency, hazard mitigation, and sustainability into a multibillion-dollar portfolio of neighborhood infrastructure, open space, transportation, and mixed-use development projects. From helping to launch the Lower Manhattan Coastal Resilience project — which includes Brooklyn Bridge-Montgomery Coastal Resilience, Seaport Coastal Resilience, the FiDi-Seaport Master Plan, and Battery Coastal Resilience — to securing federal funding to create an equitable citywide greenway master plan, Hutchinson has focused on speeding up projects, identifying new resources, and centering environmental justice to protect the New Yorkers of today and tomorrow.
Hutchinson has a master’s in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.
“Extreme weather events and climate change are continuing threats to the health and safety of all New Yorkers,” said Economic Development and Workforce Deputy Secretary to Governor Kathy Hochul James Katz. “Elijah Hutchinson has the smarts, experience and understanding of communities to help lead New York City’s efforts to combat the causes of climate change. I look forward to working with Elijah and his team at MOCEJ to create a more sustainable and resilient New York for all of us.”
“To confront the climate crisis, we need strong leadership to implement the climate commitments we have already made and develop a bold vision for new ambitious climate policy,” said Chief Climate Officer for the New York City Comptroller Louise Yeung. “I look forward to working with Elijah Hutchinson at the helm of the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice to ensure that our climate goals center frontline communities as we implement Public Solar NYC, reduce our emissions, and strengthen our resilience to rising temperatures and seas.”
“This appointment is a sure sign the Adams administration is taking climate change seriously,” said Nicole Ackerina, chief executive officer, Fulton Fish Market Cooperative. “Elijah is a skilled strategist able to make global climate solutions relevant to New Yorkers through community centered planning and development. Elijah is one of the most innovative, brilliant, and genuine people I have had the privilege of getting to know with the shared goal of improving our city with a resilient food supply. Elijah is yet another slam dunk addition to the team in City Hall getting stuff done.”
“We applaud the appointment of Elijah Hutchinson as executive director of the Office of Climate and Environmental Justice, and we look forward to working with him to advance greenway and open space expansion in more underserved communities across New York,” said Hunter Armstrong, executive director, Brooklyn Greenway Initiative. “Elijah has an impressive track record of advancing environmental and resilience initiatives, and Brooklyn Greenway Initiative is excited to partner with him to create a healthier and more equitable New York for pedestrians, cyclists, and other greenway users.”
“Elijah Hutchinson is a dedicated public servant who is solutions-focused and also deeply appreciates that climate issues are deeply entertained with issues of racial and economic justice, enabling him to bring a thoughtful and grounded approach to his years of civic and public policy work,” said Lindsay Greene, president and CEO, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. “I am so thrilled that Elijah is taking the helm of MOCEJ and look forward to working with him to advance the Navy Yard’s and the city’s ambitious but achievable climate and resiliency goals.”
“I could not be happier to hear that Elijah Hutchinson will be the new director of the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice,” said Daniel McPhee, executive director, Urban Design Forum. “Elijah is the tremendously dedicated and empathetic leader we need to confront the climate emergency and achieve environmental justice. I believe he will advance bold visions for city streets, public spaces and neighborhoods that strengthen connections between New Yorkers and help us all live in a healthier city.”
“Congratulations to Elijah Hutchinson for being named the new Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice,” said Tiffany-Ann Taylor, vice president for transportation, Regional Plan Association. “Elijah has a proven track-record of thoughtful and inclusive work on critical environmental resiliency projects throughout New York City. I am confident that under his leadership, MOCEJ will continue to set the pace for creative, innovative, and equitable climate initiatives for all New Yorkers. Through this role, Elijah is well positioned to transform how the city manages its infrastructure while advancing climate priorities at both the local and global level. The Regional Plan Association looks forward to future collaboration with Elijah to meet climate and environmental justice goals for the city and tri-state region.”
“The executive director role for MOCEJ allows for critical cross agency, cross sector engagement for sustainable and equitable environments,” said Barika Williams, executive director, Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD). “I am excited for ANHD and our members to work collaboratively with Executive Director Elijah Hutchinson to advance resiliency, sustainability, and environmental justice for all New York neighborhoods.”
“The news of Elijah Hutchinson’s appointment as executive director of MOCEJ could not come at a better time,” said Courtney Worrall, executive director, The Waterfront Alliance. “This summer revealed, in even starker terms, how climate impacts are accelerating around the globe. New York City’s geography and density make the city and its communities particularly vulnerable, and therefore requires smart, thoughtful, and experienced climate leadership in government. Waterfront Alliance is thrilled with the appointment of Elijah Hutchinson, who embodies the best in technical skills, and who has deep experience with the 520 miles of coastal waterfronts that make up the five boroughs. Congratulations to the city and the administration for this decision.”