Mayor Adams appoints nine new commissioners, reappoints 15 commissioners to Commission on Gender Equ

November 22, 2022

Commissioners are tasked with advising on gender equality issues to improve equity throughout NYC

Mayor reappoints Jacqueline M. Ebanks as Executive Director, Silda Palerm as Chair

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the appointments and reappointments of 24 commissioners to the New York City Commission on Gender Equality (CGE). The commissioners will advise CGE on reducing institutional and societal discrimination and injustices for girls, women, intersex, transgender, and gender non-conforming and non-binary people, regardless of age, ability, ethnicity/race, creed, gender expression, immigration status, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic Status.

“The Gender Justice Commission is changing lives by educating New Yorkers about economic mobility, protecting health and reproductive rights, and keeping our communities safe. I am proud to announce today the reappointments of Jacqueline Ebanks as Executive Director of the Gender Equality Commission and Silda Palerm as Chair, as well as our full roster of Commissioners,” he said Mayor Adams. “I look forward to continued collaboration between our agencies to strengthen justice and dismantle institutionalized practices that have too long been unfair to the people of our city.”

CGE Commissioners are community leaders, advocates, and founders of nonprofits and other organizations that are breaking down gender barriers throughout New York City and, as ambassadors, will be a key driving force to achieve CGE’s strategic planning goals. These commissioners will also advocate for broader gender equality efforts in the Adams administration and for the people of New York City.

The nine newly appointed commissioners are:

  • Damien AshtonCommunications Director, Equimundo: Center for Masculinities and Social Justice
  • Jennifer Barnes BalenciagaDirector, Crystal La’Beija Organizing Fellowship
  • Carol BullockExecutive Director, Staten Island Pride Center
  • Callie ChamberlainDirector of Social Responsibility, Optum
  • Miriam F ClarkPartners, Ritz Clark & ​​Ben-Asher LLP
  • Annemarie Goetzclinical professor, New York University
  • Seer KhawajaLead Advocate for Economic Empowerment, Legal Momentum, The Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • Emily Milesexecutive director of the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault
  • Jason Tan de BibianaResearch and Evaluation Director, Next Gen Men

The 15 reappointed commissioners are:

  • Shahara Ahmad LlewellynPresident of the Shahara Ahmad-Llewellyn Family Foundation
  • Sasha Ahujanational director for strategic partnerships, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
  • Taina Bien-AimeExecutive Director, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women
  • Beverly Cooper NeufeldPresident and Founder, PowHer New York
  • Andrea HagelsExecutive Director, US Social Issues Commitment, Edelman
  • Imara JonesFounder and CEO of TransLash Media
  • Sherry LeiwantCo-President and Co-Founder of A Better Balance
  • Robina NiazFounder and CEO, Turning Point for Women and Families
  • Sonja OssorioPresident, National Organization for Women – New York City
  • Silda Palermo, Partners, Vestry Laight, LLC; and Chair, Commission on Gender Equality
  • Chanel Porchia AlbertFounder and CEO of Ancient Song Doula Services
  • Kiara Saint JamesExecutive Director of the New York Transgender Advocacy Group
  • Celeste SmithManaging Director, Mosaic Genius
  • Beverly TilleryExecutive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project
  • Shyama VenkateswarSenior Director, Learning at Seramount/EAB

CGE continues to make great strides toward gender equity by advancing the Adams administration’s plans to support programs, policies and budgets that address key issues such as maternal health, abortion rights, access to childcare and expanded services for LGBTQ+ New Yorkers. CGE’s formation will help preserve these achievements and deepen the city’s commitment to “Getting Stuff Done” for all New Yorkers, regardless of gender identity, gender expression or background.

“The education and engagement of the Gender Justice Commission in city authorities and the general public will leave a resounding legacy in our city,” he said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Sheena Wright. “The expertise of the new and returning members of the Commission will bring about change throughout New York City, shifting the scales of justice toward true fairness and justice. I applaud their efforts and momentum to change our city for the better.”

“Jacqueline Ebanks is a tireless advocate for the empowerment of women, girls and other marginalized communities with a deep commitment to social justice. Under her leadership, the Gender Justice Commission will continue to address gender inequalities to ensure that gender and gender identity do not limit an individual’s opportunities, safety or well-being,” she said Equity Commissioner Sideya Sherman’s Mayor’s Office. “It is with great pleasure that I welcome our new and returning commissioners and look forward to the important work that lies ahead.”

“I am honored to continue to serve as Executive Director of the Gender Justice Commission and I am pleased to welcome Damian, Jennifer, Carol, Callie, Miriam, Anne Marie, Seher, Emily and Jason to the Commission. I hold our returning commissioners in high esteem and am grateful for their leadership over the past five years,” he said CGE Chief Executive Jacqueline M. Ebanks. “Together, CGE will continue to deliver on its mission to make gender equality a top priority across the city government so that girls, women, intersex, transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary people have equal access, opportunity and treatment. I applaud the expertise and experience of the Commissioners and look forward to showcasing our achievements to all New Yorkers. CGE aims to be a model of justice not just for the city but for the nation and the world, to show that barriers can be broken down and institutional practices changed.”

“It’s a privilege to continue serving New York City and advocating for the rights of women, girls and New Yorkers of all genders,” he said Silda Palermo, Chair, Gender Equality Commission. “As leaders in gender equality, CGE and its commissioners will continue to work to promote policies and best practices aimed at breaking down institutional barriers and promoting opportunity for all as we strive to make New York a better place , safer and fairer city. ”

The Gender Justice Commission will continue to fulfill its mandate by drawing on political and legislative advocacy, interagency and intersectoral collaboration, research and publications, and outreach and engagement. CGE advises and makes recommendations for institutional change through an intersectional gender lens in its three focus areas: Economic Mobility and Opportunity, Health and Reproductive Justice, and Security. CGE will also work across city agencies to develop and implement gender-responsive policies and programs for the city’s workers and residents, and will monitor and evaluate progress in building and sustaining a gender-responsive New York City. Commissioner biographies are available on the Gender Justice Commission website.

About Jacqueline M Ebanks

Jacqueline M. Ebanks, an innovative executive and policymaker with extensive experience in the philanthropy and nonprofit sectors, has worked to advance economic and social justice for women, girls and marginalized communities for over three decades.

Before joining city government, Ebanks was executive director of the Women’s City Club of New York, where she led the civic organization into its second century of activism. Previously, Ebanks was vice president of programs at the New York Women’s Foundation and worked at Citigroup as vice president and director of US partnerships and program development for the Global Community Relations division and then as regional director of community relations for the Northeast and Puerto Rico.

Prior to Citigroup, Ebanks was vice president of community investments at the United Way of New York City.

Ebanks began her career with citywide and community service organizations in New York City. She has served as a Child Safeguarding Policy Analyst for the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies and as Director of Human Resources Development and Human Resource Management initiatives at United Neighborhood Houses. She has also served as Director of Program Development and Quality Assurance at the Society for Seamen’s Children and Director of Development at the Harlem United Community AIDS Centers.

Ebanks holds an MS in Policy Analysis and Public Management from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Ebanks will report to the Mayor’s Office of Equity, Sideya Sherman.

About Silda Palmerm

Silda Palerm is Founding Partner and General Counsel of Vestry Laight, a women-led boutique consultancy that advises public and private institutions on high-risk workplace misconduct cases by providing solutions that improve culture and a more diverse and respectful workplace create.

Palerm is an experienced corporate litigation attorney and a leading advocate for women’s issues. She was Head of Litigation at Warner Music Group for 13 years. She was also Assistant US Attorney at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York and Legal Director at Legal Momentum. In addition, Palerm previously worked as an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel.

Palerm served on the Puerto Rico Supreme Court for the Honorable Federico Hernandez Denton and on the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit for the Honorable Stephen Breyer, retired US Supreme Court Justice.

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Palerm earned her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, her JD from the University of Puerto Rico, and her LL.M. from Harvard Law School.