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Magalie Austin, Democratic fundraiser, to lead NYC capital construction agency

Photo from National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals.

NEW YORK — Magalie D. Austin, a former official in the de Blasio administration and Democratic fundraiser, is the latest Haitian-American named to a high-profile role under Mayor Eric Adams. 

As the Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Design and Construction (NYC DDC), Austin will oversee the Office of Diversity & Industry Relations, Human Resources, Staff Development and Training, as well as Community Partnerships and STEAM Initiatives. The agency made the announcement public via Twitter.

DDC is the city’s capital construction project agency with an annual budget of $98.6 billion. It facilitates the construction of about 19 annual various projects and facilities across the five boroughs, including firehouses, libraries, police precincts, courthouses and senior centers. According to the agency, its staff of nearly 1,200 delivers roadway, sewer and water main construction, sidewalks, street reconstruction, water mains, sewers and pedestrian ramps.

Austin will work to “increase contract opportunities for minority and women business entities,” according to NYC Women’s Builders Council, a group of female workers within NYC DDC.

Austin rejoins the DCC after serving as its Chief Diversity and Industry Relations Officer from 2014 to 2020. From 2020 to 2022, she was a senior advisor and director for the Office of Minority & Women-owned Business Enterprises in the de Blasio administration. She has a background in law, having graduated from Tulane University with a J.D. in 1995.

Among Haitian-American politicos, Austin and her husband Dr. Jean-Philippe Austin, a radiation oncologist, are known Democratic Party supporters who have held fundraising dinners for such high-profile leaders as former President Barack Obama and President Joe Biden. In 2007, the couple were co-hosts of a fundraiser for then-senator Obama at their Miami home. The couple hosted an additional $38,500-a-plate fundraiser for Obama in 2011 during his re-election bid, one for Michelle Obama and another for Biden.

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