(UPDATED: January 4, 2021 at 8:15pm / ORIGINAL: January 4, 2021 at 9:15am)

QUEENS, NY – Queens Borough President Donovan Richards today announced the first round of appointments for the Office of Queens Borough President: Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor, Deputy Borough President, and Director of Communications. Borough President Richards plans to announce further appointments later this month.

Franck D. Joseph II is appointed as Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor. As Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor, Joseph is responsible for overseeing the Office of Queens Borough President, advising the Borough President on policy matters and constituent concerns, ensuring Borough President Richards’ plans and decisions are implemented, and setting forth the overall agenda for the Office of Queens Borough President.

Rhonda Binda is appointed as Deputy Borough President. As Deputy Borough President, Binda is tasked to focus on specific policy areas of the office. Policy areas include land use, technology, food insecurity, criminal justice reform, parks and transportation.

Breeana Mulligan is appointed as Director of Communications. As the Director of Communications, Mulligan is charged with advancing Borough President Richards’ vision through the development and execution of effective external outreach strategies, managing relationships with members of the news media, including Queens’ expansive array of ethnic media, and building public confidence in the Office of the Queens Borough President’s ability to effectuate positive change in communities across the borough.

For professional and personal reasons, Michael Hurwitz will not be moving forward at this time with the Queens Borough President’s Office as Deputy Borough President as originally announced.

“Throughout their careers, Franck Joseph, Rhonda Binda, and Breeana Mulligan have demonstrated both exemplary talent and tireless dedication to the people of New York City, and I am confident they will bring the same energy to Queens residents and families. I am proud to add these hardworking public servants to my staff, some of whom represent the best of our borough, especially as we quickly move to tackle the ongoing public health and economic crises. Franck, Rhonda, and Breeana will make great partners in building a stronger, healthier and more prosperous Queens in 2021 and beyond,” said Borough President Donovan Richards.

“There is so much work to be done to support New Yorkers at this juncture. We’re in a moment where so many marginalized communities are looking for help from the government. I’ve had the opportunity to lead many of these efforts while at the NYC Commission on Human Rights and am honored for this new appointment working alongside Queens Borough President Richards. Queens is the most diverse county in the United States, something we celebrate, but it was impacted unimaginable ways due to the COVID-19 pandemic, rising housing costs, inequity in our education system, strain on our business communities, racial tension, and other issues. Despite these struggles, I know Queens will lead the way out of our current crisis, and I look forward to standing with all its residents and workers to make this a more equitable borough,” said Franck D. Joseph II, incoming Chief of Staff & Senior Advisor.

“I’m honored and humbled to have this opportunity to serve, and am excited to help Queens Borough President Richards implement his vision for our Borough and take Queens to new heights. As a woman of color, it is also important to me that Queens Borough President Richards is committed to ensuring that women continue to have a strong voice in our government and community, and that in his appointments he has sought to honor the great progress made by the last four Borough Presidents, all women who led and moved our communities forward,” said Rhonda Binda, incoming Deputy Borough President.

“Donovan Richards has been a tireless fighter and advocate for our borough of Queens. During these challenging times, it is imperative to have strong leadership in Borough Hall, and Queens Borough President Richards has already demonstrated this in his first few weeks in office. I am thrilled to join the team, lead in building the communications strategy for the Queens Borough President’s office and work on behalf of the over two million people who call the World’s Borough home,” said Breeana Mulligan, incoming Director of Communications.

About Franck D. Joseph II

Franck D. Joseph II is the incoming Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor for Queens Borough President Donovan Richards. Franck serves as Deputy Commissioner for the NYC Commission on Human Rights, where he oversees the agency’s Community Relations Bureau, bias response team, public education efforts, and programming – all focused on informing New Yorkers of their rights and combating discrimination in housing, employment, and public places. Prior to that, Franck served as Chief of Staff to then Council Member Richards, where he helped pass MIH and ZQA, and also worked in the office of Congress Member Meeks. He has received recognition such as the Queens Impact Award by the Times Ledger in 2017, City & State Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in 2019, Haitian Time’s 2019 Newsmakers, Stony Brook University’s 40 under 40 Alumni for 2019, Haitian Roundtable’s 2020 Haitian Independence Award, City & State Magazine’s 2020 Queens Heroes List, among others. Franck is a known public speaker, social justice instructor, Rosedale Civic Association board member, former Queens Community Board 13 board member, and a proud Southeast Queens resident. 

About Rhonda Binda

Rhonda Binda, raised in Southeast Queens is a visionary leader with a passion for social and environmental justice. In her youth, Rhonda successfully lobbied the New York City Council for New York Public Interest Group (NYPIRG) to shut down Fresh Kills, the largest toxic site in the country. As an attorney, she represented and released wrongly detained clients before the US Immigration Court of Appeals after 9/11 pro bono, and broke up internet and cable monopolies. In government, she served in both the Obama-Biden and Clinton-Gore Administrations as a U.S. Diplomat and in the West Wing.

Inspired by her love for her hometown, Rhonda returned to Queens as the Executive Director for the Jamaica BID, the borough’s largest business district where she took action against the stark inequality of resources and investments made in the Borough. Under her leadership, Jamaica remarkably rose through the ranks to be named the #1 neighborhood in the city and won #1 awards from the NYC Department of Small Business Services (NYC SBS) and the state for downtown revitalization, raising Jamaica’s profile as a unique, vibrant multicultural center for retail and tourism. 

She continued to serve her community as Chairwoman of South Asian American Voice, Vice President of the Guyanese Girls Rock Foundation and on the boards for The Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens, The NY Hall of Science and Positive Women United.

Rhonda is an internationally recognized People’s Choice leader in building smart and connected communities. She is an Adjunct Professor at the City University of New York (CUNY) and served on both the 21 Century Government and Foreign Policy teams for the Biden-Harris 2020 Presidential campaign. Rhonda has travelled to 6 continents, 40+ countries and hundreds of cities working with state and local leaders, and lives in Jamaica Estates, Queens.

About Breeana Mulligan

Breeana Mulligan is a lifelong Queens resident and the incoming Director of Communications for Queens Borough President Donovan Richards. She is a proud New York City Council alum, previously serving as First Deputy Press Secretary under Speaker Corey Johnson, Deputy Press Secretary under Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and as Deputy Communications Director for Council Member Paul Vallone. She is regularly active in Queens government and public service, currently serving as a District Leader in the 36th Assembly District Part A and was President of the Queens County Young Democrats (QCYD). She is a graduate of St John’s University. Raised in Whitestone, Breeana currently lives in Astoria.

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