Donovan Richards Jr., a lifelong resident of Southeast Queens, was elected Borough President in November 2020 and sworn in one month later.
As a child, he attended Jamaica High School and Redemption Christian Academy before studying communications, radio, and TV at Nyack College. He later received a degree in Aviation Management from Vaughn College in East Elmhurst.
Following the tragic killing of a close friend during his teenage years, the Borough President got involved in his community and the fight against gun violence, holding numerous positions in the City Council before being elected in 2013 to represent District 31, serving Southeast Queens and the eastern Rockaway Peninsula.
As a Council Member, he chaired influential committees on Environmental Protection and Public Safety, while also leading the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises, resulting in historic citywide investments in affordable housing, police oversight, clean energy and infrastructure — including a $2 billion investment in new sewer and water infrastructure to alleviate chronic flooding issues across Southeast Queens.
As Queens Borough President, he has been a tireless advocate for The World’s Borough. Over the course of his administration, Borough President Richards has allocated more than $100 million dollars across Queens’ schools, cultural institutions, hospitals, libraries, parks and more.
In the wake of Hurricane Ida, the Borough President formed Operation Urban Sustainability to combat climate change, while continuing to push for the installation of new grey and green infrastructure to make Queens a more resilient borough.
To better support the more than 1 million immigrants who call The World’s Borough home, he created the Immigrant Welcome Center at Queens Borough Hall in 2021, which has served hundreds of individuals over its first two years.
To help rebuild the Queens economy, Borough President Richards created the Queens Small Business Grant program to connect Queens entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19 with more than $15 million in no-strings grants, while also securing a commitment from JetBlue to keep its headquarters in Queens and overseeing the massive redevelopments of both LaGuardia and Kennedy airports.
The Borough President has also empowered numerous historically disadvantaged communities through initiatives such as the Youth and Young Adult Council, Downtown Jamaica Improvement Council, the Queens Tech + Innovation Challenge and Borough Hall on Your Block, as well as task forces to support the communities of Corona and College Point.
Borough President Richards lives in Rosedale with his wife, Tameeka, and his son, Donovan III.