Fed Lawmakers Give Thumbs up to de Blasio Transportation Commish Pick

Mayor Bill de Blasio, right, announces Hanry (Hank) Gutman as the new Department of Transportation Commissioner. Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

A U.S. Senator and two members of Brooklyn’s Congressional delegation were among those who lauded Mayor Bill de Blasio’s pick yesterday of Henry (‘Hank’) Gutman as New York City’s next Commissioner of the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Gutman, a 45-year Brooklyn resident, is a Retired Partner of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP, where he headed the Intellectual Property Practice Group from 1996 until his recent retirement. He currently serves as chair of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the City’s largest industrial park, and serves on the board of Brooklyn Bridge Park, which spand from below the Manhattan Bridge across the DUMBO waterfront and ends at Atlantic Avenue.

Gutman is also a trustee of the Brooklyn Public Library, where he co-chairs the Digital Innovation Committee, and a member of the Board of St. Ann’s Warehouse. 

“Hank Gutman is a visionary leader whose decades of civic life in this city have made New York City fairer, better, and more accessible,” said de Blasio in announcing the appointment. “We made permanent and progressive changes to city streets last year, and we have more to do this year. I can’t wait to work with him to expand transportation options to every New Yorker and build a recovery for all of us.”

“We have an opportunity to chart a new path for this city – one that leaves Robert Moses’ vision behind, beats back COVID-19, protects our environment, and builds a fair, safe, and equitable recovery for all of us,” said Gutman. 

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) lauded Gutman as the right person for the job at the right time.

“New York City’s transportation infrastructure faces many challenges and its safe and efficient operation has never been more critical than in the midst of our response to this crisis. I know Hank will devote himself to the important work ahead,” said Gillibrand.

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Central Brooklyn, Queens) said Gutman is a distinguished New Yorker who cares greatly about the City. 

“He has the vision, intellect, experience and expertise needed as we reimagine and bolster our streets, transportation network and public places to meet the challenges of our time. I congratulate Hank on his appointment and applaud Mayor de Blasio for his selection,” said Jeffries.

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn, Queens, Lower Manhattan) said she worked with Gutman going back two decades when as President of the Downtown Brooklyn Local Development Corporation, he conceived a study, in which she secured funding for to ensure better transportation access to the then-planned Brooklyn Bridge Park. 

“Hank is a problem solver and has had a great impact on the rebuilding of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. From his service on the Brooklyn Bridge Park board to that of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Hank understands what makes this City work. Hank is up to the ambitious tasks laid out by the Mayor as we reimagine our city streets and infrastructure in a more equitable and sustainable way for bikes, pedestrians and businesses,” said Velazquez.