Mayor Bill de Blasio today appointed Grace Bonilla as Administrator of the Human Resources Administration (HRA), which is now part of the Department of Social Services. Utilizing her years of experience in the public and non-profit sectors – including senior-level experience at HRA, Grace Bonilla will be responsible for leading HRA to fight poverty and income inequality. She will report to Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks.
“The people who work at the Human Resources Administration are tasked with achieving one of the most important goals of this City – combatting income inequality and poverty,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Grace Bonilla’s years of experience at HRA and fighting for New York’s most vulnerable make her a fine addition to the team to expand upon HRA’s critical work. I welcome Grace back to HRA and look forward to working with her.”
“I’m thrilled to welcome Grace Bonilla back to the Human Resources Administration,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio. “As a longtime advocate for and champion of vulnerable New Yorkers, Grace brings critical expertise and an incredible sense of purpose to HRA. I look forward to working with her in this new role as we work to connect more New Yorkers to the critical services HRA provides.”
“We are very excited to have Grace Bonilla back in our agency in her new role as Administrator for the Human Resources Administration,” saidDepartment of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “She brings with her a wealth of experience in public and community service that will be a great asset to the agency as we continue to implement our reforms to help the neediest New Yorkers. I look forward to working with her again and to her leadership of the HRA team.”
“It is with a newfound purpose that I return to HRA and look forward to serving this Administration at such a critical time for our city and country. I am honored to work with Commissioner Banks and the stellar team at HRA as we continue to strengthen the safety net and assist millions of New Yorkers. I bring with me all the lessons that I have learned from the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families staff, our parents and students, and will work to effectively represent their hopes and dreams for themselves and our city. I am humbled by Mayor de Blasio’s vote of confidence and look forward to serving the city in this capacity,” said Grace Bonilla.
As part of the 90-day review of homeless services, the Mayor determined that to better coordinate services to New Yorkers and prevent homelessness HRA and the Department of Homeless Services should both report to a single Commissioner of the Department of Social Services, with an Administrator appointed to directly manage each agency. Grace Bonilla has been selected to fill the Administrator position at HRA.
About Grace Bonilla
Grace Bonilla was most recently the President and CEO of the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families (CHCF), a non-profit which combines education and advocacy to expand opportunities for children and families. In her role as President of CHCF, Bonilla served on the Universal Pre-Kindergarten Advisory Group. She also served as co-Chair of ACS’ Racial Equity and Cultural Competency as well as the Community School Advisory Board, among others. From 2012 to 2014, Bonilla served as Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Community Affairs and Immigrant Services, working to remove potential barriers to services for 1 million limited English proficient (LEP) and immigrant clients. Prior to this, she spent 10 years in senior roles at HRA. From 2011 to 2012, Bonilla was Assistant Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Constituent Services at HRA. She oversaw the daily operational needs of the Office of Constituent Communications and Infoline, the agency’s call center. She also collaborated with senior staff to ensure that HRA effectively implement legal mandates associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act and improved collaboration between the Office of Constituent Services and other program areas.
From 2009 to 2011, Bonilla served as Director of Legislation and Policy in the Office of Child Support Enforcement at HRA. In this role, she supervised the legislative and policy unit in efforts to adopt best practices from around the country. She also collaborated with the New York State Family Court to bring innovative approaches to reducing arrears for low income non-custodial parents. In addition, Bonilla was a project manager for a pilot program that examined the benefits of beginning child support orders through agreements outside of court for families on cash assistance. Bonilla also assisted as a liaison with New York Family Court to eliminate millions of dollars in arrears for low income non-custodial parents. Prior to this, she served as a Senior Legislative Analyst and Agency Attorney at HRA. Bonilla is the proud daughter of immigrant parents. Born and raised in Queens, Bonilla continues to live there with her husband Michael and three sons. She is a graduate of St. Johns University and Brooklyn Law School.
Now part of the Department of Social Services, the Human Resources Administration (HRA) provides economic support and social services to families and individuals through the administration of major benefit programs including cash assistance (CA), the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid and Child Support Services. HRA also provides homelessness prevention and rental assistance, educational, vocational and employment services, assistance for persons with disabilities, services for immigrants, civil legal aid and disaster relief. For the most vulnerable New Yorkers, it provides HIV/AIDS Services, Adult Protective Services, Home Care and programs for survivors of domestic violence.