Veronica M. White is the founding Executive Director of the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO), established by Mayor Bloomberg in 2006 to implement innovative ways to reduce poverty in New York City.
The CEO works with City agencies to design and implement evidence-based initiatives aimed at poverty reduction. The CEO manages an Innovation Fund through which it provides City agencies annual funding to implement its initiatives, and it oversees an evaluation of each initiative to determine which are successful in demonstrating results towards reducing poverty and increasing self-sufficiency among New Yorkers. Under Ms. White’s direction, CEO launched 50 new programs, including Opportunity NYC, the nation’s first conditional cash transfer program.
CEO also developed an alternative to the federal poverty measure, which paved the way for the Census Bureau’s development of the Supplemental Poverty Measure. In 2010, the Center was selected as a federal Social Innovation Fund intermediary. Administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, this public-private partnership supports the replication of five promising CEO programs in New York and cities across the country. The Center for Economic Opportunity is charged with raising private funds for this and other initiatives. Ms. White’s leadership of CEO and the Center itself have been honored by prestigious awards. In 2011, CEO won the Citizens Budget Commission’s annual Prize for Public Service Innovation and in 2012 CEO won the Harvard University Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance Innovations in American Government Award.
Prior to her appointment as Executive Director, Ms. White was a consultant specializing in strategic business planning and management for non-profits, real estate development and environmental issues, and public-private partnerships. She has served in various executive positions, including as Chief Operating Officer of the New York City Partnership and President and CEO of the New York City Housing Partnership. Ms. White has also served as Deputy Commissioner of Planning, Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. She practiced law at the firms of Brown & Wood and Sidley & Austin. Ms. White received a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a Juris Doctorate from the Harvard Law School. She served for eight years on the New York Advisory Council of the Trust for Public Land.
Ms. White is married to Victor Marrero and they have two sons, Andrew and Robert.