Biography: Robert Garafola

The native New Yorker earned a master’s degree in city planning from Harvard and worked in the private sector and in the NYC Department of Housing and Development before joining the Department of Parks and Recreation in 1983. A deputy commissioner for management and budget, Garafola directed central administrative departments including Budget, Personnel, Marketing and Special Events, Operations & Management Planning, and Revenue. He also administered the Parks Opportunity Program, a part of the city’s welfare-to-work program.