By Madina Toure
Melva Miller, director of economic development for the Queens Borough President’s Office, will be the next deputy borough president, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz announced Tuesday.
Miller is taking over the position after former Deputy Borough President Leroy Comrie started his term as state senator earlier this year.
Katz said Miller’s “multi-dimensional expertise” on economic development made her decision to name her deputy borough president a “natural one.”
“Her understanding of Queens’ neighborhoods is extensive and comprehensive, from both the holistic, macro-policy level to a block-by-block community-basis,” Katz said in a statement. “Melva’s ideas, professionalism and experience in government have been tremendous assets to my administration. For the communities, her focus is relentless, her passion is unwavering.”
State Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-Hollis), who has known Miller for many years, praised her appointment, saying he “admires her abilities.”
“Having known Ms. Miller for many years, I’ve seen her speak to the heart of the community’s needs: executing strategies that grow business and encourage investment while ensuring the character and integrity of our neighborhoods are preserved,” Comrie said in a statement.
A lifelong resident of southeast Queens, Miller is currently an active doctoral candidate in social welfare at the CUNY Graduate School and University Center. She received her master’s of social work from the CUNY Hunter College School of Social Work and her bachelor’s of science from the CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Miller has been serving as director of economic development for the Queens Borough President’s Office since 2007. Before that, she was the founding executive director of the Sutphin Boulevard Business Improvement District and KECDE!, a nonprofit that brings the arts to community youth through dance.
She also served as the project director for the Downtown Jamaica Cultural District and a community organizer for the Laurelton Local Development Corporation.
Miller said she plans to continue building Queens’ economic growth and expand to other service areas of the borough.
“Across all issues — from education to housing to quality-of-life to tourism and culture — economic development and community development are one and same,” she said. “This is an exciting time for Queens, and in this chapter of growth, development and opportunities for our borough, it’s an absolute privilege to work with a dynamic leader of such passion and vision.”
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 260–4566.