Southeast Queens native named Association for a Better New York CEO


She was a key figure in the launch of the Jamaica NOW Action Plan and the Western Queens Tech Strategic Plan and now Melva Miller has been selected as the first-ever Chief Executive Officer of The Association for a Better New York (ABNY) bringing her talents to all five boroughs.

Under Miller’s leadership, ABNY will build upon its legacy of civic leadership across the public and private sectors to partner with a broader and more diverse group of New Yorkers through strategic planning, coalition building and concrete actions to advance a better New York.

“In this moment, our city is once again at a time of great uncertainty and I’m looking forward to working with ABNY’s Chairman Steven Rubenstein, our board of directors and our entire ABNY community to play a significant role in shaping the future for the better,” Miller said. “There are no easy solutions. However, the work of ABNY has long been one of helping bring about positive change, especially when times have been tough.”

ABNY is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the constant growth and renewal of New York City’s people, businesses and communities.

“Our city’s recovery and economic growth requires the input and participation of all New Yorkers, and through this work, ABNY will ensure New York City continues to be a hub of innovation, financial strength and human capital that will lead the charge for a more just, equitable and inclusive city,” Miller added.

The lifelong resident of southeast Queens held several senior economic development roles throughout her career including founding executive director of the Sutphin Boulevard Business Improvement District before serving as the director of economic development for the Queens borough president’s office starting in 2007. Miller succeeded former Deputy Borough President Leroy Comrie when he was elected to the state Senate in 2015. 

Former Borough President Melinda Katz called economic development a key priority of her agenda for Queens and came to rely on Miller’s expertise.

“As director of economic development within the Queens borough president’s office, and then as deputy borough president, Melva Miller brought vision and forethought to enhancing economic development in Queens and making sure that the borough is a driver of New York City’s economy,” said Katz, who is now the Queens district attorney. “Just as important, she put effective mechanisms in place to ensure that ambitious initiatives would flourish. Her laser-like focus on neighborhoods such as Jamaica and Long Island City enhanced the entire city’s economic well-being. That’s the experience and expertise she brings to her new role as chief executive officer of ABNY.”

In addition, Miller was executive director of KECDE!, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing the arts to community youth through dance and as project director for the Downtown Jamaica Cultural District and a community organizer for the Laurelton Local Development Corporation.

“Melva Miller is one of the most competent and committed people I’ve had the pleasure to work alongside in addressing the challenges our communities face,” Congressman Gregory Meeks said. “She has not only demonstrated an exceptional ability to get the job done throughout her years of service to our city, she has bridged communities together and built coalitions around our shared goals as New Yorkers. I congratulate ABNY on finding an excellent chief executive officer in Melva.”

Miller stepped down as deputy Queens borough president in 2018 when she was hired to lead ABNY’s Census 2020 efforts.

“Melva has proven herself to be a wise, dedicated and effective leader, and one of our city’s foremost advocates,” ABNY Chairman Steven Rubenstein said. “This has been a hard year for our city. But with leaders like Melva, whose passion, compassion and efficacy are what we need right now, we will emerge a stronger community.”