CUNY Names Jeffrey Rodus Vice Chancellor For Government Affairs

 City University of New York announces the appointment of Jeffrey Rodus
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Photo: CUNY

The City University of New York announces the appointment of Jeffrey Rodus, a fixture of New York City government for more than three decades, as vice chancellor for government affairs, a position on the senior leadership team of Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. 

Rodus, who earned a master’s degree from Baruch College, most recently served as chief of staff to outgoing First Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo. Previously, he worked in a wide range of roles at the New York City Council and spent seven years with the lobbying firm CMW Strategies, formerly Connelly, McLaughlin & Woloz. Rodus’ appointment was approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees at its December meeting, and he began work Tuesday. 

“With his distinguished record of work in New York City government, Jeffrey Rodus will help ensure that the University’s partnerships, initiatives and programs are strategically aligned at the city, state and federal levels,” said Chancellor Matos Rodríguez. “Jeff’s leadership skills, negotiation expertise and institutional knowledge of city government, as well as his strong longstanding connections to CUNY, will be invaluable as he works to develop and deepen the University’s relationships with leaders and policymakers across the public sector.” 

Public Service Bent

Rodus is deeply committed to public service. He spent 24 years at the New York City Council where he started as a legislative financial analyst in 1991 and rose to the rank of deputy director of the finance division in 2000, and first deputy director in 2008. In these roles, he was responsible for advising the speaker and council members on issues relating to budget, policy, public debt and economic development. He also worked closely with city commissioners, council members, labor unions and other stakeholders to develop budget initiatives, and partnered with the finance director to negotiate the city’s operating and capital budgets with the Office of Management and Budget. In 2014, he was appointed deputy chief of staff to the speaker and supervised both the finance division and the administrative services division, which manages the city's annual budget and internal operations.

“As a proud Baruch College alum, I know firsthand how a high-quality education can help shape and impact one’s life,” Rodus said. “I look forward to working across CUNY’s 25 campuses to ensure the University’s partnerships with the city, state and federal government are strategically aligned so the colleges are receiving the resources needed to fulfill their critical mission. I’m very excited to work with Chancellor Matos Rodríguez and his administration to help advance CUNY’s mission and strategic priorities.”

From 2015-2021, Rodus served as a senior vice president at CMW Strategies, a New York City-based lobbying firm. As a lead strategist managing accounts for nonprofit organizations, he directed advocacy efforts and budget requests, developed policy initiatives and worked closely with legislative leaders and elected officials to further clients’ goals.

In 2022, he returned to city government to serve as chief of staff to the first deputy mayor in the office of New York City Mayor Eric Adams. In that capacity, he oversaw a comprehensive portfolio that included four deputy mayors, the chief housing officer, the chief technology officer, the chief efficiency officer, the finance department, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and the Office of Management and Budget. 

He also advised the first deputy mayor on citywide policy implementation for the Adams administration, and worked closely with the mayor and budget director to negotiate a $100 billion expense budget and $95 billion capital budget with the New York City Council. His work included the planning for CUNY’s Brookdale Campus and Science Park and Research Campus Kips Bay (SPARC), announced last fall, which will create career pipelines for students in the life sciences, health and public health sectors. 

Rodus has a longstanding personal connection to CUNY through Baruch College, where he earned his Masters in Public Administration and worked as an adjunct professor, developing and co-teaching a master’s level course in budgeting, accounting and financial analysis. He was the recipient of Baruch’s 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award. He holds a bachelor’s in political science from SUNY Stony Brook. 

He was the recipient of the 2007 Chesed Award from the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, one of the country’s largest Jewish charities dedicated to serving the needy. He was also named to several City & State power lists, which spotlight influential New Yorkers in politics: The 2021 Brooklyn Power 100 and 2016 Brooklyn Power 50 Lists; the 2020 50 Over 50 List; and the 2002 New York City Power List.

The City University of New York is the nation’s largest urban public university, a transformative engine of social mobility that is a critical component of the lifeblood of New York City. Founded in 1847 as the nation’s first free public institution of higher education, CUNY today has seven community colleges, 11 senior colleges and seven graduate or professional institutions spread across New York City’s five boroughs, serving over 243,000 undergraduate and graduate students and awarding 55,000 degrees each year. CUNY’s mix of quality and affordability propels almost six times as many low-income students into the middle class and beyond as all the Ivy League colleges combined. More than 80 percent of the University’s graduates stay in New York, contributing to all aspects of the city’s economic, civic and cultural life and diversifying the city’s workforce in every sector. CUNY’s graduates and faculty have received many prestigious honors, including 13 Nobel Prizes and 26 MacArthur “Genius” Grants. The University’s historic mission continues to this day: provide a first-rate public education to all students, regardless of means or background.

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