Sharon Lee Becomes First Asian Deputy Borough President

Sharon Lee was appointed Queens deputy borough president. (Photo provided by the Mayor’s Office)

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz announced on Nov. 13 the appointment of Sharon Lee as deputy borough president, effective Nov. 17. Lee, the former senior advisor and press secretary for John Liu when he was the city comptroller and a key figure in his failed 2013 mayoral campaign, will replace Melva Miller and become the first Asian deputy borough president in New York.

“Sharon has been a trusted member of my senior leadership team for years and I could not think of a more prepared or knowledgeable person to serve as deputy borough president,” Katz said. “Her vast experience in New York City government, her deep relationships across the full spectrum of Queens communities and her passion for inclusion, equal opportunity, fairness and justice will prove invaluable for the future and direction of our great borough.”

“It is an honor to be appointed by Borough President Katz and to follow in the footsteps of Deputy Borough President Miller,” Lee said. “I am humbled by their confidence and this new opportunity to serve. The future of New York is Queens, and I share Borough President Katz’s vision and commitment to empowering the many global communities that call Queens ‘home’.”

Lee also said: “The reason that I became the first Asian deputy borough president is that Katz is the first borough president who named an Asian as her deputy.”

Lee graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and earned a master’s degree in labor studies from the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. She joined the Queens Borough President’s Office in November 2014 as the communications director. She has played a key role in the teams that push forward the priorities and initiatives of the office, including the restoration of the New York State Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair site, the redevelopment of Willets Point, and LaGuardia and Kennedy airports.

When Liu was the city comptroller, Lee was an indispensable member of the team that exposed the fraud in the construction of CityTime, the city’s electronic payroll system, and helped the city get a record-breaking $5 billion in restitution. She was also involved in the drafting and implementing of some major projects of the Comptroller’s Office, such as the 2012 pension reform proposal, the $1 billion capital acceleration plan and the “Retirement Security NYC” initiative.

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