Streams

City's Chief Operating Officer for Schools Leaving

Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - 05:48 PM

More than a year after being named chief operating officer of the city's schools, Sharon L. Greenberger is stepping down to become a senior vice president at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the schools chancellor, Dennis M. Walcott, announced today.

Ms. Greenberger, 46, came to the Department of Education in April 2010 from her role as president and chief executive of the School Construction Authority, where she had been since 2006. Named chief operating officer by the former chancellor, Joel I. Klein, she oversaw each of the divisions in the department, but her primary responsibility was to monitor the department's process for closing schools it considered failing and opening new ones.

With the arrival of Cathleen Black as chancellor last spring, Ms. Greenberger and the chief academic officer, Shael Polakow-Suransky, assumed control of much of the department's day-to-day operations. Education officials jokingly referred to both Ms. Greenberger and Mr. Polakow-Suransky as “chancellor.” As the chief operating officer, Ms. Greenberger made $212,600; hospital administrators often earn more.

"I am sad to leave the Bloomberg administration, but excited to take the skills I have acquired here and join New York-Presbyterian Hospital to help families in an entirely different, but equally important way," Ms. Greenberger said in a statement.

Veronica Conforme, 38, the department's chief financial officer, will now become chief operating officer. Michael Tragale, Ms. Conforme's deputy, will succeed her.

And a week after investigators announced that the owners of a technology firm stole at least $6.5 million from the Department of Education, Mr. Walcott has named Kemi Akinsanya-Rose as the new chief information officer. Replacing Ted Brodheim, who left last March, Ms. Akinsanya-Rose, who worked in Ms. Greenberger's office, will oversee the department's major technology initiatives.

Ms. Akinsanya-Rose, while working for Ms. Greenberger, conducted an internal review of the division of instructional and information technology last spring, following Mr. Brodheim's departure.

That division has come under considerable criticism for using highly paid consultants on projects and is now under scrutiny for contracting with Future Technology Associates. Over five and a half years, the city's Education Department paid the company more than $74 million to develop an electronic ordering system for principals.

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