Diahann Billings-Burford, Chief Service Officer, City of New York
OK Radio host Lynne Norton speaks with Diahann Billings-Burford, the nation’s first-ever municipal Chief Service Officer charged with leading NYC Service. Diahann share about the City’s initiative to promote a new era of service and volunteerism in New York City.
What kind of people is NYC Service looking for to make this program a success? How is NYC Service is looking to achieve its goals? What are some great stories of volunteer success?
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As Chief Service Officer, Diahann oversees implementation of the near 40 initiatives in NYC Service. NYC Service meets the Mayor’s State of the City pledge for New York City to lead the way in answering President Obama’s nationwide call to service. The NYC Service program has three main goals: channel the power of volunteers to address the impacts of the current economic downturn, make New York City the easiest city in America in which to serve, and ensure every young person in New York City is taught about civic engagement and has an opportunity to serve. Prior to this appointment, Diahann served as Deputy Executive Director of External Affairs for City Year New York, she led External Affairs at CYNY since 2006. In that position, Diahann established and maintained relationships with politicians, leaders and community stakeholders and indirectly oversaw Recruitment and Communications.
Before filling her role at City Year New York Diahann served as the Director of External Affairs (NY) for Achievement First, a charter school management organization. Most of her career has been spent with Prep for Prep, a New York based leadership development organization where she served in various capacities, including Director of College Guidance and Director of Leadership Development Opportunities. Diahann has also worked as a history teacher (middle school), curriculum developer, and a corporate attorney.
She graduated from Yale University in 1994 with a B.A. in Psychology and a certificate in Teacher’s Preparation. In 2002, she earned her J.D. from Columbia School of Law. Diahann is a very proud Brooklyn native and currently lives in there with her husband and her two children.
00:48– Mission of NYC Service and the community served
1:34- How NYC Service is looking to achieve its goals
3:34 – People looking towards to make this program a success
4:30 – Impact of the Middle School Mentor program
6:21 – Volunteer success story
8:31 – Advice and encouragement during challenging economic times
9:51 – Ok IF? If Diahann could have an elegant dinner alone with anyone who would it be?