An attorney and civic leader with over two decades of experience in the public and private sectors, Julie Menin most recently served as the City’s Census Director achieving a historic result where NYC finished number one of all major cities. She has served as Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs and Commissioner of Media and Entertainment. She previously served as a Columbia adjunct professor teaching on city and state government, preemption and home rule.
The daughter of a Holocaust survivor, Julie is a third-generation New Yorker who lives in Yorkville with her husband and her children.
As the 2020 New York City Census Director, Julie led a historically successful effort as New York City gained more population than any city in America. Her leadership was responsible for ensuring that New York City receives its fair share of over $1.5 trillion in federal funding for public schools, affordable housing, healthcare, infrastructure, and other vital programs. She also successfully fought attempts by the Trump Administration to undercount immigrant communities and represented the city as the Executive Assistant Corporation Counsel at the NYC Law Department on the citizenship census case and other legal matters. Under her leadership, New York City surpassed expectations and actually had 4 of the top 5 counties in America in terms of exceeding census expectations of population growth. Julie achieved this historic census success despite a global pandemic and efforts from the Trump Administration to sabotage the count.
Julie previously served as the Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs, where she reinvigorated the agency by increasing consumer restitution by 70 percent, instituting 25 reforms to lower fines on small businesses where there was no consumer harm, implementing the Paid Sick Leave Law, and launching trailblazing legal investigations into for-profit colleges, debt collectors, banks, predatory lenders and other industries preying on New Yorkers. She launched a new Earned Income Tax Credit initiative that resulted in over $260 million being returned to low-income New Yorkers. Julie created a new city initiative to seed over 13,000 kindergarteners with a college savings account and chaired the board of New York City Kids Rise, a not-for-profit organization she helped to create charged with implementing this program which has now been adopted citywide.
Julie also previously served as Commissioner of Media and Entertainment where she implemented dozens of initiatives to increase gender equity. Faced with industries that were not diversified and lacked gender equity, Julie launched new programs to increase women’s representation and opportunities in film, TV, theater, and the music industry such as the first-ever women’s film fund, job training programs to increase gender equity in the film, theater, TV and music industries and a slate of new women’s programming on the city’s TV channels. These programs have been held up as a national model and utilized as a paradigm for other cities. She also increased film and TV production to historic heights resulting in thousands of jobs for working families. Julie negotiated the historic deal to bring the Grammy Awards back to New York in 2017, resulting in a $200 million economic benefit for New York City.
Before becoming a Commissioner, Julie served as a seven-year Chair of Manhattan Community Board 1 and is widely credited with helping to lead Lower Manhattan’s resurgence after 9/11. Several weeks after her small business was badly damaged on 9/11, she founded the not-for-profit organization Wall Street Rising, which focused on the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan for residents and small businesses and developed it into an organization with over 30,000 members. As Chairperson of Community Board 1, she facilitated the building of three new schools including the city’s first green school, new parks, and affordable housing, and led the charge in favor of the Islamic Cultural Center and freedom of religion. Additionally, Julie fought for and won $150 million for downtown community needs from a battle with Con Edison as part of her work with Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Julie has also successfully implemented legislation at the city and state level, including winning a two-year fight to mandate life-saving epi-pens on all ambulances statewide.
Prior to her career in public service, Julie practiced law as a regulatory and litigation attorney. She has served on the board of the Women’s Campaign Fund, where she helped launch She Should Run, a nationwide initiative that has encouraged thousands of women to run for elected office, and served on the board of Eleanor’s Legacy, an organization in New York focused on electing more Democratic women statewide. In addition, she has served on the board of trustees of Columbia University, the Downtown Hospital, the Municipal Arts Society, and on the boards of Vera Institute of Justice’s Reform Leadership Council, the September 11th Memorial Foundation and the WTC Performing Arts Center.
She received her undergraduate degree from Columbia University magna cum laude. She received her law degree from Northwestern University School of Law. She serves on the National Advisory Board for Public Service at Harvard University.
Julie has been recognized as a Women’s Campaign Fund Rising Star, Citizen Union’s Civic Leader, City and State’s “40 Under 40,” “Power 100 Women,” and “Top 25 Women in Public Service.” She has also been the recipient of numerous awards including Columbia University’s John Jay award and the League of Conservation Voters Public Service award. She has served as a frequent national commentator on law and politics and has appeared nationally on CNN, The Today Show, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and other outlets and previously hosted and co-produced a local NBC cable news show focused on politics and law.