Full Name
Deborah L. Friedman
Job Title
Assistant Commissioner of Workforce Engagement and Innovation
New York City Mayor’s Office of Labor Relations (OLR)
Speaker Bio
In September, 2014 Deborah Friedman joined the New York City Mayor’s Office of Labor Relations (OLR) as the Assistant Commissioner of Workforce Engagement and Innovation. Consistent with Mayor de Blasio’s vision, Deborah is charged with working with NYC agencies, the workforce and the municipal labor unions to improve services to New Yorkers through enhanced labor-management relationships and worker engagement. WorkWell NYC, the worksite wellness program for all 380,000 NYC employees is a significant effort overseen by Deborah. The program leverages the workplace to provide education, direct programs and services for city employees through engaging methods. Partnering with agencies and academic institutions, Deborah works to build programs that will impact the health and well-being of all NYC employees and be sustained over time.

Prior to Deborah coming to the City, she was the Director of the 1199SEIU-League of Voluntary Hospital Labor-Management Project (LMP), a labor-management partnership of the hospital and nursing home industry with the largest healthcare workers union, 1199SEIU. She found working collaboratively with employers, focusing on satisfying the needs of both parties, was more effective for the staff, the health care organizations and their patients. Deborah spent 17 years at the LMP, honing her leadership, facilitation, mediation, creative conflict resolution and process improvement skills.

Deborah’s earlier work, representing health care workers in multiple states including attending physicians, interns, residents and public hospital workers helped her appreciate the need for a variety of skills, tools and processes to address issues that impact labor and management. After observing the destructive impact of traditional ways of working, Deborah sought out new approaches to resolve conflict constructively.
Deborah L. Friedman