NYU Silver Appoints Public Affairs Executive Aimee J. Vargas, Esq. as Senior Advisor to the Dean
The NYU Silver School of Social Work has appointed government relations and public affairs executive Aimee J. Vargas, Esq. as Senior Advisor to the Dean, in an important step for expanding the reach and impact of its educational, research and program work, locally and nationally.
As Senior Advisor, Aimee will manage the Silver School’s external affairs, including federal, state, and city government relations; effectively translate and broaden the impact of faculty research on policy and practice; and play a lead role in establishing and facilitating community partnership initiatives.
“It will take resources and bridge-building to achieve our institutional goals, and Aimee is someone with an impressive track record of getting the job done, using her acumen in public affairs and community relations,” says Michael A. Lindsey, PHD, MSW, MPH, Dean of the NYU Silver School. “We are fortunate to have such a well-regarded leader in her field join us at the Silver School.”
“Aimee is fiercely dedicated to advancing equitable policies for underrepresented communities, a mission that we shared during the time that we worked together in Albany,” said New York State Assembly Member Catalina Cruz, in reaction to the announcement. “She excels at bringing people together to find common ground, and never hesitates to stand up for the Latino community and other communities who are in need of social supports and resources. Appointing her as Senior Advisor is a fantastic move for Dean Michael Lindsey and the NYU Silver School of Social Work.”
New York City Council Member Erik Bottcher said, “The NYU Silver School of Social Work will find that they have an extremely effective bridge-builder in Aimee, something that I discovered as we worked together in Albany to further policies and legislation that benefit LGBTQ+ New Yorkers. I look forward to seeing how she will continue to advance the interests of communities in need of social work services, as well as of the next generation of service providers, in her new role. I am excited to work with her and Dean Lindsey as we look to improve the lives of all New Yorkers.”
Hunger Free America CEO Joel Berg said, “Throughout her career and in her role as the Board Secretary of Hunger Free America, Aimee has shown herself to be a tireless advocate for policies that end hunger and promote economic justice. Appointing her as Senior Advisor to the Dean is evidence that the NYU Silver School of Social Work will continue to raise the bar in its mission to create a pipeline of practitioners who will meet these needs, and so many others.”
“I am thankful and excited to be joining NYU Silver at this important time in our city, state and country’s history,” said Vargas. “Social workers are vitally important to our society. The work being done at NYU Silver, led by Dean Lindsey, will elevate social work education, research and practice. I look forward to working with Dean Lindsey and the team at NYU Silver to help bring about the change that is needed in the communities in which we learn and work.”
Vargas was Director of Downstate Intergovernmental Affairs amongst many other roles during the Cuomo administration, during which she helped to design and execute outreach strategies to support the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement, the Penn Station/Farley project and the Jacob Javits Center revitalization.
At the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where she was the Chief Government and Community Affairs Officer, Vargas helped to advance major projects, such as the LIRR Third Track Expansion project, the 2nd Avenue Subway construction project, the L Line Reconstruction project and the Penn Access project.
As Associate Counsel and Director of Environmental Justice at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Aimee built strategic partnerships with community-based organizations to develop public policy initiatives that protect culturally diverse and socio-economically distressed communities.
Vargas is an Adjunct Professor of Communications at Marist College. She also is the Board Secretary of Hunger Free America and a Board Member of the SUNY Rockland Community College Foundation. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Community Affairs and Communications at Sands Corp. Prior roles included Director of the Mid-Hudson Region at the Empire State Development Corporation and Senior Director of Corporate Communications - U.S. Reputation at Anheuser-Busch. Aimee is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.