Buffalo, New York – Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced the appointments of senior administration officials, who will continue to advance Mayor Brown’s vision of a strong, inclusive City government citywide. Mayor Brown’s appointments include Rashied McDuffie, Esq. as Deputy Mayor of Operations, overseeing the coordination of multi-departmental initiatives. Dr. Callie Johnson will serve as Deputy Mayor of Community Engagement, overseeing multiple departments, particularly those with a high level of community engagement. Michael Marcy and Jessica M. Smith will serve as Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff, respectively, assisting with the day-to-day operations of Buffalo City Hall, and managing intergovernmental affairs with local, state, and federal elected officials. Mayor Brown also appointed Bernadette Taylor to the position of Office Manager.
Mayor Brown stated, “It is my great pleasure to announce these key appointments of highly capable leaders who bring the skills and the drive needed to keep our City moving forward in a positive direction. From affordable housing and emergency preparedness to our growing economy, my administration continues to work hard every day to build an equitable and inclusive city of opportunity. I look forward to working with these individuals who share my commitment to innovative, effective and responsive leadership that will greatly benefit the residents of Buffalo.”
I am honored to be selected and serve as Deputy Mayor of Operations in Mayor Brown’s Administration,” said Deputy Mayor McDuffie. “I look forward to working with government and community members alike to achieve the Mayor’s goals and serve the residents as diligently as possible.”
“It is an honor and privilege to be appointed as Deputy Mayor of Community Engagement,” said Dr. Callie Johnson. “I look forward to working collaboratively to serve the Buffalo community and lead multiple departments that have a high level of community engagement.”
Michael Marcy stated, “It is a great honor to serve as Chief of Staff for Mayor Brown and his administration. My leadership experience both on Capitol Hill and in City Hall will be an asset as I take on this opportunity. I thank Mayor Brown for elevating me into this position as we continue to build on the great work we’ve done to make Buffalo an even more inclusive and equitable community.”
Jessica M. Smith said, “Growing into this new role is an exciting opportunity that will enable me to expand my service to the City I love so dearly. I am thankful for Mayor Brown’s confidence and trust in me. I look forward to continuing the great work this administration has been doing for nearly 18 years.”
Bernadette Taylor stated, “I am excited to take on additional responsibilities to ensure the successful implementation of policies and procedures within the Mayor’s office. I appreciate Mayor Brown for believing in me and my experience.”
Rashied McDuffie is an attorney with over 20 years of experience as a government affairs professional with extensive knowledge of local government, state regulatory and compliance legal issues, FOIA requests, complex real estate and estate transactions, and social and economic equity issues. He most recently served as Deputy General Counsel for the New York State Office of Cannabis Management. Prior to that role, Mr. McDuffie served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Buffalo. Deputy Mayor McDuffie has been named one of Buffalo Business First’s 40 Under 40. Mr. McDuffie was additionally selected as one of Western New York’s Legal Elite, which highlights the most highly respected attorneys, as selected by their peers, across the region.
As Deputy Mayor of Operations, he will be tasked with coordinating multi-departmental initiatives. Mr. McDuffie holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law, and an Executive MBA Certificate from the Harvard Business School Harvard Club of Buffalo. He earned his Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2005. He is licensed to practice law in New York and Florida. Mr. McDuffie’s appointment took effect on Monday, July 10, 2023.
Dr. Callie Johnson comes to the Brown Administration as an award-winning marketing, communications, and nonprofit leadership executive. She most recently served at the Buffalo AKG Art Museum (formally the Albright- Knox) in an executive role where she stewarded the rebranding of America’s sixth oldest art museum with a focus on community engagement.
Dr. Johnson is a former Forbes Communications Council member and the former Executive Vice President of Marketing for Girl Scouts of Western New York. She is the winner of two Buffalo Business First awards—40 Under 40 and 30 Under 30—for making a difference both on the job and in the community. She is a Buffalo Niagara 360 Spotlight Professional for her career success and her commitment to strengthening the Buffalo Niagara region.
As Deputy Mayor of Community Engagement, Dr. Johnson will be tasked with leading multiple departments that have a high level of community engagement, including Community Services, Police Athletic League of Buffalo, and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Dr. Johnson holds a PhD in Leadership and Policy from Niagara University, a Master of Science in Global Business and Marketing from Daemen University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr. Johnson’s appointment took effect on Monday, July 10, 2023.
Formerly the Deputy Chief of Staff for the City of Buffalo, Michael Marcy has over 20 years of experience in government relations. His work experience includes positions in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, the United States Senate, and the United States House of Representatives.
Mr. Marcy has worked for Mayor Byron W. Brown for the last 16 years. In his new role as Chief of Staff, he will serve as the Mayor’s senior advisor, assisting with the day-to-day operations of Buffalo City Hall. He will also preside over multiple initiatives and departments, and manage intergovernmental affairs with local, state, and federal elected officials. Mr. Marcy graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from St. Bonaventure University in 2000. His appointment took effect on Monday, July 10, 2023.
Jessica M. Smith brings a solid background to this new role, as she previously served as City of Buffalo Director of Government Relations and Special projects, where she oversaw all employment placements within all City departments, served as a government liaison to small businesses, and worked with elected officials at all levels of government to promote programs, policies and initiatives surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion in Buffalo.
In her new role as Deputy Chief of Staff, Ms. Smith will assist Mayor Brown and the Chief of Staff with the day-to-day operations of Buffalo City Hall and help coordinate multiple initiatives and departments. She will also assist in the management of intergovernmental affairs with local, state, and federal elected officials. Born and raised in Buffalo, Jessica Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Religious Studies from the University of Rochester and went on to take a number of graduate-level urban planning courses at the University at Buffalo School of Urban & Regional Planning. Her appointment took effect on Monday, July 10, 2023.
Formerly serving as the Executive Assistant to the Mayor since 2009, Bernadette S. Taylor will now serve as Office Manager for the Mayor’s Office and manage all aspects of the Mayor’s day-to-day activities during work and non-work hours, as well as coordinate special projects and events. Ms. Taylor brings over three decades of executive level experience at the local and state levels to this management role in the mayor’s office. Her appointment took effect on Monday, July 10, 2023.