Administration Cabinet & Senior Staff


Rashied McDuffie, Esq., Deputy Mayor

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.


Callie Johnson, PhD, Deputy Mayor

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.


Michael Marcy, Chief of Staff 

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.


Mike DeGeorge, Director of Communications, Senior Advisor to the Mayor

Mike DeGeorge has a proven track record of success in developing effective communication strategies for important initiatives and has been instrumental in bringing much-needed attention to the city's continued efforts to improve the lives of its residents.

Mike DeGeorge, is the Director of Communications and serves as a Senior Advisor to Mayor Brown. His ability to effectively communicate the city's vision and goals will play a vital role in keeping the community informed.

Mike's journey in communications began at Canisius University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. Prior to joining City government, he made significant contributions to the media landscape. As an executive producer at 7 News WKBW, he honed his skills in shaping compelling narratives and crafting impactful stories. Before that, Mike enjoyed a distinguished career at WGRZ as an on-air sports anchor and reporter, as well as with Empire Sports.


Oswaldo Mestre, Director of Citizen Services, Senior Advisor to the Mayor

Appointed in 2006 by Mayor Brown, Oswaldo Mestre, Jr. will continue to spearhead the Division of Citizen Services with the new title of Executive Director. He is a respected public servant, the City’s first Chief Service Officer, and a dedicated advocate for the people of Buffalo. Throughout his tenure as the Director of Citizen Services and the 311 Call and Resolution Center, Mestre has established strong relationships with communities citywide, demonstrating his unwavering commitment to the Brown Administration.

In addition to his local impact, Mestre’s influence extends nationally and globally, positioning Buffalo as a beacon of engagement and a source of valuable lessons for communities worldwide. Mestre’s extensive network and collaborative efforts have fostered large-scale partnerships, including renowned organizations such as Bloomberg Philanthropies, Harvard University, SUNY Buffalo State University Public Administration & Nonprofit Management Advisory Board, Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative® (CGLI) of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and many more. Mestre has received numerous awards and recognition worldwide, most recently from Buffalo State’s Political Science and Public Administration Department’s Outstanding Service to the Master of Public Administration Award, GovTech Magazine’s 25 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers, and one of Computerworld’s 2016 Premier 100 Technology Leaders.


Jessica M. Smith, Deputy Chief of Staff

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.


Commissioner Otis Barker, Sr., Community Services & Recreational Programming

Otis Barker has over 24 years of results-oriented experience in staff management, project management, budgeting and planning, and product/market research. In 2018, he was appointed to Commissioner of Community Services and Recreational Programming, where he manages the daily operations of Contract Administration and Compliance, the Division of Senior Services, the Commission on Citizen’s Rights and Community Relations, Recreational Programming, the Division for Youth Services and the Division for Workforce Employment Training. Commissioner Barker served as the District Office Chief of Staff to the former Deputy Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Arthur O. Eve from 1996-2002. Following his time in the State Assembly, he served as Director of Community Relations for State Senator Byron W. Brown, where he oversaw constituent services. In 2006, Barker was appointed by Mayor Brown to the position of Director of the Division for Youth.


Corporation Counsel Cavette Chambers, City of Buffalo Law Department

Corporation Counsel Chambers joined City’s Law Department in 2006. Ms. Chambers serves on the City’s Board of Ethics where she provides advice and counsel to City officials and employees to ensure that they live up to and maintain the highest ethical standards. Her work with the City’s Foreclosure Assistance Program has helped create strong partnerships with legal service agencies to assist residents to stay in their homes.  Corporation Counsel Chambers is the first Jamaican-American woman to be appointed for Corporation Counsel in the City of Buffalo.


Commissioner Delano D. Dowell, Sr., Administration and Finance

Delano D. Dowell, Sr. is an accountant with 21 years of accounting/finance experience in both the public and private sectors. Delano holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from D’Youville College he worked at Sodexo for over 16 years as a Staff Accountant, Senior Accountant and Unit Controller. Delano has held serval accounting positions within the City of Buffalo including Senior Assistant to the Commissioner of Administration and Finance, Special Assistant to the Comptroller, Deputy Comptroller and was appointed to Commissioner of Administration and Finance on July 18, 2022. Delano loves working with youth and giving back to his community 


Commissioner Jason Shell, Department of Assessment and Taxation

As a public servant who graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the State University of New York at Brockport, Jason C. Shell brings over 15 years of public sector experience to the Department of Assessment & Taxation. In his previous role, Commissioner Shell served 11 years as a manager in the Brown Administration,  as an Administrator of Public Works, as Deputy Commissioner of Buildings and Energy Management and as a Quality of Life Programs Manager for the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency.  He also served as Intergovernmental Coordinator for the Buffalo Sewer Authority.


Commissioner Catherine Amdur, P.E., Permit and Inspection Services

Prior to being appointed Commissioner of Permit & Inspection Services, Catherine served as Deputy Commissioner of the department. Before that, she was a Senior Engineer in the City of Buffalo's Department of Public Works, and a Supervisor of Building Construction in the City of Buffalo's Permit & Inspection Services department.   Early in her career she worked in pre-construction and estimating services at Turner Construction in New York City where she developed a lifelong appreciation for building sciences and construction.  She holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Rochester and in Mathematics Education from SUNY Buffalo State College.  Catherine is a certified Code Enforcement Official and licensed Professional Engineer in New York State.  She serves on a number of boards and organizations in the community and is Co-chair of the Lead Safe Task Force. 


Commissioner Gladys "G.G." Herndon-Hill, Human Resources

Mayor Byron W. Brown appointed Gladys Herndon-Hill Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources in December 2014. Commissioner Herndon-Hill began her City service in 1996 as the Administrative Director of Civil Service and also served as the Director of Personnel. In her current role, she oversees all business and operational facets in the Administration of New York Civil Service Law and Local Civil Service Rules, Personnel Administration, as well as Compensation & Benefits divisions. Commissioner Herndon-Hill graduated from The State University of New York at Binghamton.


Executive Director Brendan Mehaffy, Office of Strategic Planning

Brendan Mehaffy was appointed Executive Director of the Office of Strategic Planning in March 2010. Mehaffy's appointment was a central part of the city's economic development reorganization effort, which Mayor Brown announced during his 2009 State of the City Address, resulting in over $6 billion in economic development. Mehaffy began working for the City of Buffalo's an attorney in the city's Law Department, where he was the point person on several high profile projects, including negotiating with the county on the return of the operation and management of city parks. Prior to working for the city, he worked in private practice and was focused on land use, environmental and small business development issues. This included working with municipalities across the country to revise and update their zoning codes. He holds a B.A. in economics from SUNY Binghamton, a Masters degree in urban regional planning from the London School of Economics and a J.D. in law from the University at Buffalo.


Commissioner Raymond Wagner, Division of Parking

Raymond Wagner completed his master’s degree in Public Administration at Buffalo State College. While attending Buffalo State, Raymond was the President of the Graduate Student Association and was awarded the Dr. Keith Henderson scholarship due to his high grades and commitment to the program. His Master’s project was an assessment of Buffalo State’s current parking software which compared the capabilities and limitations against T2 systems. In 2008, he began his career in the Parking Services department at Buffalo State College.  Starting as a student assistant, Raymond worked his way up to Associate Director of Parking Services. In August 0f 2022, Raymond was sworn in as the Commissioner of Parking for the City of Buffalo. His top priority will be to look for innovative ways of meeting the ongoing parking demands as the city continues to grow.


Chief Diversity Officer, Chantele Thompson, Office of Diversity

Chantele Thompson is a graduate of City Honors School and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Canisius College, as well as a Master of Public Administration and Master of Education, both from Regent University. Chantele is currently pursuing her doctorate in American and Africana Studies at the University of Buffalo. Chantele has served the Buffalo and the Western New York communities throughout her entire career in service of marginalized and underrepresented groups in the areas of public health, nonprofit, mental health, and education. In addition to service to her local community, Chantele has served in Ghana, Ivory Coast, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti.


Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia, Buffalo Police Department

Joseph A. Gramaglia was appointed as the 42nd Police Commissioner of the City of Buffalo on March 2, 2022. Commissioner Gramaglia is a graduate of the State University of New York at Fredonia with a bachelor’s degree in communications and the State University of New York College at Buffalo with a Master of Public Administration. Additionally, he has attended the FBI National Executive Institute and the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police.   With over 28 years of police experience, Commissioner Gramaglia is a staunch advocate for reducing gun and gang violence through community engagement and scientific data driven strategies.  He believes in building strong relationships within the community based on trust and transparency.   Commissioner Gramaglia has instituted numerous evidenced based strategies within the department including an enhanced custom notification based program and in 2022, implemented an enhanced data driven micro-hot spot violent crime reduction plan that has shown immediate results in the reduction of shootings throughout the city.  


Commissioner William Renaldo, Buffalo Fire Department

Fire Commissioner Renaldo is a 30 year veteran of the Buffalo Fire Department and a former Buffalo Fire Battalion Chief, employed from 1982-2012. He served on active duty in the United States Army for four years (1975-1979), before serving in the United States Army Reserve until 2014. During his tenure as Battalion Chief, he distinguished himself with hard work, dedication to duty and a strong record of performing complex emergency service and administrative work with a broad range of responsibilities from the direction of emergency operations, to review of administrative reports and payroll to ensure accuracy and completeness, to the coordination of overall training, including all aspects of emergency response, disaster planning and fire prevention and education.During his military career, Renaldo has received numerous individual awards and decorations for meritorious acts of bravery, including a Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Action Badge (CAB), Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and many more. Renaldo has a B.S. in Criminal Justice, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Public Management from the State University of New York at Buffalo.