Mayor Andre Sayegh’s “Innovation Team” added a new member on Monday afternoon.
Ishiya A. Hayes was hired as director of policy and planning. She joins Edward Boze, chief innovation officer, and Harsha Mallajosyula, chief data officer. All three positions are paid $100,000 each and funded by a grant from the Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation.
“We are grateful for Ishiya’s presence in the Mayor’s Office, as we look forward to the application of both her innovative ideas and practical experience. We’ve successfully utilized data-driven approaches in addressing our most pressing matters, such as public safety, economic development, and the pandemic. While we are proud of our strong track record, with Ishiya’s help, we look forward to even greater services for the residents of Paterson,” said Sayegh.
Hayes has a large portfolio of issues — economic and community impacts caused by the pandemic, bail reform, prioritizing equity and minority participation in municipal procurement, small business support, climate change and flood mitigation – that Sayegh would like her to work on.
“I am excited to serve the City of Paterson and to work with Mayor Sayegh to execute his vision for the future of the city and its residents,” said Hayes. “I realize the importance of partnerships with institutions of higher education to provide assistance to communities and I am grateful to the Administration, Passaic County Community College, and The Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation for entrusting me with this opportunity.”
Hayes previously worked as the associate director/senior policy analyst of the Urban Mayors Policy Center at the John S. Watson Institute for Urban Policy and Research at Kean University. She planned meetings, conference and provided technical assistance, analyzed issues, and created policy recommendations for strategies to improve the quality of life in urban centers.
Hayes has a master’s in public service leadership that focused on public health and public policy from Thomas Edison State University and a bachelor’s in English and Africana studies from Rutgers University.
“Passaic County Community College is excited to expand our partnership with the City of Paterson and the Taub Foundation to bring a Director of Policy and Planning to the City,” said Steven Rose, president of the Passaic County Community College. “Ishiya A. Hayes is an outstanding candidate for this position, and I know she will serve Paterson with distinction.”
Passaic County Community College received a three-year grant worth $750,000 from the Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation for the effort. Grant runs out on June 30, but officials expect it to be renewed.
Boze, Mallajosyula, and Hayes were hired by the Passaic County Community College using grant funds, but they work out of City Hall.
Steven Taub, president of the Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation, said Hayes will provide support as Paterson makes “important policy decisions” on using federal funds. The Covid-19 pandemic has been a financial blessing for Paterson because it received tens of millions of dollars through the Cares Act and then the American Rescue Act.