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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2012 Archives > November 2012 > Mayor Brown Appoints Ellen E. Grant As Deputy Mayor

Mayor Brown Appoints Ellen E. Grant As Deputy Mayor

Contact: Lorey Schultz
               (716) 851-5545


Mayor cites Grant’s extensive leadership in the education and healthcare fields as factor in her selection

November 29, 2012 -BUFFALO –  Mayor Byron Brown announced today that he is appointing Ellen E. Grant, PhD, LCSW-R, as Deputy Mayor of the City of Buffalo.    Grant, who currently serves as Erie County Department of Senior Services Commissioner and previously worked as Director of Cornerstone Manor, the women and children’s program of the Buffalo City Mission, will assume her duties as Deputy Mayor on December 17, 2012.  Grant will oversee and coordinate all education related initiatives and serve as Mayor Brown’s liaison to the Buffalo Board of Education.

“Ellen Grant is a natural choice to serve as a Deputy Mayor for the City of Buffalo,” said Mayor Brown.  “Her strong educational background and proven governmental track record in management and innovative leadership, as well as her vast experience in the health care industry, having previously served in executive positions at BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Buffalo General Hospital, and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, shows she is more than capable of continuing the progress this administration is making to expand and diversify Buffalo’s economy, and foster even stronger community partners to further strengthen our city’s educational system.”

In addition to her strong educational background, Grant will bring over twenty-five years of health, behavioral health and managerial experience to her new role as Deputy Mayor.  It’s because of her strong educational background and vast experience in the health care field, having previously served in executive posts at BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Buffalo General Hospital, and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, as well as her current work as a part-time consultant/surveyor for the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA), that Mayor Brown appointed her to the position of Deputy Mayor.

In her new role, Grant will oversee and coordinate all of Mayor Brown’s educational initiatives including Say Yes to Education Buffalo, Buffalo Promise Neighborhood, Neighborhoods of Choice (BMHA), Reading Rules! Mayor Brown’s Summer Reading Challenge, and the City of Buffalo School Safety and Security Programs. She will also serve as the liaison to the Buffalo Board of Education, area Colleges and Universities, and oversee all school neighborhood and infrastructure improvements.  She will also be the point person for Mayor Brown’s economic development efforts as they pertain to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, work closely with all health care organizations and hospitals in Buffalo, as well as oversee the city’s various employee benefit programs.

“As a long-time admirer of Mayor Brown’s leadership and vision for the City, I am thrilled to be joining his Administration,” said Ellen Grant, PhD.  “From the $400 million in newly announced investment in downtown Buffalo, including the rapidly growing Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, to the continued development along Buffalo’s waterfront to Buffalo’s greatly improved fiscal environment, it isn’t hard to see that there is amazing progress taking place all over the city. As I take on this new challenge, I look forward to working with residents, the community and City employees as we continue to make Buffalo a great place to live, work and invest.”

Born and raised in Buffalo, Grant grew up in the Kensington Housing Projects.  She began her career as a practical nurse at Erie County Medical Center and soon earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology at the State University of Buffalo.  She now holds several degrees, including a PhD in Communications and Organizational Behavior from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a Master’s in Social Work.  She is also a licensed private therapist.   

Prior to the above listed executive leadership positions, Grant previously served as Erie County Commissioner of Mental Health under former Erie County Executive Dennis Gorski from 1988-2000.  She also served as President & CEO of Niagara Falls Medical Center, Vice President of Behavioral Health, Wellness & Health for BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, and later became Vice President of Community Affairs for BlueCross BlueShield of WNY.

“I have worked closely with Ellen over the years and served as her colleague during our time in the Gorski Administration.  I am very pleased to appoint Ellen Grant, PhD, as a Deputy Mayor for the City of Buffalo, a community leader who not only possesses impeccable credentials but has a passion for serving the City of Buffalo.” stated Mayor Brown.

Currently, Grant serves as Co-Chair of the National Advisory Board of the Black Women’s Health Study conducted by the Boston University School of Medicine; Trustee Emeritus of the State University of New York at Buffalo Foundation; Medaille College Board of Trustee, Western New York Women’s Fund Board Member and Appointed by New York State Governor Cuomo to serve on the Department of Health, Public Health and Health Planning Council.   Grant has also been the recipient of numerous community awards. In 1996 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Medaille College for her work in the community. In 1996-1997, she was selected as one of twelve women internationally for a leadership Fellowship with the International Women’s Forum which included training at Harvard University. She is also a past President of the National Association of Social Workers, NY State Chapter.

“I would like to thank Mayor Brown for his trust and confidence in me and I am honored for the opportunity to serve the citizens of Buffalo,” said Grant. “I have a deep passion and love for the City of Buffalo and I accept the Mayor’s appointment with the commitment of serving the citizens of Buffalo to the best of my ability.”

Ellen Grant PhD succeeds Donna M. Brown, who left in 2010 to start a new career at Erie County Medical Center.  The Deputy Mayor position pays $97,853.00.  Grant, who is the mother of an adult son, is married to Bill Miller.