Baruch graduate joins the Adams administration


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Basmalla Attia

José Bayona, who graduated from Baruch College in 2009, is now an executive director at the Office of Ethnic and Community Media under New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

The Office of Ethnic and Community Media is a new office aimed at providing news and information in different languages in various New York City neighborhoods, according to Baruch’s Weissman School of Arts and Sciences blog. It works with over 300 media outlets to do so.

“Hundreds of ethnic and community media outlets are the voice of millions of immigrants, working-class and everyday New Yorkers, and we, NYC, recognize their hard work with this new office,” Bayona said.

Bayona was a prominent part of the creation of the bill that established this new office, according to PoliticsNY.

Bayona immigrated from Colombia in 1996. He earned bachelor’s degrees at the age of 40 in journalism and political science.

“My life changed when I enrolled at Baruch College for a BA in journalism and political science when I was 40 years old,” he said. “The support I found in both departments was terrific and helped me go through the process of getting my college degree at an adult age in a much better way.”

He later earned a masters of arts in journalism from CUNY Newmark School of Journalism with concentrations in urban and interactive reporting, according to a Weissman blog.

Bayona has worked with NY Daily News, NY1 Noticias, El Diario and Hora Hispana. He is also the founder and CEO of Grassroots Strategies: a consulting firm specializing in multicultural communities and politics.

He served as press secretary for former Mayor Bill de Blasio, using this opportunity to push for more representation for the ethnic media. At that time, only 252 outlets were recognized by the city, but now 357 TV and radio outlets, including ethnic ones, are recognized, according to PoliticsNY.

“The story of my new life in the United States started at Baruch College,” Bayona said.page1image14625856 page1image14621056 page1image14630080

Many other Baruch alumni have been appointed to high-ranking city government positions with the Adams administration, according to the Baruch College News Center.

Manuel Castro, who earned a Master of Public Administration in 2014, was appointed as commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Lisa Fitzpatrick, who received a bachelor’s degree in 1999 and a master’s degree in 2010, is an administrator at the Human Resources Administration. She ensures that domestic violence services, food assistance, rental assistance and other essential benefits are accessible.

Senior Advisor to the Mayor Eric Ulrich earned a Master of Public Administration in 2016. Previously, he served his district for 12 years as a New York City council member for Southwest Queens.