NEW YORK – Greek-American Emma Wolfe, whose roots are in Mani, was appointed Chief of Staff by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. The long-serving aide previously served as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, charged with working with officials from the City Council to Congress to implement progressive policies that require legislative and executive support.
Wolfe also served as the Deputy Campaign Manager and Political Director for Bill de Blasio’s mayoral campaign, overseeing the building of a victorious citywide coalition that spanned all five boroughs. She previously served de Blasio as Chief of Staff for the Office of the Public Advocate, reorganizing the office into an effective agency watchdog with an emphasis on community organizing. Wolfe has worked as an organizing and field director for the New York State Senate, Working Families Party, and 1199 SEIU. She has played a key role in progressive electoral victories across New York, including the election of a Democratic majority in the State Senate in 2008 and Bill de Blasio’s 2009 victory as Public Advocate. Wolfe holds a degree in Urban Studies and Sociology from Barnard College at Columbia University.
As reported in The National Herald, Wolfe’s mother is Kate Maguire an actress and the Artistic Director and CEO of Massachusetts’ Berkshire Theatre Group. Maguire’s mother, Wolfe’s maternal grandmother, was Jennie (Yanoula Sperounis) Maguire- the youngest of eight children, was active in the Philoptochos and the Daughters of Penelope, and her husband, Jimmy, who was a Lowell, MA police officer for 51 years, was president of the AHEPA chapter.
Wolfe lived in Lowell until she was nine years old and then moved to Western Massachusetts. She would come back every weekend to stay with her grandparents or her father, and attended Sunday at Holy Trinity of Lowell. “That was my ritual. My mom did more of the 24/7 rituals but, but we did the real deal every Sunday.”
After living in small towns, Wolfe came to New York to study at Barnard. “I knew that I wanted to live in a city,” she said. Her mother suggested they look at Barnard. Wolfe noted that “It was one of the few colleges we visited and it felt right,” adding that the Greek architecture and the names of Great Greeks on the facade of the library made her feel at home – “and I fell in love with New York.”
As the chief of staff, Wolfe’s salary increased from from $220,652 to $227,000, the Daily News reported. “Emma could be very tough,” de Blasio said, the Daily News reported, “But I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Emma. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t respect Emma.”