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The Manhattan Institute Honors outstanding urban leaders who have improved the quality of life in their cities with its annual Urban Innovator Award.

Gina M. Raimondo
Michelle Rhee
Renee Glover
Mitch Daniels
Jeb Bush
Paul Vallas
Raymond Kelly
Manuel Diaz
Martin O'Malley
Anthony Williams
Norm Coleman
Jerry Brown
Richard Daley


Urban Innovator Award Winner

 Robert Doar2012
Robert Doar, Commissioner, NYC Human Resources Administration

On January 10, 2013, the Manhattan Institute's Center for State and Local Leadership presented its annual Urban Innovator Award to New York City Human Resources Administration commissioner Robert Doar.

"Commissioner Doar has set a national example by emphasizing work as the best way to combat poverty," says Howard Husock, Vice President for policy research at the Manhattan Institute. "To implement that policy effectively, he's been on the cutting edge of the use of performance-based contracts to hold accountable those entrusted with public money to help the poor."

Under Doar's leadership, the city's welfare caseload has remained some 20 percent below what it was when Mayor Bloomberg took office in 2002. The 350,000 currently on the New York City welfare rolls are dramatically fewer than the 1.1 million receiving assistance prior to the administration of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Doar has placed over 75,000 recipients of benefits into jobs each year since being appointed in 2007 and expanded access to work-support programs such as food stamps and the earned income tax credit. He has also worked to promote responsible fatherhood, both through increased collection of child support payments, and by creating programs like NYC DADS, which encourages fathers to take an active role in their children's lives.

Doar has resisted calls to relax the work requirement and insisted on performance-based contracts for those charged with finding jobs for welfare recipients. His leadership has been marked by strong stances and anti-fraud efforts that have helped encourage upward mobility in New York City and set an example for other cities to follow.






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