Seasoned Architect and Urban Planner with National and International Experience
On Friday, Mayor Richard Thomas swore in Carolina Fonseca, a seasoned architect with national and international experience, as Commissioner of the Mount Vernon Department of Buildings.
Fonseca has more than 20 years of private and public sector experience as an architect and urban planner. A member of the American Institute of Architects.
“My administration is committed to attracting talented individuals to serve the people of Mount Vernon,” said Mayor Thomas. “I can’t think of a more qualified candidate to head our Buildings Department. Carolina is the right person to lead this busy department to maximize the City’s opportunities for new investment, as well as ensure the ongoing maintenance and safety of our current residential and commercial properties.”
Most recently, Fonseca was the owner and founder of her own design firm in Bronxville. She has extensive knowledge in green building practices and is an accredited professional in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
“I’m grateful to Mayor Thomas for this opportunity to lead this vital department and I am confident my years of national and international experience designing and supervising well over 1,000 high-end commercial jobs in various areas — healthcare, corporate and retail — make me well suited for this assignment,” said Fonseca.
Fonseca graduated as valedictorian while earning her bachelor’s degree in architecture and urban planning from Braz Cubas University in Brazil. She is fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish.
“I’ve feel like I’ve come full circle,” said Fonseca. “My first professional position after graduating college was working as a junior architect in the construction department in Sao Paulo’s City Hall in my native Brazil. Now, 20 years later I am proud to be heading up the Department of Buildings in Mount Vernon and carrying on a family tradition of public service.”
Fonseca is familiar with the needs and potential of Mount Vernon, having served as a consultant to the city’s Industrial Development Agency dating back to 2016.
She succeeds Curtis Woods, who returns to his role as city engineer. Woods had been doing double duty as the city’s only engineer and supervising the Buildings Department.
For the past two years, the Buildings Department has been relying on emergency funding from the Mount Vernon Industrial Development Agency to cover its operating expenses. While the funding has proved invaluable in covering gaps, this reliance cannot last forever. Mayor Thomas is sending legislation to the City Council to immediately fund the position of City Engineer out of Mount Vernon’s operating budget.