Verna Eggleston has led the Women’s Economic Development initiatives at Bloomberg Philanthropies since the inception of the program in 2007. The initiatives, part of the Founder’s Projects at Bloomberg Philanthropies, have impacted over 450,000+ women benefiting over 1.7 million family members, ensuring their full economic and political citizenship.
Prior to joining Bloomberg Philanthropies, Eggleston served as the Commissioner for New York City’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) for the Bloomberg Administration. She was the longest serving Commissioner of the agency, serving in this role from 2002 to 2007, and was the first Commissioner appointed to the position twice by the same sitting Mayor. Under her leadership, HRA developed “We Care”, a Mayoral initiative which received the 2008 Innovation award from the United States Department of Labor. In 2016, Eggleston received the Civic Leadership Award from the Citizens Committee in New York, where she serves as a permanent member, representing Bloomberg Philanthropies in “consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Development Council.”
Eggleston also served for 12 years under the Administrations of Mayors Ed Koch and David Dinkins, working on many social issues including opening the first facility for infants with AIDS, to being appointed Deputy Commissioner for the Administration for Children’s Services.
During her leave from City government, she served as the Executive Director of the Hetrick-Martin Institute, home of the Harvey Milk High School. While there, she met Mike Bloomberg who sought her advice on social services issues in New York and joined his first campaign for Mayor.
Eggleston was named one of the 100 Black Executives by Black Enterprise magazine, and received the Arthur Ashe award for social development. She presented her work on social reform before Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma of South Africa, and the Presidents of Congo and Rwanda. She worked with Oprah Winfrey and the Governor of Illinois on legislation against child abuse, and Attorney General Janet Reno on hate crimes.
Eggleston received her Masters Degree as a Mayor’s Scholar at the New School of Social Research School of Urban Development.