Meet the President and CEO

Dennis Walcott

Dennis M. Walcott is President and CEO of Queens Library, one of the nation’s largest public library systems, with 65 locations in the most diverse urban area in the world. Dennis was appointed in March 2016 following a lifelong career in public education and human services. The former chancellor of the New York City public school system and a deputy mayor under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Dennis joined the Library after serving as the New York State- appointed monitor of the East Ramapo School District in Rockland County, initiating a series of reforms to ensure the equitable delivery of service and opportunity to the district’s students.

In 2014, Dennis was named Honorary Distinguished Fellow at the University of the West Indies and became an adjunct professor at The Fordham Center for Nonprofit Leaders at Fordham University. During his tenure as the City’s schools chancellor from 2011 to 2013, Dennis led the transformation of the nation’s largest school system. As Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development from 2002 to 2013, he oversaw and coordinated the operations of the Department of Education, the New York City Housing Authority, the Department of Youth and Community Development and the Mayor’s Office of Adult Education.  He served on the boards of the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation, and was board chair of NYC's Fund for Public Education, the Fund for NYC and numerous not-for-profit boards. Before working at City Hall, Dennis was President and CEO of the New York Urban League for more than 12 years, and in that role expanded educational and youth service programs such as Jeter’s Leaders, Bridge to Brotherhood, Healthy Start, Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership, and the 140th Street Building Block Program.  He began his career as a kindergarten teacher.

Dennis is a Queens native and a graduate of New York City public schools. He received a bachelor’s degree in sociology, and a master’s degree in education from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut in 1973 and 1974, respectively. He earned a master’s degree in social work from Fordham University in 1980. He and his wife Denise live in Queens, have four adult children and are grandparents.