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Meet Ellyn Canfield

Ellyn Canfield

Ellyn Canfield has a really cool job within the government. She is Executive Director of the New York City Mayor's Office of Citywide Event Management. For anyone who is curious about what it's like to work within the government closely with Mayor De Blasio in a position that offers a highly social aspect with a strong element of creativity, click below. Find out how Ellyn worked her way up from an intern to her current executive position over the past 10 years.

Ellyn canfield
How long have you been working with Mayor de Blasio and how did you end up in that position?
I’ve been working on and off for Mayor de Blasio for 10 years – starting as an intern in his city council, and I’m currently the Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office Citywide Event Management, and in the second term of de Blasio’s administration. Time has flown! I’ve done all kinds of different jobs in government and politics, but I started focusing on events and fundraising six years ago. That led to a few years spent leading the team that produced special events for the Mayor and First Lady (like Women’s History Month celebration and the holiday events), and then two years ago I moved to my current role.

What is one disadvantage to pioneering your career vs. one benefit that inspires you?
I don’t know if I’d call myself a pioneer, but working for elected officials is unique in that your job changes or disappears frequently with the electoral. That uncertainty has gotten to me at times, but it’s also been the benefit – I’ve never had the luxury of getting too comfortable in my job, and that’s forced me to hustle and keep pushing toward doing work I really love.
Ellyn Gia Skirt
What is one trait/skill that has personally helped you reach new levels in your career of managing city-wide government events?
Stubbornness. For better or worse, once I have my teeth in something, I don’t let go. This comes in handy when navigating the bureaucracy and red tape in government, as well as the hurdles that any woman in a male-dominated field faces.

Approximately what percent of your team is female? How does that impact the work you do?
80% of my office is female! Throughout the de Blasio administration, over 50% of decision-making positions are held by women, which is really incredible. It’s a unique situation and truly a gift to get to work with so many women leaders and to learn from women who’ve been doing this work for decades.

No matter how far your career takes you, what is one thing about your life that you want to remain the same?
I hope to always have a job that allows me to have a social life – even if sometimes that social life is primarily with my colleagues. I really value relationships in my life and to me, there is no job in the world worth losing those.

Ellyn Canfield
Ellyn canfield Gia jacket
If tomorrow you woke up and had to change your career, what position/path would you choose?
I would become an advocate and lobbyist for medical marijuana. And I do hope to wake up and make that choice someday in the next 5 years. I’ll keep you posted!

What do you spend your time doing when you're not working?
Pilates and eating healthy! Jk, though I do love pilates. Reading, wasting time on Instagram, walking in the city without a purpose, and finding new places for coffee and cocktails is a perfect day off for me.
Ellyn Canfield lyric outfit

What advice would you give your younger self or someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

Just show up! This applies to any job, but politics and government in particular reward the tireless – volunteer, intern, do the grunt work, and build relationships – they’ll pay off before you know it.