Nearly Five dozen members have now been appointed to the City’s leadership team by Mayor Parker

PHILADELPHIA – Today, Mayor Cherelle L. Parker announced the latest in a series of significant personnel announcements, as the Parker Administration continues to grow, filling roles essential to the mayor’s vision of a Safer, Cleaner, Greener Philadelphia, with Economic Opportunity for All.

“Today we are announcing appointments to two critically important departments that have been long awaited,” said Mayor Cherelle L. Parker. “We are also announcing the team tasked with ensuring that this administration can reach Philadelphians in every community, no matter their gender, faith or socioeconomic status. We know that sometimes, the best way to connect with communities that may be skeptical of government is to meet them where they are, through trusted institutions that our appointees represent.”

“As we continue to do the groundwork to make these next four years run as efficiently as possible, we are being prudent in who we appoint and when we appoint them. There are 34 days until the 100-day mark and it is my job and my responsibility to make sure we handle these personnel decisions like the important tasks they are.” Mayor Parker continued.

Today, Mayor Parker made the following appointments to the Parker Administration:

New Positions & Appointments:

Susan Slawson, Director, Parks and Recreation

Susan Slawson, the City’s new Commissioner of Parks & Recreation previously served as the Commissioner for Parks and Recreation. overseeing multiple million-dollar projects including the renovations of the Dell Music Center. Before that, she served the Philadelphia Police Department for 30 years, rising to the rank of Lieutenant.

As Commissioner, Slawson will connect the city’s residents to the natural world, each other, and fun things to do and see. She will oversee more than 10,000 acres of land, 500 buildings, 166 miles of trail, 250 playgrounds, and thousands of programs and events throughout Philadelphia’s parks and recreation system.

Perritti Di Virgilio, Director, Department of Labor

Perritti Di Virgilio, the incoming Director of the Department of Labor brings a wealth of experience and a lifelong passion for supporting the city’s workforce to his new role. During his 18-year tenure as the Director of Labor Standards, Perritti championed fair pay and equal opportunities for workers, recovering over $3 million in restitution for those who were underpaid. Additionally, he dedicated 14 years as a Business Agent for Laborers Local 332, playing a pivotal role in organizing the asbestos abatement industry in Philadelphia.

A lifelong resident of Philadelphia, Perritti is a proud product of the city’s public school system and a graduate of Temple University’s construction management program. His commitment to labor extends beyond his professional endeavors.

Will Mega, Deputy Director of Neighborhood and Community Engagement 

Will Mega will serve as the Deputy Director of Neighborhood and Community Engagement. A distinguished Educator, and Community Organizer, he stands as a pillar of leadership and advocacy in Philadelphia’s African American community. His career, spanning over a quarter of a century, is marked by a profound commitment to the disenfranchised, making him a venerated figure in social, political, and youth-empowerment circles. Mega is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated, an organization known for its commitment to achievement and community service. These achievements, along with his recognition through numerous awards and accolades, exemplify his profound influence on the community engagement landscape. Holding a Master’s Degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, PA, H. Will Mega Ashantee’s educational background compliments his vast professional experience, underscoring his commitment to service and leadership.

Bishop Wilfred Speakes, Director of Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs

Bishop Wilfred H. Speakes Sr. is a distinguished leader with a rich history of service and brings a wealth of experience to his role as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Faith-Based & Interfaith Affairs. Having retired from the Philadelphia Fire Department after a commendable career, Bishop Speakes has seamlessly transitioned into his role as a pillar of spiritual guidance and community leadership. He holds a Pastoral Doctor of Divinity Award, complemented by a Master of Divinity Degree in Theology, and a Bachelor of Religious Education Degree, additionally, he has an Associate’s Degree in Emergency Management.

Director Speakes is not only a learned scholar but also a committed educator, serving as a professor at multiple institutions. Bishop Speakes’ multifaceted talents and unwavering commitment to service underscore his significance as a leader within both the spiritual and civic realms.

Imam Quaiser Abdullah, Director of Muslim Engagement

Imam Quaiser D. Abdullah, Ph.D., will serve as the Director of Muslim Engagement within the Mayor’s Office. Director Abdullah currently serves as the board chair for Interfaith Philadelphia, co-president for the Association for Conflict Resolution, and co-chair for the Mayor’s Commission on Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs in Philadelphia, PA. Imam Quaiser is one of the Imams at Masjid Quba and has served as Chairman and COO of Quba Institute, which is a 70-year-old organization that has established social institutions that support the Muslim community in the Philadelphia area. As Director of Muslim Engagement, Imam Quaiser will engage not only the Muslim community but the entire faith community with Director Speakes and the office of Faith-Based and Interfaith affairs.

Abu Edwards, Director of Black Male Engagement 

Abu Edwards will serve as the Director of Black Male Engagement. As a Philadelphia native who has spent over a decade serving the community, he is a highly dedicated and passionate figure who adopts a strategic grassroots approach to his work. Throughout his career, Abu has championed causes related to students of color, government involvement, addiction treatment, libraries, mentorship for at-risk children, voter participation, city parks, and the NAACP. He has been involved in several high-profile campaigns, including those for Presidents Biden and Obama.

Keiwana McKinney-Forde, Director of Women Engagement 

Keiwana McKinney Forde will serve as our Director of Women Engagement. She is a Philadelphia native who served as an advocate for women and democracy for over 20 years. Over the last 23 years, she has successfully conceptualized and engaged women in campaigns, events, programs, and tributes that highlight the importance of women wielding their collective power to break glass ceilings and encourage civic, social, and corporate responsibility.


James Leonard, Commissioner, Department of Records

James Leonard is a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, who has spent almost his entire career in public service on behalf of the City of Philadelphia. He has served as the Commissioner of the City of Philadelphia Department of Records since April 2016 and was reappointed today by Mayor Parker. As Commissioner, Jim serves as the Recorder of Deeds for Philadelphia manages the City’s records management program for all departments, administers the Department’s public access to records program, including the City’s historical archives, and oversees the City’s printing and binding center and official City photographer.

Before being appointed Commissioner of Records, Jim practiced law in Pennsylvania for approximately 17 years, with a focus on real estate transactional law, municipal pension matters, and the PA Right-to-Know Law. He spent almost his entire legal career at the City of Philadelphia Law Department.

Randy Hayman, Commissioner, Water Department

Randy E. Hayman., Esq., was appointed Philadelphia Water Department Commissioner and CEO in June 2019 and was reappointed today by Mayor Cherelle L. Parker. Hayman received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. Before assuming his post in Philadelphia, Hayman was a partner at the environmental law firm of Beveridge & Diamond, headquartered in Washington, DC. He served as general counsel for 15 years at two major water utilities, the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority and the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District.

“We have almost five dozen senior appointees and staff with more to come in a matter of days,” Mayor Parker concluded. “The Parker Administration is coming together and I am excited as we continue to search for Philadelphia’s best and brightest.”

Learn more about the vision and priorities of the Parker administration in the 100-Day Action Plan here.

View Photos from the first 100 days of the Parker administration here.