Eleanor M. DiPalma is a New York City-based language-learning expert with extensive experience in public communication in various languages, most recently at the New York City Department of Transportation. She is the first person to earn a Ph.D. in dance movement analysis and psychotherapy at New York University.
A native New Yorker, she began her career treating clients of all ages with psychiatric illness and developmental disabilities. She later devoted herself to serving all New Yorkers, including City employees. Many participate in the Citywide Managerial and Professional Development Program at the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), a program she was instrumental in creating. At the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), Dr. DiPalma served as executive director and leader of innovative programs and agency policies. She founded the DOT Learning Center and helped lead the reengineering of the DOT Commissioner’s Customer Service Correspondence Unit and later founded the DOT Language Access, Plain Language, and Voter Registration Assistance programs. The NYC Council and the Mayor’s Office have recognized the programs as Citywide prototypes of best practices.
Her public service career celebrates innovations that link models of transportation engineering aimed at promoting active transport in green urban spaces and mental health. Eleanor brings a transdisciplinary perspective to her work, promoting collaborative synergies of disciplines that lead to communication and mental health best practices. As a new director of RIUSS, Eleanor continues her unrelenting pursuit of innovation, using her knowledge of holistic behavioral-science and her program development expertise to advance linguistic and behavioral research for language access best practices. She dedicates her work to New Yorkers with limited English proficiency, like her grandparents who were first generation immigrants. She hopes all New Yorkers will access and find public service information they need; understand the information that they seek; and apply the new knowledge successfully to satisfy their needs once they see it.
Dr. DiPalma is an adjunct professor at the State University of New York (SUNY), Fashion Institute of Technology.