The Citizens Budget Commission tapped Carol Kellermann as its new president, the New York fiscal watchdog group announced yesterday. Kellermann replaces Diana Fortuna who resigned in January after serving in the post for nine years.

Fortuna left to become budget director for the Metropolitan Opera.

"My great passion and interest is the stability and vitality of New York City and New York State," Kellermann said. The tough economic times the state and city are dealing with gives the CBC's mission extra impetus, she said. "It's going to be a very difficult time and difficult decisions will have to be made but I think that's the most important time to be involved in fiscal issues."

Kellermann, who graduated from Harvard College in 1972 and Harvard Law School in 1976, comes to the CBC with more than 25 years of experience working in and around government and in the nonprofit sector. Most recently she has been serving as interim director for Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a nonprofit that administers an awards program sponsored by Scholastic Inc.

She was also executive director and chief executive director of the September 11th Fund from 2002 to 2006, a charitable fund that provided more than $500 million of assistance to individuals, organizations and companies following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Her government experience includes serving in a variety of positions within former New York City Mayor Ed Koch's administration during the 1980s, including as a deputy commissioner in the city finance administration, and as then-congressman Charles Schumer's chief of staff in the early 1990s. She was a principal at the Podesta Group, Inc., a lobbying and public relations firm, for much of the 1990s before getting involved in the nonprofit sector.

The Citizen's Budget Commission was founded during the Great Depression to analyze New York City's finances and issue reports and recommendations. The organization later expanded its mission to include the state government as well.

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