New York City Appoints Its First Ever “Rat Czar”

New York City’s growing rat population has become a major quality-of-life and health issue, prompting Mayor Eric Adams to appoint the first ever “rat czar.” Former school teacher Kathleen Corradi is the city’s first Director of Rodent Mitigation and will be responsible for creating a plan to reduce the rat population, while coordinating city agencies to detect rats, cut off their food sources, and exterminate them. New York City records show rat sightings increased dramatically last year, with almost 21,600 rat complaints through the end of September, an increase of 74% over the same period the year before. In December, the city advertised its search to fill the new “rat czar” position, posting tongue-in-cheek requirements for a candidate who “must be highly motivated and somewhat bloodthirsty, with a swashbuckling attitude, crafty humor, and general aura of badassery.” In addition, the mayor announced a $3.5 million investment to reduce the rat population. The money will go toward 19 full-time staff members and 14 seasonal staff members, in addition to bait, traps, sensors, and fumigation machines.