January 12, 2015

Staffing changes announced by New York State’s Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Staffing changes announced by New York State’s Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Source: Office of the Governor

Bill Mulrow has been appointed Secretary to the Governor. He succeeds Lawrence Schwartz, who departs the administration for the private sector.

Mr. Mulrow has more than 30 years of experience in business, government and politics. He has extensive experience in both the private and public sectors, having served in several positions in the financial sector as well as having served in a broad array of federal, state and local government and political positions. Most recently Mr. Mulrow was a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, the world's largest alternative asset manager. In addition to his business career, Mr. Mulrow has served in numerous public positions throughout his career, including as Governor Cuomo's appointee as the Chairman of the New York State Housing Finance Agency and the State of New York Mortgage Agency. Previously, he served as a Commissioner of the Special Commission on Judicial Compensation, Director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, Director of the Municipal Assistance Corporation for the City of New York, Director of the United Nations Development Corporation, Chairman of the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency, and Chairman of the New York City Rent Guidelines Board. He was Vice Chair of the New York State Democratic Party, Senior Advisor to the Mario Cuomo reelection campaign (1990), and Deputy Campaign Manager for Barney Frank's initial run for Congress (1980). Mr. Mulrow has also served in a number of academic posts including the Board of Advisors for the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the Harvard Kennedy School. He has been awarded several civic and community awards including the Humanitarian Award of the North American Boards of Rabbis and the Roy Wilkins Humanitarian Award of the New York State NAACP. He is a graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and of Yale College where he graduated Cum Laude and was a Rhodes Scholar finalist.

Patricia Gatling, Esq., has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Civil Rights. Ms. Gatling joins the administration from the New York City Commission on Human Rights where she served as Commissioner and Chair since 2002. While in that role, she was also an agency consultant at the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, Executive Producer of Fighting for Justice: New York Voices of the Civil Rights Movement, and a senior trainer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Previously, Ms. Gatling served as First Assistant District Attorney at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office and as Special Assistant Attorney General at the Office to Investigate Corruption in the New York City Criminal Justice System. Ms. Gatling is a member of the Board of Trustees for the New York Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection. She has a B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University and a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law.

Linda Lacewell, Esq., has been appointed Counselor to the Governor. She will design the first statewide system for ethics, risk and compliance in agencies and authorities. Ms. Lacewell was formerly Special Counsel to the Governor. She was the architect of OpenNY, a state-of-the-art open data initiative. Ms. Lacewell was formerly Special Counsel to Attorney General Cuomo, where she oversaw the public pension fund pay-to-play investigation and the out-of-network health insurance investigation, both of which led to nationwide systemic reform. She spent nine years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, including two years on the Enron Task Force, and received the Henry L. Stimson Medal and the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from New College of the University of South Florida and her Juris Doctor with honors from the University of Miami School of Law. She clerked for a United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida. She is an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, teaching Ethics in Government, and was formerly an Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law, teaching International Criminal Law.

Alphonso B. David, Esq., will be appointed Counsel on April 1 – he will succeed Seth Agata, who will serve as Counsel to the Governor until that time. Mr. David is an attorney, law professor and policy advisor with significant legal and management experience in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. In January 2011, Mr. David was appointed by Governor Cuomo to serve as Deputy Secretary and Counsel for Civil Rights, the first position of its kind in New York State. In this role, he is responsible for a full range of legal, policy, legislative, and operational matters affecting civil rights and labor state-wide. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, Mr. David served as Special Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights for the Office of the New York State Attorney General, where he managed strategic planning, case development and policy analysis and supervised Assistant Attorneys General on investigations and litigation ranging from employment discrimination to immigration fraud. He also served previously as Deputy Commissioner and Special Counselor at the New York State Division of Human Rights, a litigation associate at the law firm Blank Rome LLP, and a staff attorney at the Lambda Legal Defense and Educational Fund. At Lambda, Mr. David litigated precedent-setting civil rights cases across the country affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and those living with HIV including marriage, parenting rights, and access to health care. He also currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he teaches a course on Constitutional Law. Mr. David is a graduate of the University of Maryland and Temple University School of Law and served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Clifford Scott Green in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 

Mary Beth Labate has been appointed Budget Director for the New York State Division of the Budget (DOB). Since 2012, Ms. Labate has served as First Deputy Budget Director for DOB, where she plays a central role in developing a financial plan for the State that furthers the Governor’s fiscally responsible vision and negotiating with the New York State legislature on a variety of budget and policy-related issues. Ms. Labate has been directly involved in a number of the administration’s key fiscal accomplishments, including maintaining State spending to two percent, reforming the Medicaid program to dramatically limit growth, and the developing and advocating for $60 billion in federal aid in response to Superstorm Sandy. Prior to her role as First Deputy Budget Director, Ms. Labate also led a number of units and sections within DOB responsible for economic development, public authorities, welfare and labor. She has also held positions within the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and New York State Homes and Community Renewal. She received a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and an M.A. in Public Administration from the Rockefeller School of Public Affairs at SUNY Albany.

Melissa DeRosa has been appointed Director of Communications and Strategic Advisor to the Governor. Since April 2013, Ms. DeRosa has served as Communications Director, managing overall communications and press for the Executive Chamber and over 50 state agencies. She will continue to retain the Communications portfolio and play an expanded role in the administration’s strategic approach to enacting policy. Before joining the Governor’s office, Ms. DeRosa worked in the Attorney General's Office as Deputy Chief of Staff and as Acting Chief of Staff. Ms. DeRosa led the office's effort to negotiate and pass the country’s most aggressive prescription drug reform package, I-STOP (Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act). Prior to working for the Attorney General, Ms. DeRosa served as New York State Director of Organizing for America, President Obama's national political action organization. Before joining OFA, Ms. DeRosa served as the Director of Communications and Legislation for Cordo and Company, an Albany based government affairs firm. She was also the Campaign Manager for Tracey Brooks for Congress, Deputy Press Secretary to Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, and Deputy Press Secretary for the successful NY State Transportation Bond Act Campaign Vote Yes in 2005. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial and Labor Relations and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, both from Cornell University. She has served on the executive board of the Women’s Leadership Forum Network of the Democratic National Committee.

Rick Cotton, Esq., has been appointed Special Counsel for Interagency Initiatives. Mr. Cotton joins the administration following 25 years at NBC Universal, where he held a number of positions beginning in 1989, including 20 years as EVP and General Counsel and four years in London as President and Managing Director of CNBC Europe. He also served as Executive Secretary to the Department at the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare under Secretary Joseph A. Califano, Jr. and Special Assistant for Renewable Energy to Deputy Secretary of Energy John Sawhill at the U.S. Department of Energy. Mr. Cotton received an A.B. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Yale Law School, and served as a law clerk to Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Donald Carey will be nominated to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY). This appointment requires Senate confirmation. Mr. Carey is Senior Vice President at Fidelity National Financial and an Associate Partner at A.E. Smith Associates. A leader in the public finance sector for 29 years, he was the founder of DCC Consulting LLC, a part of the Public Finance Leadership team at Goldman Sachs, and Managing Director at Credit Suisse First Boston.

Bob Megna has been appointed as Acting Executive Director of the New York State Thruway Authority. This appointment requires Senate confirmation. Mr. Megna has served as Budget Director for the New York State Division of the Budget since 2009, where he was responsible for the overall development and management of the State’s fiscal policy, including the oversight of the State’s $145 million annual budget. Under Mr. Megna’s tenure in that role, New York State has achieved its highest financial ratings in 40 years from the three major credit rating agencies. He has also led multiple governmental boards within the administration, including the Financial Restructuring Board – which focuses on increasing government efficiency and decreasing costs through consolidation and shared services – the New York Racing Association and the Public Authorities Control Board. Mr. Megna was formerly the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, he spent ten years as the Director of the Revenue and Economics Unit within the State’s Division of the Budget. He received a B.A. in Economics and an M.P.A. from Fordham University, as well as a Diploma and M. Sc. In Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

John P.L. Kelly has been appointed Press Secretary. Mr. Kelly joins the administration from the consulting firm SKD Knickerbocker in New York City, where he has served as Senior Vice President since 2012. Previously, Mr. Kelly served for nearly a decade in various senior roles in government, including as the top communications official at the New York City Department of Health, as Associate Commissioner, and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, as Acting Chief of Public Affairs. Mr. Kelly spent more than six years as a spokesman for the New York City Police Department. In addition to his service in government, Mr. Kelly was a desk editor for the New York Daily News Express, a columnist for and a copywriter for a global financial institution. He is a graduate of Iona College and resides in the Bronx.

Beth DeFalco has been appointed Deputy Director of Communications for Transportation. Most recently she served as Communications Director for U.S. Senator Cory Booker. Before that she spent 15 years in journalism, working for nearly a decade at The Associated Press before joining the New York Post to cover politics in 2012. She has also worked as a reporter for The Arizona Republic and The Denver Post, where she was a member of the Pulitzer-prize winning news team that covered the Columbine High School shootings. Ms. DeFalco has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Frank Sobrino has been appointed Deputy Director of Communications for New York City. Mr. Sobrino is currently serving as Director of Communications in the office of State Senator Jose Peralta. A former reporter at El Diario-La Prensa, Mr. Sobrino previously served as State Comptroller H. Carl McCall’s New York City Press Secretary. He has a B.A. from Saint Bonaventure University and an M.P.A. from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Andrew S. Kennedy has been appointed Deputy Director of State Operations for Policy. Previously, Mr. Kennedy served as the Governor’s Assistant Secretary for Economic Development, coordinating the development and management of the State’s economic development and housing efforts. Prior to joining the Governor’s staff, Mr. Kennedy worked for more than a decade at the New York State Division of Budget and for the New York State Assembly, where he developed a detailed understanding of New York’s fiscal and economic development policies and programs. Mr. Kennedy holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy and a bachelor’s degree from Siena College in Political Science.

Matthew J. Millea has been appointed Deputy Director of Operations for Administration. Mr. Millea joins the administration from the New York Department of State, where he most recently served as Deputy Secretary of State for Planning and Development. Prior to that, he was Deputy County Executive for Physical Services for Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney. He was Executive Vice President followed by Acting President at the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation from 2006 to 2010 and was Director of Environmental Programs in the Office of the Governor of New York from 2001 to 2006. Mr. Millea has a B.A. from Siena College and an M.P.A. from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Joseph Rabito has been appointed Deputy Director of State Operations for Programs. In February 2011, Governor Cuomo appointed Mr. Rabito as Executive Deputy Commissioner at the New York State Office of General Services (OGS). Before joining OGS, Mr. Rabito held the titles of Deputy Commissioner at New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) and President of the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation. Prior to his appointment at HCR, Mr. Rabito served as Commissioner of Development & Planning for the City of Albany, and in the federal government for then Secretary Andrew Cuomo at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Tracie M. Gardner has been appointed Assistant Secretary of Health. Ms. Gardner previously served as Co-Director of Policy for the Legal Action Center where she conducted and coordinated the Center's New York State public policy advocacy in the areas of substance use disorders, criminal justice and HIV/AIDS. She has worked on a wide array of city, state and federal health and social service policy issues since 1989. Ms. Gardner received a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College.

Kamilah Smith has been appointed Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security. Ms. Smith previously served as an Attorney Advisor at the Federal Emergency Management Agency since 2011, and was an Associate at the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP in Los Angeles, CA from 2007 to 2011. She received a B.A. from Clark Atlanta University and a J.D. from Boalt Hall at the University of California, Berkeley.

Kisha Santiago-Martinez has been appointed Assistant Secretary for Housing. She previously served as Assistant Commissioner at New York State Homes and Community Renewal, managing the Budget Service Unit and establishing the Office of Budget and Operational Strategic Management. Prior to joining state government through the Empire Fellowship program, she served as Vice President and Senior Project Manager at Rosenberg Housing Group. She received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Regional and Urban Planning from University at Albany.

John Maggiore has been appointed Director of Policy. Mr. Maggiore previously served as chief of staff to Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy and, in 2011, as Governor Cuomo's Director of Regional Affairs. Previously, he served as Policy Advisor to Attorney General Cuomo, Assistant to HUD Secretary Cuomo, Director of Communications to Buffalo State College President Muriel Howard and Chief of Staff to Assemblymember Sam Hoyt. In 2005, he ran the Erie County Stabilization Project for the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. Mr. Maggiore began his professional career as confidential assistant to Governor Mario Cuomo. He is a native of Buffalo, with a B.A. from Connecticut College, M.A. from Rutgers University and M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Katie Codey will serve as Deputy Director of Policy. Ms. Codey has been serving as Policy Advisor to the Governor since 2013. Previously, she was a Senior Policy Analyst for the New York City Council, where she managed the Speaker’s economic development, workforce development and transportation policy portfolio. Ms. Codey also served as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Jose L. Linares in New Jersey. Ms. Codey earned an M.P.A. from the University of Georgia, a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.

Leslea Snyder has been appointed Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs. Ms. Snyder previously served as a Senior Manager of Public Policy & Government Affairs at Actavis, Plc and a Senior Manager for Public Policy & Government Affairs at Forest Laboratories. In 2009, she was elected a Trustee and Deputy Mayor of her hometown, The Village of Port Jerfferson in Suffolk County. She was also Assistant Director of the New York State Senate Higher Education Committee under Senator Kenneth LaValle before joining the Regional Community Outreach organization of the New York State Senate’s Long Island Delegation.

Terence O’Leary
has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Public Safety. Mr. O’Leary served as Director of the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement within the New York State Department of Health from 2011 through December, 2014. He served as a New York County Assistant District Attorney assigned to the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor from 2001 to 2011. He was named Senior Investigative Counsel in 2009. He has a B.A. from Loyola University Maryland and a J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law.

R. Nadine Fontaine, Esq., has been appointed Assistant Counsel to the Governor with a focus on Human Services. Ms. Fontaine joins the administration from Epiq Systems, Inc., where she most recently served as a Director. She was previously an associate at Cooper, Liebowitz, Royster & Wright, followed by Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, LLP, and then Kaye Scholer, LLP. Ms. Fontaine earned a B.A. degree from Stony Brook University and a J.D. from Pace University School of Law.

Julia Pinover Kupiec, Esq., has been appointed Assistant Counsel to the Governor with a focus on Housing. Ms. Pinover-Kupiec previously Disability Rights Advocates, where she most recently founded, developed the practice, and was in charge of all operations at Disability Rights Advocates New York. She joined the organization in 2005 as a summer associate, then became a David Boies Fellowship attorney, was then promoted to staff attorney and then to senior staff attorney. She received a B.A. from Dartmouth College, a J.D. from Georgetown University and an LL.M. from New York University.

Angela Sherrer, Esq., has been appointed Assistant Counsel to the Governor with a focus on Public Safety. Ms. Sherrer recently served as an attorney in the Office of Intelligence at the U.S. Department of Justice, National Security Division since 2010. She also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Florida, Associate Council at the New York State Division of Human Rights, and an Assistant District Attorney for the New York County District Attorney’s Office. She received a B.A. from Wellesley College and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Anna Adams-Sarthou has been appointed Deputy Press Secretary. Ms. Adams-Sarthou previously served as Regional Director of External Affairs at AT&T in New York City and was Deputy Chief of Staff & Director of Communications for State Senator Michael Gianaris. She held a number of positions in Governor David Paterson’s press office, culminating in Acting Press Secretary for the final months of his administration. Ms. Adams-Sarthou has a B.S. from New York University.

Sandy Castor has been appointed Program Associate for Transportation. Ms. Castor joins the administration from the District Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C. where she served as Director of Government and Legislative Affairs. In her role as she successfully lobbied the District's Legislators and secured $1.12B in funding for the District’s major Capital improvement projects. Previously she served as a Special Assistant to former Mayor of Washington, D.C., Adrian M. Fenty. She is also the Founder of Castor Consulting, a a political and government relations firm. She attended Carnegie Mellon University and has a B.S. from Fordham University as well as Certificates in Financial Planning and Program Management for Transit Professionals from Rutgers University.

The Governor will nominate the following six individuals for appointments, which appointments require confirmation by the New York State Senate: 

Howard Zemsky to serve as President and CEO of Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and Commissioner of Economic Development. Mr. Zemsky has co-chaired the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council during the past four years and has worked closely on the Governor’s Buffalo Billion initiative. His company, Larkin Development Group, is redeveloping the historic Larkin District in Buffalo. Zemsky has a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and an M.B.A from the University of Rochester.

Kenneth Adams
to serve as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. Mr. Adams previously served as President, CEO & Commissioner of Empire State Development since 2011 and was President & CEO of The Business Council of New York State, from 2006 to 2011. Prior to leading the Business Council, he was President of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and was the founding Executive Director of New York Cares. 

Carol Robles-Román, Esq., to serve on the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY). Ms. Robles-Romàn is the President and CEO of Legal Momentum -The Women's Legal and Defense and Education Fund, the oldest national nonprofit legal organization dedicated to advancing the rights of women and girls. She previously served as Deputy Mayor for Legal Affairs and Counsel to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. She has a B.A. from Fordham University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. 

Joanie Mahoney, Esq., to serve as Chair of the Board of the State Thruway Authority. Ms. Mahoney is the first woman to serve as Onondaga County Executive, to which she was elected in 2007. She previously worked for five years as a criminal prosecutor in the District Attorney’s Office before being elected Councilor-at-Large in the City of Syracuse, where she served a four-year term. Ms. Mahoney graduated from Syracuse University’s School of Management and has a J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law.

Thomas Hoover to serve as Chairman of the State Athletic Commission. Mr. Hoover is a former professional basketball player, having played for the New York Knicks and the St. Louis Hawks from 1963 to 1967. He then played with the Denver Rockets, Houston Mavericks, Minnesota Pipers and New York Nets. Since his basketball career, Mr. Hoover ran an unemployment program for teenagers and ran the Adopt-A-School program in New York City. 

Hilda Rosario Escher to serve as member of the Board of the Urban Development Corporation. She currently serves as President and CEO of Ibero-American Action League, where she has held a number of positions since joining the organization in 1979. She previously served as District Director of Bershire Farms Services for Youth and was Director of Residential Services at Continuing Developmental Services, all of which are based in Rochester. Ms. Escher has a B.S. from the University of Puerto Rico and received her certification on Non Profit Leadership from Roberts Wesleyan College.


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NYPPL Blogger Harvey Randall served as Principal Attorney, New York State Department of Civil Service; Director of Personnel, SUNY Central Administration; Director of Research, Governor’s Office of Employee Relations; and Staff Judge Advocate General, New York Guard. Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material posted to this blog is presented with the understanding that neither the publisher nor NYPPL and, or, its staff and contributors are providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is urged to seek such advice from a knowledgeable professional.
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