Administration and Legislative Appointments

Staff Contact: Ken Pokalsky

Executive Chamber - Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Richard Bamberger, Director of Communications
Bamberger held the same position in the attorney general’s office. He is a former managing editor for the television show, “Inside Edition,” and for WCBS-TV in New York.

Ellen Nachtigall Biben, Inspector General
She handled government corruption cases for Mr. Cuomo as special deputy attorney general for public integrity. She spent more than a decade as a prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office. (News release)

Adam Cohen, Special Policy Adviser
A member of The New York Times editorial board from 2002-2010, Cohen has worked as both a journalist and a lawyer, including work as a law fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center. (News release)

James Cox, Medicaid Inspector General
For 23 years, Mr. Cox has worked in the U.S. Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General’s Office of Audit Services. He served most recently as Regional Inspector General for Region V, which consists of six Midwestern states. In this role he coordinated national and regional audits for Medicare and Medicaid, and helped create a joint Department of Justice and Health and Human Services task force to combat waste, fraud and abuse in government programs. (News release)

Jeremy Creelan, Special Counsel for Public Integrity and Ethics Reform
A partner with Jenner & Block LLP. Formerly served as deputy director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, where he worked on election law and campaign finance reform, and published a comprehensive analysis of the legislative process in the state Legislature. (News release)

Mylan Denerstein, Counsel to the Governor
Denerstein has served as the Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice. Denerstein served as the Deputy Fire Commissioner for Legal Affairs for the New York City Fire Department, the largest municipal fire department in the country. (News release)

Leecia Eve, Deputy Secretary for Economic Development
Ms. Eve most recently served as Vice President for Policy of the No Limits Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that promotes economic issues at home and abroad and advocates transforming American foreign policy around the world, including advancing the rights of women. She is a former partner at Hodgson Russ, Western New York's largest law firm. She served as a judicial clerk to the New York State Court of Appeals Judge Fritz W. Alexander II, Judiciary Committee Counsel to then-Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr., and as Senate Counsel to then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. (News release)

Paul Francis, Director of Agency Redesign and Efficiency
The most prominent aide to former Gov. Eliot Spitzer hired by Mr. Cuomo, Mr. Francis has waded into the trenches of the state bureaucracy as budget director and then director of state operations. He was a senior executive for Bloomberg L.P. (News release)

Howard B. Glaser, Director of State Operations and Senior Policy Adviser
Served as a senior adviser to Mario Cuomo; held several senior advisory positions during Andrew Cuomo's term as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. (News release)

Elizabeth Glazer, Deputy Secretary for Public Safety
Previously served as the Chair of the New York State Juvenile Justice Advisory Group. Served in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, successively as the Chief of Organized Crime, Violent Gangs and Crime Control Strategies sections. Subsequently, she was the First Deputy Commissioner in New York City’s Department of Investigation, the city agency charged with investigating corruption and fraud. She then served as First Deputy District Attorney in Westchester County, and as Special Counsel to the New York Attorney General. (News release)

Benjamin Lawsky, Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services
He served as deputy counselor and special assistant to Mr. Cuomo in the attorney general’s office and was also the chief lawyer for Mr. Cuomo’s campaign for governor. He has also been a federal prosecutor in Manhattan and chief counsel to Senator Charles E. Schumer. (News release)

Judge Leslie G. Leach, Appointment Secretary
He has served as an executive deputy attorney general and also was a judge on the State Supreme Court in Queens. (News release)

Jim Malatras, Deputy Secretary for Policy Management
Malatras will move over from the attorney general's office to take the job; he holds a doctorate in political science from the University at Albany. (News release)

Joseph Percoco, Executive Deputy Secretary to the Governor
Recently served as the Campaign Manager for Andrew Cuomo 2010. Prior to joining the campaign, he was Special Counsel to the Attorney General. In the private sector, Mr. Percoco was a Managing Attorney at KPMG LLP. From 1999-2001, and was Special Assistant to the Secretary of  U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (News release)

Sabrina M. Ty, Deputy Secretary of Legislative Affairs
Ms. Ty is a seasoned policy hand who knows the Legislature well, having worked in the Assembly for 15 years. She was a top aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a role that put her at the forefront of the annual budget negotiations. (News release)

Larry Schwartz, Secretary to the Governor
Since January 1, 2011, Larry Schwartz has served as Senior Advisor to Governor Cuomo. Among other responsibilities, Mr. Schwartz was the principal negotiator of the 2011-12 budget, and was critical in the drafting and negotiating several major pieces of legislation, including the ethics law, property tax cap and NYSUNY 2020. Mr. Schwartz also serves as chair of the Governor's mandate relief commission. Prior to joining the Cuomo Administration, Mr. Schwartz served as Secretary to Governor David Paterson. (News release)

Josh Vlasto, Deputy Communications Director
Previously served as Press Secretary and Spokesman for Cuomo 2010 and for the Cuomo-Duffy Transition Committee. Prior to joining Cuomo 2010, Mr. Vlasto worked for U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. (News release)

Drew Zambelli, Counselor to the Governor
A veteran of Albany, Mr. Zambelli was secretary to former Gov. Mario M. Cuomo from 1991 to 1994. Known as Drew, he was the younger Mr. Cuomo’s campaign pollster and is expected to take a leading role in the new governor’s communications effort. (News release)

Agencies - Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Kenneth Adams, Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development
President and CEO of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC)
Kenneth Adams has been President and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, the state's leading business association, since 2006. Prior to The Business Council, Mr. Adams was President of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and Director of the MetroTech Business Improvement District in Downtown Brooklyn. Kenneth was also the founding Executive Director of New York Cares, New York City's leading volunteer organization, from 1988 to 1994. (News release)

Darrel J. Aubertine, Commissioner, Department of Agriculture and Markets
Mr. Aubertine recently served as State Senator of the 48th District in Central and Northern New York, and was chair of both the Senate Agriculture Committee and the Rural Resources Commission, and the ranking majority member and vice chair of the Energy & Telecommunications Committee.  Previously, he was in the Assembly for five years, and was a member of the Jefferson County Legislature. He also owns and operates the Triple-A Farm in Cape Vincent. 

Joseph D'Amico, Superintendent, State Police
A former New York City deputy police chief, Mr. D’Amico was chief investigator for the attorney general’s office. His appointment puts a trusted aide in charge of an agency whose reputation Mr. Cuomo has said he wanted to improve. (News release)

Yomika S. Bennett, Assistant Secretary of Transportation
Ms. Bennett currently serves as the Director of State and Local Relations at the New York State Department of Transportation. Prior to joining the NYSDOT in 2007, Ms. Bennett served as Executive Director for the office of Assemblyman David Gantt. (News release)

RoAnn Destito, Commissioner of the New York State Office of General Services (OGS)
Destito currently serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Governmental Operations which includes legislative oversight of OGS. She has represented the people of the 116th Assembly District since 1992. During her time in office, Assemblywoman Destito has worked to advance Minority and Women owned Business Enterprises and promoted legislation strengthening ethics and lobbying laws. She has championed open government initiatives and worked to support New York military families. In addition, she was an integral part of the team that convinced the Federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission to keep the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome intact, saving almost 1,000 jobs. (News release)

Matthew J. Driscoll, President and CEO of the Environmental Facilities Corporation
Prior to his appointment in 2008, Mr. Driscoll was the Mayor of Syracuse where he spearheaded multiple environmental, energy and sustainability initiatives and made the City of Syracuse the first city in the country to offer every student who graduates with a Regents diploma free college tuition. From 1998-2001, he was the President of the Common Council. (News release)

Fernando Ferrer, Member of the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Mr. Ferrer was the Bronx Borough President from 1987-2001 and a New York City Mayoral candidate in 2001 and 2005. In addition, he was a member of the New York City Council from 1982 to 1987. (News release)

Barbara Fiala, Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles
Fiala has worked in public service for 40 years. She is currently the first female County Executive of Broome County. In addition, Executive Fiala is a board member of the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC), President of the New York State Association of County Executives and also serves on the County Executives of America Board. She is Vice Chair of the Broome County Industrial Development Agency Board and was appointed in 2008 as a Committee Member of the National Association of Counties; Community and Economic Development Steering Committee. (News release)

Brian Fischer, Commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services
A position that he has held since his confirmation in 2007. Prior to his appointment, Commissioner Fischer was one of nine Supervising Superintendents with responsibility for the management of six correctional facilities in addition to being the Superintendent of Sing Sing Correctional Facility from 2000-2007. (News release)

Rose Harvey, Commissioner of Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic
Currently, Ms. Harvey is a senior fellow at the Jonathan Rose Companies, where she acts as an advisor and researcher on parks and open space issues, and launched a non-profit organization to fund, design and develop safe, well-managed parks in urban neighborhoods. She was also recently a McCluskey Fellow and Lecturer at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. For 27 years, Ms. Harvey held multiple leadership positions with The Trust for Public Land, most recently as Senior Vice President and National Director of Urban Programs. (News release)

Jason Helgerson, Medicaid Director of the Department of Health
Former Medicaid Director in Wisconsin, who worked on a Medicaid redesign and he is responsible for designing the exercise. (State of the State address)

Dr. Michael Hogan will be reappointed Commissioner of the Office of Mental Health, a position that he has held since his confirmation in 2007. Dr. Hogan served as Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health from 1991-2007, and Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health from 1987-1991. He chaired the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health in 2002-2003, and was appointed as the first behavioral health representative on the board of The Joint Commission in 2007. (News release)

Joseph Martens, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation
Has been President of the Open Space Institute since 1998. Previously, Mr. Martens served as Deputy Secretary to the Governor for Energy and the Environment from 1992-94 and before that Assistant Secretary from 1990-92. He also chairs the Olympic Regional Development Authority. (News release)

Thomas Mattox, Commissioner of Taxation and Finance (requires Senate confirmation)
Previously worked at Goldman Sachs & Co. for nine years, where he served as a Managing Director in the Finance Division, and Chief of Staff in both the Controllers, and Finance and Resources Divisions. (News release)

Joan McDonald , Commissioner of the State Department of Transportation.
Currently serving as the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development. In May, 2008, she was appointed Chair of Connecticut Innovations, an authority providing development capital to emerging businesses. From 2003-2007, she was the Senior Vice President of Transportation for the New York City Economic Development Corporation. (News release)

John T. Milgrim, Deputy Inspector General for Public Affairs
Mr. Milgrim has most recently been serving as the Governor's Director of Special Projects. He previously served as press secretary throughout the administration of then-Attorney General Cuomo. Previously, Mr. Milgrim worked for 15 years as an award-winning journalist for the Dow Jones Community Newspaper Group, the last six years of which were covering New York State government as a member of the Legislative Correspondents Association in the Capitol. (News release)

Cesar A. Perales, Secretary of State of New York.
Mr. Perales will also serve as a senior advisor for policy to the Governor.
Cesar A. Perales has a 50 year record as a dedicated public servant. As co-founder of the Latino Justice Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (Latino Justice PRLDEF), Mr. Perales served as its first Executive Director and returned later in his career to serve as its President and General Counsel. Mr. Perales has held numerous positions in both public and private sectors throughout his distinguished career (News release)

Juanita Scarlett, Executive Vice President of Strategy, Policy & Public Affairs, Empire State Development Corporation.
Throughout Juanita’s career, she has held vital roles in both government and public relations including Director of Intergovernmental and Community Affairs at the New York State Office of Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo and Executive Advisor for Public and Governmental Affairs at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Juanita began her career in public service as Press Officer to Governor Mario M. Cuomo.

Julie Shimer, Chair, Empire State Development Corporation
Shimer, Ph.D., CEO and President of Welch Allyn, in Skaneateles Falls, New York, is a nationally recognized leader in the computer networking and wireless communications industries. Dr. Shimer was named CEO in 2007 - becoming the first woman to hold this post in the 95-year history of the company. Dr. Shimer currently holds board positions with Welch Allyn, Netgear, the Engineering Information Foundation and Centerstate Corporation for Economic Opportunity. In addition, she is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Society for Women Engineers. Dr. Shimer holds masters and doctoral degrees in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University and a bachelor's degree in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. (News release

Dede Scozzafava, Deputy Secretary for Local Government at the Department of State
Previously served as a member of the New York State Assembly from 1999-2010, serving as Minority Leader, Pro Tempore from April 2009-December 2009. Previously, she was Mayor of the Village of Gouverneur from 1994-1998. In the private sector, Ms. Scozzafava spent 20 years working for Tucker Anthony/RBC Dain Rauscher as an investment advisor. (News release)

Dr. Nirav R. Shah, Commissioner, Department of Health
An assistant professor at NYU Langone Medical Center and an attending physician at Bellevue Hospital Center, Dr. Shah has focused much of his research on improving patient care.

Brian Stratton, Director of the New York State Canal Corporation
Currently, Stratton serves as the Mayor of the City of Schenectady. Prior to being elected Mayor in 2004, he was represented District 2 in the Schenectady County Legislature for two years. From 1992-2002, Mayor Stratton was a Schenectady City Council Member At-Large. In addition, he served as the Economic Development and Small Business Liaison to the New York State Senate Minority leader from 2000-2003. (News release)

Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner and C.E.O. of New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR)
Under the consolidation of New York state housing programs the Commissioner also serves as chief executive of the State’s major housing and community renewal agencies, including the Housing Finance Agency and State of New York Mortgage Agency. Since 1992, Assemblyman Towns has represented the 54th Assembly District in Brooklyn. (News release)

James J. Wrynn, Deputy Superintendent of Financial Services
Most recently, Mr. Wrynn was the Superintendent for the New York State Insurance Department. Prior to that, he spent 25 years as a trial attorney focusing in the areas of life, accident and health insurance, property and casualty insurance, general liability insurance, insurance coverage disputes, professional malpractice, and product liability. (News release)

State Comptroller - Thomas DiNapoli

Pete Grannis, First Deputy Comptroller
Grannis served as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) from January, 2007 until October of this year. (News release)

Mary Louise Mallick, Senior Policy Adviser

Attorney General - Eric Schneiderman

Christina Harvey, Director of Operations
Harvey joined Mr. Schneiderman's State Senate office in 2003, where she served as Chief of Staff, and later served as Executive Director of Schneiderman's Attorney General Transition Committee. (News release)

Neal Kwatra, Chief of Staff
Kwatra was selected by the New York State Democratic Party ticket, headed by now-Governor Andrew Cuomo, to serve as Executive Director of its coordinated campaign during the 2010 election cycle. (News release)

Martin J. Mack, Executive Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs
Served as deputy appointments secretary to Gov. Paterson; previously served as deputy secretary for intergovernmental affairs for both Gov. Paterson and Gov. Eliot Spitzer,  He was also deputy attorney general to Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for eight years, and mayor of the City of Cortland. (News release)

Shanti Nayak, Chief Operating Officer
Nayak served as Chief of Staff at the Roosevelt Institute. For nearly eight years, Ms. Nayak was Chief People Officer at the management consulting firm, Katzenbach Partners and later served as a Director at Booz & Company. (News release)

Kent T. Stauffer, State Counsel
Stauffer is an Executive Vice President at Chartis, Inc. Previously, Mr. Stauffer was a Senior Vice President and the Director of Litigation for JPMorgan Chase and its predecessor, Chase Manhattan. (News release)

Blake Zeff, Senior Advisor to the Attorney General
Zeff has served in senior positions in state and national public affairs for much of the last decade, most recently in key positions on the campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and as a top aide for U.S. Senator Charles Schumer on Capitol Hill. (News release)


Senate Majority Committee Chairs and Assignments

Senate Minority Committee Chairs and Assignments


Assembly Minority Leadership and Ranking Committee Assignments

James Yates, Counsel to the Speaker
Judge Yates currently serves as a New York State Supreme Court Justice in New York County. He was first appointed to the bench as a Court of Claims Judge by Governor Mario Cuomo in 1992 and was subsequently elected to the New York State Supreme Court in 1997. Previously, he served as Counsel to the Majority and Legislative Counsel to former Assembly Speaker Mel Miller from 1986 to 1992. (News release).