Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced seven appointments to his administration, adding to a team committed to implementing his bold agenda.
“Each of these individuals have proven their dedication to public service and will help our administration continue to expand opportunity for all New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “Their talents and years of experience will help us keep the Empire State moving forward, and I welcome them to their roles.”
Jamie Rubin has been appointed as the Commissioner of Homes and Community Renewal. Currently, Mr. Rubin is the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, which was created by Governor Cuomo in August 2013 to oversee New York State’s recovery from storms Sandy, Irene and Lee. The Office of Storm Recovery manages New York State’s $4.4 billion Community Development Block Grant allocation and co-manages the state’s $1.2 billion Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which awards federal funding for storm-related capital projects statewide. Previously, Jamie served as Senior Advisor to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and New York State Director of the President’s Hurricane Sandy Recovery and Rebuilding Task Force. He was also a Non Resident Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, working with cities including Buffalo and Detroit to identify and implement innovative economic development strategies. Mr. Rubin spent 14 years as an investment banker and private equity investor. He is a 1993 graduate of Yale Law School and lives with his family in New York City.
Byron W. Brown has been nominated to serve as a Trustee of the State University of New York Board of Trustees. He is currently the Mayor of the City of Buffalo, re-elected to a third term after a landslide victory in 2012. Since taking office, Mayor Brown has championed the renaissance that is taking place throughout Buffalo, where over $5 billion in new economic development activity is currently underway, which is expected to result in the creation of over 12,000 jobs. His extensive career in public service is marked with many historic achievements, including the first African-American Mayor of Buffalo and the first African-American elected to the State Senate outside of New York City. He is presently on the Governor’s New York Works Task Force, the Wage Board and the Governor's Regional Economic Development Council in Western New York.
Sam Roberts has been nominated to serve as Commissioner of the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Mr. Roberts currently serves as a member of the New York State Assembly, to which he was first elected in 2010 and represents parts of the City of Syracuse and the Towns of DeWitt, Onondaga and Salina. He is Chair of the Task Force on University-Industry Cooperation and a member of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus. Prior to becoming an Assemblymember, he served at the Office of General Services as Superintendent of the Senator Hughes State Office building in Syracuse, New York. Prior to this, he was an Onondaga County Legislator while also working as a journeyman tool and die maker at General Motors. He is a member of the United Auto Workers Union and was elected Recording Secretary of UAW Local Union #465 and Chair of Local Union #854’s Education and Civil Rights Committees. Mr. Roberts has a B.S. from Empire State College, two Associate Degrees from Onondaga Community College and certificates in Labor Studies from Cornell University. This nomination will require Senate confirmation; once confirmed, Mr. Roberts will transition out of the Assembly in order to assume his new role.
Steve Cohen has been nominated as Commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Mr. Cohen has broad experience in both public service and private law practice, having previously served as Secretary to Governor Cuomo and the Governor's Counselor and Chief of Staff when in the Office of the New York Attorney General. Prior, he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where he prosecuted criminal organizations. Currently, Mr. Cohen is Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated. Mr. Cohen holds a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a B.A. from New York University.
Otis Cruse has been nominated to serve on the State Board of Parole. Mr. Cruse has extensive experience within the field of criminal justice, serving in various roles at the New York State Office of Children and Family Services and most recently as a parole officer at the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision in the Special Offenders Unit monitoring registered sex offenders and mental health cases. He holds a Master's Degree in Special Education and a B.A. in English from the City College of New York, and is a graduate of the PEF/Governor's Office of Employee Relations 2014-15 Leadership Program.
Peter Harckham has been appointed Assistant Director of the Office of Community Renewal at the Office of Homes and Community Renewal. Mr. Harckham has a varied background, most recently serving on the Westchester County Board of Legislators for eight years. In his second term, he was voted to the position of Majority Leader, and also served on committees focused on housing, planning, and the environment. Previously, Mr. Harckham worked in media and media planning and served as president at an affordable housing not-for-profit.
Mark Weprin will be appointed Deputy Secretary of Legislative Affairs. Mr. Weprin most recently served on the New York City Council, where he was elected to chair the Queens Council Delegation. Previously, he also served as a member of the New York State Assembly for 15 years, where he represented 120,000 constituents in his district of Queens and served on many committees. He holds a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and a B.A. from the SUNY's University at Albany.
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