Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced thirteen appointments to his administration, adding to a team committed to implementing his bold agenda.
“These individuals are well accomplished and will bring a wealth of experience and insight to their new roles," Governor Cuomo said. “I thank them for joining this administration in its work to move New York forward.”
Jen McCormick has been appointed First Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Markets. Ms. McCormick previously served as Interim Executive Deputy Director of the Thruway Authority/Canal Corporation and, prior, as Assistant Deputy Director of State Operations for Governor Cuomo, aiding in the development of implementation strategies for the Governor’s initiatives. Before this role, she was Deputy Commissioner in the Division of Business Advocacy and Research for Empire State Development. She also served as Director of the Office of Budget Studies for New York State Comptroller from 2005 to 2007 and was Secretary to the State Senate Finance Committee for the Minority. Ms. McCormick has a B.A. from SUNY Empire State College and an M.P.A. from the University at Albany.
Linda Lacewell has been appointed as New York State's first Chief Risk Officer. She will design and oversee an enterprise risk management system for state agencies and authorities. Since January, Ms. Lacewell has been building and implementing the first statewide system for ethics, risk and compliance in agencies and authorities, with over a dozen agencies and authorities participating to date. This system will now operate under her as Chief Risk Officer, with the Special Counsels for Ethics, Risk, and Compliance continuing to report to her. Ms. Lacewell will continue her advisory role in the Executive Chamber as Counselor to the Governor. Ms. Lacewell was formerly Special Counsel to the Governor, as well as the architect of OpenNY, a state-of-the-art open data initiative. She 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.
Camille Joseph Varlack has been appointed Special Counsel to the Superintendent for Ethics, Risk and Compliance for the Department of Financial Services. Ms. Varlack formerly served as a Principal Law Clerk for the New York State Supreme Court and, prior, Assistant Vice President and Counsel at AXA Financial, Inc. Earlier in her career, she was an Assistant District Attorney for the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, Legal Assistant in the Law Department of News Corporation and an Investigative Assistant for the New York State Attorney General. Ms. Varlack has a B.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.
Maureen Coleman has been recommended to serve as General Counsel for the Environmental Facilities Corporation. This recommendation requires approval by the Environmental Facilities Corporation Board. Ms. Coleman previously served as Assistant Counsel to the Governor, focusing on energy and environment, where she advised the Governor and policy staff on legal matters related to the environment, agriculture and energy. Prior to this role, she held a number of roles at the Department of Environmental Conservation, where she served for 13 years, beginning as an Assistant Legislative Counsel and culminating in Bureau Chief of Water and Natural Resources for the Department’s Office of General Counsel. She was also Vice President of Law and Regulation and Assistant Secretary of Seligman Investment Companies at J.W. Seligman & Co. Incorporated. Ms. Coleman has a B.A. from College of Saint Rose, a joint M.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and Baruch College, and a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.
Geraldine Reilly has been appointed to serve as Chair of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board, of which she is currently a member. Ms. Reilly previously served as Chief of Staff and Counsel to Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan and, prior, was part of the program and counsel staff for the New York State Assembly. She has held a number of labor-related positions, including Labor Relations Liaison for New York State Electric and Gas, Manager of Labor Relations for the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority and Labor Relations Specialist for the New Jersey Transit Rail Operation. Ms. Reilly has a B.A. from Brooklyn College and a J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law.
Randall T. Douglas has been appointed to serve on the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board. Mr. Douglas is currently serving an unprecedented sixth term as Essex County Chairman of the Board of Supervisors and 12th year as Town of Jay Supervisor, during which he continues to lead both municipalities through the biggest disaster and recovery efforts in their history following Hurricane Irene in 2011. He also serves as President-Elect of the New York State Association of Counties, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages and sits on the resolutions committee for the New York State Association of Towns. He previously served in the Maintenance Department at the Adirondack Correctional Facility in Ray Brook, NY, where he supervised inmate maintenance crews. He was also Vice Chair of the Essex County Democratic Party, a liaison to the Staten Island/Sandy Victims Property Acquisition Committee and a Board Member of the North Country United Way. He studied criminal justice at Clinton Community College and attended the Dennis A. Pelletier County Government Institute.
Tracy McKibben has been nominated as Trustee of the New York Power Authority. Ms. McKibben is currently the Founder and President of MAC Energy Advisors LLC., a consulting company that assists clients on alternative energy, renewable energy, water and clean technology investments. Previously, she was Managing Director and Head of Environmental Banking Strategy for Citigroup Global Markets, and served on the National Security Council at The White House as Director of European Economic Affairs and European Union Relations, as well as various senior advisory roles within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Ms. McKibben holds a B.A. from West Virginia State University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Michael Fascitelli has been nominated as a Commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Mr. Fascitelli is the Founder of MDF Capital LLC, previously serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of Vornado Realty Trust as well as President of Alexander’s Inc. Mr. Fascitelli continues to serve as a Trustee of Vornado Realty Trust. Prior to joining Vornado, he was a Partner at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Currently, he is a Trustee of Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust, as well as a Board Member at Child Mind Institute, Rockefeller University and Urban Land Institute. Mr. Fascitelli holds an MBA, with highest distinction, from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering, Summa Cum Laude, from the University of Rhode Island.
Andrew Stone has been nominated as a Director of the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation (Javits). Mr. Stone is currently the Managing Partner and CEO of Petra Capital Management, and he has been involved in all phases of the firm’s development since its founding. Prior to founding Petra, Mr. Stone was a Managing Director and head of the Principal Transactions Group (“PTG”) at Credit Suisse First Boston where he was responsible for the firm’s worldwide real estate effort, including debt origination, equity investments and securitization. Prior to CSFB, Mr. Stone was Senior Managing Director in charge of the Mortgage, Asset- Backed and Real Estate Securities Group at Daiwa Securities America. Mr. Stone founded the department and was responsible for managing the origination, trading, structuring and sales of all mortgage and asset-backed securities. Prior to Daiwa, Mr. Stone was Managing Director and head of the Mortgage and Asset-Backed Group at Prudential Bache. Mr. Stone received his B.S. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with dual majors in finance and entrepreneurial management and his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago with a double concentration in finance and marketing.
Hamilton "Tony" James has been nominated as a Commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Mr. James is currently the President and Chief Operating Officer of The Blackstone Group. Prior to joining Blackstone, Mr. James was Chairman of Global Investment Banking and Private Equity at Credit Suisse First Boston, and Chairman of the Banking Group at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. He is a Director of Costco Wholesale Corporation, is a former member of the President's Export Council – Subcommittee on Technology and Competitiveness, and serves as a trustee at many organizations including the Second Stage Theatre, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Woods Hole Oceanographic, the Wildlife Conservation Society. Mr. James holds his B.A. and M.B.A. from Harvard College and Harvard Business School.
Nicholas Melissinos will be appointed Special Counsel to the Commissioner for Ethics, Risk and Compliance at the Division of Human Rights. Currently, Mr. Melissinos is Assistant Corporation Counsel at the New York City Law Department's Special Federal Litigation Division, and prior, has held roles at private law firms. He volunteers for the LeGaL Foundation to provide guidance for LGBTQ participants and at the NYC Bar Association, where he is a member of the LGBT Rights Committee. Mr. Melissinos holds a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and a B.A. from George Washington University.
Michael Shollar will be appointed Special Counsel to the Commissioner for Ethics, Risk and Compliance at the Department of Taxation and Finance. For nearly ten years, Mr. Shollar served in the Richmond County District Attorney's Office as an Assistant District Attorney in the Investigations Bureau and the Appeals Bureau. He holds a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Rochester.
Kevin Hickey has been appointed Special Counsel to the Commissioner for Ethics, Risk and Compliance at the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Mr. Hickey currently serves as the Director of Litigation at the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, and has previously worked as Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the New York Attorney General as well as in private law firms. He holds a J.D. from Albany Law School and a B.S. from SUNY University at Albany.