Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the following appointments to his administration, adding to a team committed to implementing his bold agenda.
"This administration has forged a bold progressive agenda, uplifting the middle class and providing greater opportunities for all New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo said. "These new additions will strengthen our team and bring new ideas and talent to strengthen our team, and I look forward to working together to continue to move New York forward."
Maria Comella has been appointed Chief of Staff. Ms. Comella is a strategic communications advisor with 15 years of experience directing sophisticated, integrated marketing campaigns in issues and branding to globally recognized leaders in politics, government and business. She has extensive experience working with senior level government officials. Beginning in 2010, Ms. Comella worked for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as deputy chief of staff for communications and strategic planning and served as Christie's chief messaging officer for his official presidential campaign. Ms. Comella has also served senior roles on the 2004 presidential reelection campaign of George W. Bush and the 2008 campaigns of New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Senator John McCain. She has also advised top corporate and nonprofit clients, including Human Rights First, the Ford Motor Company and worked on clean water issue campaigns. Ms. Comella is a graduate of the George Washington University.
Roger Parrino has been appointed Commissioner of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. Mr. Parrino has more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement and public safety, serving in the New York Police Department for over 20 years, where he was promoted to Commanding Officer, Detective Squad and performed as a Hostage Negotiator. Mr. Parrino most recently served as Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Homeland Security, providing expertise on national security, counterterrorism, law enforcement, and crisis management. Mr. Parrino has also served as a Senior Policy Advisor of Counterterrorism to the Under Secretary of Intelligence and Analysis. Mr. Parrino holds a B.A. from SUNY Albany.
Robert Williams has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Gaming. Mr. Williams most recently served as Executive Director of the New York State Gaming Commission. Previously, Mr. Williams served as the Assistant Counsel for the New York State Racing and Wagering Board and the Acting Director of the New York Lottery. He presently also serves as Chairman of the New York State Franchise Oversight Board. Mr. Williams also previously served as Special Assistant Counsel in the Executive Chamber. Prior, Mr. Williams served as Counsel to the New York State Task Force on Casino Gambling and 5as Executive Director of the New York State Committee on the Future of Racing. Mr. Williams attended Arizona State University and is a graduate of the University of Dayton and University of Pittsburgh.
Robert H. Samson has been appointed Chief Information Officer at the New York State Office of Information Technology Services. Mr. Samson previously worked for IBM for 36 years, including serving as the Vice President of the Worldwide Systems and Technology Group and the General Manager of IBM's Global Public Sector. Mr. Samson received a lifetime achievement award from Government VAR magazine and been named one of the 100 most influential people in the technology industry. He is the member of the SUNY Center for Technology in Government Advisory Board and the New York State SAGE Commission. Mr. Samson is a graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh.
Kelli Owens has been appointed Director of Women's Affairs. Most Recently, Kelli Owens held the position of Legislative Affairs Coordinator at the Office of Children and Family Services. Prior to joining the administration, Ms. Owens was the Vice President of External Affairs for Family Planning Advocates/Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York. Earlier in her career, she was Congressional Staff Assistant to then U.S. Congressman Sherwood Boehlert. Ms. Owens has also served as Human Services Coordinator for the Office of the Oneida County Executive and Director of Operations for New York State Senator Raymond Meier. She also served as Regional Administrator for the New York State Department of Labor’s Central New York and the Mohawk Valley. Ms. Owens received her B.A. of Political Science from Utica College of Syracuse University and has done graduate work at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
Noah Rayman has been appointed Speechwriter for the Executive Chamber. Most recently, Mr. Rayman was a speechwriter for the CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. Government foreign aid agency. Prior to that, he was a writer at TIME Magazine focusing on international affairs. Mr. Rayman has written for Bloomberg News, the Daily Beast, and local newspapers in the Middle East. He received an A.B. from Harvard University, where he was the Associate Managing Editor for the school’s paper, The Harvard Crimson.
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