Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the state Senate unanimously confirmed the appointment of Mark D. Gearan as Chair of the New York State Gaming Commission, which regulates all aspects of gaming and gambling activity in the state, including the development of casinos in Upstate New York.
Chairman Gearan is the president of Hobart and Williams Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y., a position he has served for the past 15 years. Prior to that, he led the Peace Corps and served as Assistant to the President, Director of Communications and Deputy Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton.
I am pleased to welcome Mark Gearan, a proven leader with years of management experience in the public and private sectors, to serve as Chair of the Gaming Commission, Governor Cuomo said. Casino gaming holds the potential to create thousands of new jobs in Upstate New York, while providing millions of dollars to schools and local governments statewide. Marks decades of public service and great work leading Hobart and William Smith Colleges will be of tremendous value in this new role , and I thank him for taking the time to serve on the Gaming Commission.
I am honored to take on this important role that will help shepherd much-needed economic development throughout New York State, said Chairman Gearan. I thank Governor Cuomo for his consideration of this appointment, as well as the Senate for its prompt confirmation. My colleagues and I have a great deal of work to do and I am eager to get started.
With the Senates confirmation of Chairman Gearan now complete, the Gaming Commission will hold its next meeting on March 12 to undertake several important items, including the appointment of members for the Gaming Facility Location Board and the adoption of equine drug rules to bring uniformity to the horse racing industry.
In addition to his roles as president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, director of the Peace Corps and senior advisor to President Clinton, Chairman Gearan (5-year term expiring January 31, 2019) has held numerous leadership roles in public service, including multiple higher education committees and organizations with international reach.
Chairman Gearan is an appointee of the Bipartisan Policy Centers Commission on Political Reform, which focuses on policy recommendations on electoral system reform, congressional reform and encouragement of greater public service. He is a former member of the White House Council for Community Solutions, a group of cross-sector leaders appointed by President Barack Obama to recommend collaborative solutions to increase civic engagement. As the chair of the Talloires Network Steering Committee, an international association of more than 200 institutions on six continents committed to strengthening the civic roles and social responsibilities of higher education, he has fostered a global culture of service.
Chairman Gearan resides in Geneva, where he serves on the advisory councils of the Happiness House Foundation, Ontario ARC and the Geneva Community Center. A native of Gardner, Mass., Chairman Gearan earned his B.A. in government cum laude at Harvard University and his law degree at Georgetown University. He is the recipient of 12 honorary degrees.
The New York State Gaming Commissions regulatory role includes oversight of all horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering, class III Indian gaming, video lottery terminal facilities at race tracks, the state lottery, charitable gaming and upcoming commercial gaming.
Chairman Gearan joins members John A. Crotty, John J. Poklemba, Barry Sample and Todd R. Snyder to round out the Governors five appointments to the Commission.