Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the Senates approval of multiple appointments within the administration.
Since taking office, my administration has continued to bring the best and brightest individuals to serve New Yorkers, Governor Cuomo said. These men and women are true professionals in their respective fields, and I am confident that they will uphold the highest standard of public service. I offer them my congratulations on their confirmations by the Senate today and look forward to working with them to build a better New York.
Richard L. Kauffman will serve as the Chairman of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
Mr. Kauffman also serves as Governor Cuomos Chairman of Energy and Finance. Prior to this, Mr. Kauffman was a Senior Advisor to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Mr. Kauffmans experience also includes private sector management as a former Chief Executive Officer for Good Energies, Inc., a leading investor in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. He has been a partner at Goldman Sachs and a chair of the companys Global Financing Group, and was vice chairman of Morgan Stanleys Institutional Securities Business.
Leilani Crafts Ulrich will serve a second term as the Chairwoman of the Adirondack Park Agency.
Ms. Ulrich was first appointed to the APA Board in 2004. She chaired the Boards Regulatory Programs and Park Ecology committees before being nominated as the Agencys first Chairwoman by Governor Cuomo in November of 2011. Ms. Ulrich is a dedicated advocate for environmental issues, having previously studied responses to climate change, energy conservation and forestry management practices. Ms. Ulrich is is a past Board member of the Adirondack Community Housing Trust and served on the NYS delegation to the four-state Northern Forest Center's Sustainable Economies Initiative.
Jeffrey Wise will serve as the Executive Director of the new Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs.
Mr. Wise brings over 25 years of service in the public and not-for-profit sectors. Most recently, Mr. Wise served as president of the NYS Rehabilitation Association (NYSRA), a statewide trade association of community organizations providing support services to people with intellectual/developmental disabilities, mental health issues, and other disabilities. He has also served as a research attorney for the NYS Law Revision Commission, legislative coordinator for the Community Health Care Association of New York State, and as a senior policy analyst at the Manhattan-based Coalition for the Homeless.
Governor Cuomo also announced the confirmation of seven members of the New York State Parole Board. Those members are Tina Stanford, Gail Hallerdin, Julie Smith, Milton Johnson, Walter William Smith Jr., Sally Velasquez-Thompson, and Lisa Elovich.
Tina Stanford will serve as Chairwoman of the Parole Board. Most recently, Ms. Stanford served as Director of the New York State Office of Victim Services. She had been Chairwoman of the Crime Victims Board since June 2007. A native of Buffalo, Ms. Stanford served as an Erie County Assistant District Attorney for fourteen years. She worked in the Buffalo City Court, grand jury, domestic violence/sexual assault, felony trial and appeals bureaus. As a trial prosecutor, she worked directly with thousands of crime victims and their family members seeking justice for crimes ranging from theft to murder.
Gail Hallerdin will serve as a Parole Commissioner. Ms. Hallerdin most recently served as a Hearing Officer for New York State Office of Temporary Disability Assistance reviewing social service programs for local districts. Prior to that, Ms. Hallerdin functioned as a Managerial Staff Analyst for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reviewing and making recommended revisions to New York City Health Code provisions. She also served as Assistant Attorney General in the Buffalo Regional Office She is a native of Queens and received her Juris Doctor degree from University of Buffalo, School of Law.
Julie Smith will serve as a Parole Commissioner. Ms. Smith worked in the Genesee County Probation Department for 21 years and is currently the Director of the Department. Ms. Smith oversaw a department that provided supervision to approximately 700 adults and juvenile offenders. In addition to her knowledge and experience in felony offender supervision and treatment, she previously served as a caseworker for Genesee County Department of Social Services.
Milton Johnson will serve as a Parole Commissioner. Johnson served as a Special agent with the United State Drug Enforcement Administration and also as Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge for the United States Secret Service. As a supervisory criminal investigator, he developed strategic operations including protective security of the President and Foreign Dignitaries. He also conducted criminal and private sector investigations. He received his Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia State University. Johnson is a native of Queens, New York.
Walter William Smith Jr. was reappointed as Parole Board Commissioner. He has been with the New York State Board of Parole since 1996. Prior to his current position, he served as a senior investigator for the New York State Crime Victims Board.
Sally Velasquez-Thompson was reappointed as Parole Board Commissioner. She has been with the New York State Board of Parole since 2007. Her prior experience includes 20 years with the New York City Police Department as Detective and narcotics investigator.
Lisa Elovich was reappointed as Parole Board Commissioner. She has been with the New York State Board of Parole since 2007. She also served as an Administrative Law Judge for the New York State Office of Children and Family Services and a Deputy Attorney General for the New York State Attorney Generals Office with a focus on juvenile justice and crime prevention programs.