Fellowship created in honor of Ellen Kay Schwartz, a former aide to Governor Cuomo and lifelong public servant
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the creation of the Ellen Kay Schwartz Fellowship. Ms. Schwartz was a lifelong public servant dedicated to bettering the lives and communities of those around her. She served most recently as the Governor’s Assistant Executive Deputy Secretary.
"Ellen believed in the promise of public service – that when bright and hard-working people come together to serve their communities, they can change lives. She lived that example throughout her career, and I have no doubt that New York State is a better place today because of her," said Governor Cuomo." I was lucky to have known Ellen and called her a friend for so many years, and I am proud to honor her life and legacy in this way."
Ms. Schwartz was deeply committed to public service. She began her career at the Legal Aid Society, where she spent six years representing indigent defendants, before moving on to various positions in local government and law enforcement. Those included serving as Chief of the Internal Affairs Division for the Baltimore City Police Department, Assistant Deputy Commissioner for the New York City Police Department, and Inspector General in the New York City Department of Investigations.
She joined the Attorney General’s office in 2007 and served as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff to then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. There she was actively involved in the management of the office and greatly expanded the Volunteer Assistant Attorneys General program to promote opportunities for dynamic and motivated attorneys to serve in bureaus and regional offices around the state.
While working in the Governor’s office, Ms. Schwartz continued to encourage talented and diverse individuals to work in state government, and she both built and maintained strong relationships with leading colleges and universities in order to recruit recent graduates. She was instrumental in implementing the Center for Recruitment and Public Service, which helped modernize the state’s appointments process, and she oversaw the launch of the Excelsior Service Fellowship Program, which brings highly talented graduates of professional, graduate and law schools into government services.
Ms. Schwartz passed away in June of 2015, following a long and courageous battle with cancer. She is survived by her loving husband Ed, her children Sara and Matthew and their families, her mother Shirley, her brother Chuck, and many friends, loved ones and colleagues who were blessed to have known her.
The Ellen Kay Schwartz Fellow will have demonstrated a commitment to improving public health and human services and have a record of public service. The Fellow will have a strong academic record and will have shown the ability to overcome obstacles in life. The Fellow will be assigned to the Governor’s leadership policy and program team for health and human services in the Executive Chamber. Students interested in the Fellowship should apply through the Excelsior Fellowship channels and designate interest in the Ellen Kay Schwartz Fellowship.
The Excelsior Service Fellowship Program was created by Governor Cuomo in 2013. Fellows work at agencies throughout the Executive Branch, advancing the operational aspects of the Governor’s major policy initiatives. Fellows typically serve for a two year term, but highly qualified and dedicated individuals have continued with their respective agencies or gone on to new roles within state government. Governor Cuomo will welcome the full 2016-2018 class of Excelsior Fellows this September.
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