Governor Kathy Hochul today announced new administration appointments.
"As we make our comeback from the COVID-19 pandemic, I am committed to appointing the most dedicated and qualified public servants to work with me in delivering results and solving problems for New Yorkers," Governor Hochul said. "Tania Dissanayake, Marcos Gonzalez Soler, and James Katz bring a wealth and diversity of experience to my administration and I am proud to appoint them for the tremendous talent they will bring to bear in service to the people of New York State."
Tania Dissanayake has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Housing. Most recently, Tania served as Deputy Director for the City of New York Mayor's Office of State Legislative Affairs, where she acted as an advisor to its Director and Senior administrative officials on critical matters impacting New York City while assisting in overseeing the Office's Legislative Representatives and Senior Advisors. Tania joined the City in 2016 where she, in various capacities, managed a portfolio of as many as fifty City agencies and authorities. Principally, Tania advanced the state intergovernmental work of the Department of Housing Preservation & Development, New York City Housing Authority, Economic Development Corporation, Housing Development Corporation, Department of City Planning, Department of Finance, Department of Buildings, Fire Department of New York, and the Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement. Prior to City service, Tania was the Legislative Director for Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP and began her career in the New York State Senate. Tania graduated summa cum laude from SUNY University at Albany Honors College, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Political Science, Public Law Concentration.
Marcos Gonzalez Soler has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Public Safety. Most recently, Marcos served as director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) of the City of New York where he worked since 2015. MOCJ advises the Mayor on public safety strategy and, together with partners inside and outside government, develops solutions to the City's public safety problems. Marcos oversaw the office operations and programs with a $950 million budget, 180 employees, and partnerships with more than 300 community-based organizations and non-profits through more than 500 contracts. Under his leadership, the U.S. Department of the Treasury awarded New York City with a $20 million innovation award under the Social Impact Partnership to Pay for Results Act (SIPPRA) program - the second such national award - for its initiative to reduce gun violence through community-based interventions. He is also an adjunct assistant professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY). Before that, Marcos was the Deputy Executive Director for Policy at the Civilian Complaint Review Board and a Deputy Federal Monitor in the agreement for the sustainable reform of the Puerto Rico Police. He is a graduate of the New York City Leadership Institute and a recipient of the Mayor's Graduate Scholarship program. Marcos holds a Ph.D. in politics and Master's in public policy and management from The New School University (New York). He is the recipient of the Hannah Arendt Award for the best dissertation in politics. He holds graduate and law degrees from several European universities.
James Katz has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Workforce. He joins the Executive Chamber from the Office of the Manhattan Borough President, where he served as Deputy Borough President and led high profile land use negotiations, served as a trustee and Audit Chair of the New York City Employees' Retirement System, and represented the Borough President on the boards of many of the city's parks conservancies and Business Improvement Districts. Prior to joining the Borough President's Office, Katz was an Executive Vice President and the Chief of Staff at New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) for seven years. In that capacity, he was a senior officer of the corporation and played a central role in many of New York City's high profile land use, capital construction and economic development efforts. He was chiefly responsible for day-to-day management of NYCEDC's C-suite as well as four departments that included the Strategic Investments Group (NYCEDC's mission-driven investing arm) and its Government and Community Relations, Public Affairs, and Marketing departments. A lawyer by training, Katz is returning to State service after having previously served as a Senior Advisor and Special Counsel to the New York State Attorney General, where he worked on enforcement and legislative matters related to nonprofit governance and public integrity. Katz holds a JD from Harvard Law School, a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a bachelor's from Brown University. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.