Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the following appointments to his administration, adding to a team committed to implementing his bold agenda.
“From tuition-free college for the middle class to the nation’s boldest infrastructure agenda, our administration has an unprecedented record of success in fighting for greater social and economic opportunities for all,” Governor Cuomo said. “These additions bring new ideas and talent to strengthen our team and build on our accomplishments to work together to continue to move New York forward.”
Melissa DeRosa has been appointed Secretary to the Governor. She succeeds Bill Mulrow who departs the administration for the private sector.
Since April 2013, Ms. DeRosa has served as Communications Director, Strategic Advisor, and most recently Chief of Staff to the Governor. During her tenure, Ms. DeRosa has managed overall communications and press for the Executive Chamber and over 50 state agencies, political affairs, labor relations, and the administration’s strategic approach to enacting policy. She spearheaded the Governor’s campaigns to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, enact the nation’s strongest paid family leave program, and most recently to establish the ‘Excelsior Scholarship’, making New York the first state in the country to provide free public college tuition for middle and low-income families. Before joining the Governor’s office, Ms. DeRosa worked in the Attorney General’s Office as Deputy Chief of Staff and as Acting Chief of Staff. Ms. DeRosa led the office’s effort to negotiate and pass the country’s most aggressive prescription drug reform package, I-STOP (Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act). Prior to working for the Attorney General, Ms. DeRosa served as New York State Director of Organizing for America, President Obama’s national political action organization. Before joining OFA, Ms. DeRosa served as the Director of Communications and Legislation for Cordo and Company, an Albany based government affairs firm. She was also the Campaign Manager for Tracey Brooks for Congress, Deputy Press Secretary to Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, and Deputy Press Secretary for the successful NY State Transportation Bond Act Campaign in 2005. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial and Labor Relations and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, both from Cornell University. She has served on the executive board of the Women’s Leadership Forum Network of the Democratic National Committee.
Ms. DeRosa is the first woman to ever serve in the role of Secretary to the Governor.
Jill DesRosiers has been appointed Executive Deputy Secretary to the Governor. Since 2012, Ms. DesRosiers has served as Deputy Secretary for Executive Operations and previously Director of Scheduling for the Governor. Ms. DesRosiers will oversee the offices of Intergovernmental Affairs, Scheduling and Operations, Regional and Constituency Affairs, Special Events and Appointments. Ms. DesRosiers has held leadership positions in New York City and State level government for years. After getting a degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Systems Engineering, Ms. DesRosiers worked in senior positions for the New York City Council for 12 years under both Speakers Gifford Miller and Christine Quinn, where her responsibilities included community outreach and member services. She created CouncilStat, the first computerized tracking system for citywide constituent issues. She has also served as campaign manager, field director and GOTV director for over a dozen successful campaigns in New York State.
Adam Zurofsky has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Energy and Financial Services. Mr. Zurofksy comes to state service after serving as President & Founder of Touchstone Metrics, LLC, a business management consulting company in New York City. Prior, he was a Partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindell LLP, where he advised companies and boards on regulatory, governance and litigation matters. Mr. Zurofsky has taught as an Adjunct Professor and worked as a Program Leader and Fordham Law School and is a Board Member of the Brookings Institution, Governance Studies Leadership Council. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he graduated cum laude and earned a B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University.
Michael Schmidt has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Economic Development. Mr. Schmidt previously served on a team of policy advisors to Hillary Clinton at the Hillary for America campaign. In this role he led the development of Secretary Clinton’s economic agenda on a wide range of issues, including financial regulation, trade, infrastructure, housing, small business and economic development. Before joining the campaign, he worked in the Office of Domestic Finance at the U.S. Department of the Treasury where he supported the Obama Administration’s efforts to enhance the regulation of Wall Street after the 2008 financial crisis. Before working in government, Mr. Schmidt was a Senior Finance Analyst at the Yale Investments Office. He holds a J.D. and a B.A from Yale.
Ali Chaudhry has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Transportation after serving as Deputy Secretary for Economic Development. Before that, he was Assistant Counsel to Governor Cuomo for two years with a focus on transportation and economic development. He provided counsel on priority capital projects including the LaGuardia Airport redevelopment, the new Tappan Zee Bridge, the Second Avenue Subway, the MTA Capital Plan, the DOT Capital Plan, the Empire Station Complex, the Broadband Initiative, and the expansion of the Javits Convention Center. Mr. Chaudhry has also served as counsel on various economic development projects across the State, as well as alternative project delivery procurement. Prior to joining the Executive Chamber, Mr. Chaudhry served as Assistant Counsel in the New York State Senate, where he was counsel to several legislative committees over the course of three years. Before joining public service, Mr. Chaudhry practiced civil litigation in the private sector, focusing on employment matters.
Adam W. Silverman has been appointed Assistant Counsel to the Governor for Public Safety. Most recently, Mr. Silverman served as Special Counsel to the Commissioner for Ethics, Risk and Compliance at the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. Prior, he was an Associate Attorney in the litigation department of an international law firm. There, he focused his practice on complex government and commercial matters for clients ranging in size from small business owners to Fortune 500 corporations. Mr. Silverman also served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the New York State Attorney General, representing the State and its employees in both state and federal courts. He holds a J.D. from Albany Law School and a B.A. in Psychology, with a minor in Criminal Justice, from The George Washington University.
Tanisha Edwards has been appointed Assistant Counsel to the Governor for Taxation and Finance. She has over ten years of legal experience working in government. Most recently, she served as Chief Counsel in the finance division of the New York City Council where she advised the Council Speaker, Finance Committee Chairperson, and City Council Members on legislation and legal and policy issues related to the budget of New York City. While serving as Chief Counsel to the Finance Division, she also served as Counsel to the Finance Committee. Prior to working with the City Council, she served as the Legislative Counsel at the Office of the New York City Comptroller. She earned a J.D. from Rutgers University Law School and a B.A. in Psychology from Syracuse University.
Rajiv Shah has been appointed Assistant Secretary for the Environment after serving as Senior Policy Advisor for the Environment. Prior to joining the Executive Chamber, Mr. Shah joined the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as an Empire State Fellow and served in dual roles as a Special Assistant to the Commissioner and Counsel to the Bureau of General Enforcement. Prior to working at DEC, Mr. Shah served as Assistant Attorney General in the New York State Office of the Attorney General. He also clerked for the Honorable Eileen Nadelson in the Kings County Civil Court and for the Honorable Laura Taylor Swain in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District. Mr. Shah earned his J.D. from Fordham University and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Megan Baldwin has been appointed Assistant Secretary for Health. Ms. Baldwin most recently held multiple roles within the New York State Senate Finance Committee, including Principal Analyst for the Republican Conference, where she led budget negotiations on behalf of the Senate Majority. She also served as a Senior Analyst and Associate Analyst for the Democratic Conference, where she provided Senate Majority Members with research and recommendations concerning budget proposals for DOH, OCFS and OTDA. She also has experience working in the Office of the New York State Comptroller. She received an M.B.A. from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Business Administration from SUNY College at Brockport.
Natacha Carbajal-Evangelista has been appointed Assistant Secretary for Labor and Workforce. Ms. Carbajal-Evangelista most recently served as the Special Counsel for Ethics, Risk and Compliance to the Commissioner for the New York State Department of Labor. Prior to government service, Ms. Carbajal-Evangelista was a senior associate at Baker & Hostetler LLP. She also served as a Judicial Law Clerk for the United States Bankruptcy Courts of the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. Ms. Carbajal-Evangelista has received several awards for her provision of pro bono legal services to victims of domestic violence including the 2015 John Geiger Award from Her Justice and the 2013 Champion of Justice Award from the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project and T.D. Bank. She holds a B.S. from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and a J.D. from Fordham University.
Daniel Fuller has been appointed Assistant Secretary for Education after serving as Education Policy Advisor. Previously, Mr. Fuller served as Vice President of Legislative Relations at Communities in Schools. He was also the Director of Public Policy at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and prior to that, was the Director of Federal Programs at the National School Boards Association. Mr. Fuller holds a B.A. in English from SUNY Plattsburgh.
Peter Olmsted has been appointed Assistant Secretary for Energy after serving as Manager of Strategic Engagement at the New York State Department of Public Service. In this role he was responsible for carrying out work vital to Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) and the implementation of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Prior to working at DPS, Mr. Olmstead was the East Coast Regional Director for Vote Solar. He also worked as an Energy Policy Fellow in the Majority Caucus of the Delaware State Senate. Mr. Olmstead received a Master of Energy & Environmental Policy from the University of Delaware and a B.A. from Skidmore College.
Abbey Fashouer has been appointed First Deputy Press Secretary. Ms. Fashouer most recently served as Deputy Press Secretary. Prior to that, she served as Press Secretary for State Senator Jeff Klein. Ms. Fashouer also served as a Director at Mercury, LLC where she helped develop and execute public affairs campaigns for both public and private sector clients. Ms. Fashouer also has experience on state and local campaigns, serving as a field organizer for the Sweeney, Burzichelli, and Riley Campaign in New Jersey, as well as the Quinn for New York Mayoral Campaign. She holds a B.A. from SUNY Albany.
Robyn Ryan has been appointed Assistant Director of Operations for Special Projects. Ms. Ryan is an accomplished project manager and writer who most recently served as Executive Services Counsel for the New York State Bar Association. Prior, she clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Peter J. Messitte, after working in private practice as a Litigation Associate at Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, DC. Ms. Ryan has years of experience in journalism, working as a staff reporter for the Times Herald Record, and as a freelance writer. She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and her B.A. from Barnard College.
Andrew Ball has been appointed Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs. Previously, Mr. Ball served as Director of Scheduling and Confidential Assistant to the Governor. Mr. Ball joined the Cuomo administration in 2011 as special assistant for legislative and intergovernmental affairs, where he served as a liaison between local elected officials and the administration, including addressing constituent issues and facilitating coordination between legislative members and state agencies. A Long Island native, Mr. Ball graduated from Syracuse University in 2010.
Chelsea Muller has been appointed Senior Program Manager. Ms. Muller joins the Executive Chamber after working in the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery as a Senior Program Manager. In this role, she helped launch the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program and led community development and planning projects for the agency. Before joining state government, she was the Executive Director of Rebuilding Together NYC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rebuilding the New York City community after Hurricane Sandy. Before that, she was an Anchor, Reporter and a Producer for KDRV-TV in Medford Oregon, and an Associate Producer for KVBC-TV in Las Vegas, NV. She holds a B.A. from the University of Nevada and a Public Relations Certification from the University of Washington, Seattle.
Casey Kuklick has been appointed Senior Policy Advisor for Energy. Mr. Kuklick has worked in Governor Cuomo’s administration in the Office of Energy and Finance since 2014, most recently as a Policy Advisor and prior, as an Infrastructure and Urban Policy Analyst. Before joining state government, he was a Program Assistant for the Urban and Regional Policy Program for the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He has held roles in the Office of Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and in the City of Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. He received an M.P.A in Urban Policy and Advanced Policy and Economic Analysis from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and a B.A. from Northwestern University.