New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is nominating Linda Lacewell to take over the Department of Financial Services, which is in the process of implementing a tough sales rule on annuities and life insurance.
"This administration is laser focused on the advancement and enforcement of policies that improve the lives of residents in every corner of this state, from strengthening gun safety reforms and protecting our natural resources, to fostering economic opportunities that create new, 21st century jobs for New Yorkers," Cuomo said. "I am proud to work with these talented and dedicated individuals as we build on our progress and continue to move New York forward."
Linda Lacewell most recently served as Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Governor. In that role, she oversaw Executive Chamber operations, as well as ethics and law enforcement matters. Ms. Lacewell previously served as executive director of a cancer foundation initiative in Culver City, California.
Prior to that, Ms. Lacewell served as Chief Risk Officer and Counselor to Governor Cuomo where she built and implemented the first statewide system for ethics, risk and compliance in agencies and authorities. Ms. Lacewell was formerly special counsel to the Governor, as well as the architect of OpenNY, a state-of-the-art open data initiative.
She also served as special counsel to Attorney General Cuomo, where she oversaw the public pension fund pay-to-play investigation and the out-of-network health insurance investigation, both of which led to nationwide systemic reform. Prior to that, Ms. Lacewell spent nine years as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, including two years on the Enron Task Force, and received the Henry L. Stimson Medal and the Attorney General's Award for Exceptional Service.
Ms. Lacewell earned her B.A. from New College of the University of South Florida and her J.D. with honors from the University of Miami School of Law. She clerked for a United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida.
She serves as an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law, teaching ethics in government, and previously served as an adjunct professor of law at Fordham University School of Law, teaching international criminal law.
Michael Hein will be nominated Commissioner of the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Mr. Hein currently serves as Ulster County's first County Executive and was elected President of the New York State Association of Counties. Prior to that position, Mr. Hein served as the Ulster County Administrator and Deputy Treasurer. He holds a B.A. from Eckerd College.
Theodore Kastner will be nominated Commissioner of the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Kastner previously served as the founder and President of Developmental Disabilities Health Alliance, Inc., an integrated primary care mental health practice for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He was also the Director of the Rose F. Kennedy Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (RFK CERC) at Montefiore Medical Center and is Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine where he also holds the Ruth I. Gottesman Chair in Developmental Pediatrics. Dr. Kastner earned his M.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and earned a Master of Science in population health from the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Kastner is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in Pediatrics, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and by the American Association for Physician Leadership as a Certified Physician Executive. Starting in 1976 as a Direct Support Professional with the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, he has worked in the field for more than 40 years.
Lola W. Brabham will be nominated as a member of the Civil Service Commission and named President of the Commission. Ms. Brabham previously served as Acting Commissioner and Executive Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Civil Service. Prior, she served as Deputy Commissioner for Administration and Chief Financial Officer for the State Department of Labor and was Assistant Chief Budget Examiner for the State Division of the Budget. She was Assistant Secretary for Health, Medicaid and Oversight and Director of Human Services in the Executive Chamber under Governor David Paterson. She was also a Legislative Budget Analyst for the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means and, early in her career, was Chief of Staff to Assemblyman N. Nick Perry. Ms. Brabham has a dual B.A. in Criminal Justice and Sociology from the State University of New York and an M.P.A. from Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy.
Erik Kulleseid will be nominated Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Mr. Kulleseid previously served as the Senior Vice President, Parks & Policy Program for the Open Space Institute. Prior, he was Deputy Commissioner for Open Space Protection for the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and served in a variety of roles at the Trust for Public Land for 13 years. Mr. Kulleseid holds a B.A. from Yale University, a J.D. from Stanford Law School and received a Master of Forestry from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Allen Riley is being designated as Chair of the State Commission of Correction. Since April 2018, he has served as interim Chair which followed his appointment to the Commission in June 2017. Previously, Mr. Riley served as Madison County Sheriff for more than seven years. As Sheriff, he headed an agency with more than 160 employees, oversaw the Madison County Child Advocacy Center, which investigates child physical and sexual abuse cases, and served as a member of Governor Cuomo's Commission on Youth, Public Safety and Justice. Prior to being elected Sheriff, Mr. Riley was a 27-year veteran of the New York State Police, serving in Troop D as an investigator handling homicide and other serious cases and as a uniform trooper. He was a narcotics detection and explosives detection K-9 handler and field training officer, among other duties. Mr. Riley served on the board of directors of the New York State Sheriffs' Institute, the New York State Association for Incarcerated Education Programs, and the Madison County Office of the Aging Advisory Council, among other positions. He was twice named the American Legion Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in Madison County. He attended Morrisville State College (SUNY) and was the college's commencement speaker in 2014.
Mark Schroeder will be nominated to serve as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. Mr. Schroeder currently serves as Buffalo City Comptroller. Previously, he served in the New York State Assembly and Erie County Legislature. He earned a A.A.S. from Erie Community College and aB.S. from Empire State College.
Caitlin Girouard has been appointed Press Secretary. Previously, she was Communications Director for U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director for Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney and Communications Director for former Congressman Steve Israel. She received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame.
Dana Carotenuto Rico has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Legislative Affairs and Policy. Ms. Carotenuto Rico served in State Senate staff roles for over 10 years, most recently as Chief of Staff for the Senate Independent Democratic Conference negotiating the state budget and policy initiatives such as paid family leave, zombie property legislation and foreclosure protections. She holds a B.S.F.S from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.
Kenita Lloyd has been appointed Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Lloyd served for four years as Senior Vice President for Development & External Affairs at the NYC Mission Society. At the NYC Mission Society, Ms. Lloyd led the fundraising and external affairs strategy for the 206-year-old antipoverty organization. Ms. Lloyd also previously served as Director of Development for the National Action Network. Ms. Lloyd holds a M.P.A. from New York University's Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and a B.A. from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
Licha Nyiendo has been promoted to Deputy Special Counsel for Public Integrity. Ms. Nyiendo previously served as Special Counsel for Ethics, Risk and Compliance at the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. Prior, she was Security Counsel for Apple Inc. She formerly was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and served as Deputy Chief of the Civil Rights Unit and Deputy Chief of the Narcotics Unit. Ms. Nyiendo holds a B.A. from Harvard University and a J.D. from Duke University.
Timothy Hartz has been appointed Director of Executive Operations. Mr. Hartz most recently served as a Special Assistant to President Obama and Deputy Director of Advance Operations for the White House. Previously, he served as the Director of Priority Placement with the Presidential Personnel Office and as the Director of Operations for the Department of the Interior. He holds a B.A. from Providence College.
Barbara Rice has been appointed Assistant Secretary for Economic Development. Ms. Rice has had a distinguished career in local government and served as the first female Chair of the Franklin County Legislature. Previously, Ms. Rice has worked on land use planning and development in her role as a Commissioner on the Adirondack Park Agency and as a member of the NYS Fire Safety and Building Code Council. She received her BA in Business and Economics magna cum laude from SUNY Plattsburgh, a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in pre-medical sciences from Bennington College, and her PA degree from Albany Medical College.
Barika X. Williams has been appointed Assistant Secretary for Housing. Prior to joining state government, Ms. Williams was Deputy Director with the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, where she led policy and advocacy efforts to secure and expand affordable housing and equitable economic development in New York City. She received her Master's in City Planning with a concentration in Housing and Economic Development from MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning and her Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis.
William Fisher has been appointed to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics. He fills the seat previously held by Gary J. Lavine, whose term expired on December 11th. Mr. Fisher previously served as Deputy County Executive for Onondaga County. Prior, he was the Co-Founder and CEO of Summit Software Company. Mr. Fisher holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.A. from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.