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Cuomo names transition team

ALBANY -- Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo just announced a team of people to advise him during his transition into the governor's office over the next couple months. It includes a mix of politicians, business executives and labor leaders. His economic team includes Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and M&T Bank CEO Bob Wilmers. An economic development and labor group includes a mix of Democrats and Republicans, including embattled Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson and Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos, who says he is poised after last week's still-contested elections to take over the Senate again.

The list of advisors also includes a number of political supporters who opened their wallets to Cuomo’s campaign over the past couple years. A quick check of elections board filings reveals that a dozen of the transition members – from current or former heads of Avis, American Express and Wegmans to wealthy bankers and finance executives from Manhattan – donated a total of at least $500,000 to Cuomo’s political campaign.

Here's the release from Team Cuomo:

Governor-Elect Andrew Cuomo today announced that Lieutenant Governor-Elect Robert Duffy will serve as Chair and Director of the Cuomo-Duffy Transition. Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, former New York State Comptroller Carl McCall, and former Chairman of the Municipal Assistance Corp Felix Rohatyn will serve as the transition co-chairs.

“I want to thank Congresswoman Velazquez, County Executive Mahoney, former Comptroller McCall, and Felix Rohatyn for serving as co-chairs of my transition,” said Cuomo. “Each of them brings to the transition a wealth of knowledge and a deep understanding of the challenges facing the State of New York. Lieutenant Governor-Elect Duffy and I look forward to working with them to ensure that we attract the best and brightest talent to the Cuomo Administration.”

Cuomo also announced the formation of his Council of Economic and Fiscal Advisors, which will provide counsel on fiscal and economic issues during the transition and will continue to serve in an advisory capacity during the Cuomo Administration. The Council of Economic and Fiscal Advisers will be charged with offering the Governor objective economic advice on the formulation of economic and budget policy. It will base its recommendations and analysis on economic research and empirical evidence, using the best data available to support the Governor in setting New York's economic and budgetary policy on the transition and through the Administration. The Council is still in formation.

The Council of Economic and Fiscal Advisors includes:

  • Ken Adams, President & C.E.O., Business Council of New York State
  • Mario Baeza, Founder & Executive Chairman, Baeza Group Founder
  • Pat Barrett, former Republican Chairman; C.E.O., Avis
  • Byron Brown, Mayor of Buffalo
  • Jim Chanos, President and Founder of Kynikos Associates
  • Derrick D. Cephas, President & C.E.O., Amalgamated Bank
  • Kenneth Chenault, C.E.O. & Chairman, American Express
  • Glenn Dubin , Co-founder & C.E.O., Highbridge Capital Management
  • Alexis Herman, former U.S. Secretary of Labor
  • Denis Hughes, President, AFL-CIO
  • Ken Langone, Founder, Chairman & C.E.O., Invemed Associates LLC
  • Marc Morial, President, National Urban League
  • Felix Rohatyn, Special Advisor to Chairman and C.E.O., Lazard; former Chairman, Municipal Assistance Corp
  • Rossana Rosado, C.E.O., El Diario
  • Peter J. Solomon, Solomon Company, L.P., former New York City Deputy Mayor of Economic Policy and Development
  • Martin Sosnoff, Chairman and C.E.O., Atalanta Sosnoff
  • Bob Wilmers, C.E.O.,  M&T Bank
  • Deborah C. Wright, President and C.E.O. of Carver Bancorp
  • Frank Zarb former Chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange


Cuomo also named his first transition committee for Economic Development and Labor. The Committee will lead the search for new talent to staff the State agencies charged with leading job creation and growing New York’s economy. The Committee will recruit, review and recommend high-level leaders. It is still in formation and will begin meeting next week. Additional committees of the Cuomo-Duffy Transition will be announced in the coming days and will also begin meeting as early as next week.

The Committee on Economic Development and Labor includes:

  • Haejin Baek, President, Barclays Structured Finance
  • Ruben Diaz, Jr., Bronx Borough President
  • Jamie Dinan, C.E.O. York Capital
  • Garry Douglas, Plattsburgh Chamber of Commerce
  • Hazel Dukes, President, NAACP New York
  • Rob Dyson, Chairman and C.E.O., The Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corp.; President, Dyson Foundation
  • James Francis, Founder and C.E.O., Paradigm Asset Management; Member, NYC Partnership
  • Barbarlee Diamonstein-Spielvogel
  • Jim Gerace, President, New York Region, Verizon
  • Barry Gosin, C.E.O., Newmark Knight Franks; Partnership for NYC Board
  • Hakeem Jeffries, New York State Assembly
  • John Johnson, President, Watertown Daily Times
  • Brian Kolb, Minority Leader, New York State Assembly\
  • Kevin Law, Long Island Association
  • John Liu, New York City Comptroller
  • Edward Mangano, Nassau County Executive
  • Howard Milstein, C.E.O., N.Y. Private Bank & Trust and Emigrant Bank
  • Dean Norton, President, Farm Bureau
  • Peter Rivera, New York State Assembly
  • Van B. Robinson, President, Syracuse Common Council  
  • Lisa Rosenblum Senior Vice President, Cablevision.  
  • Asheesh Saksena, Senior Vice President, Time Warner Cable
  • John Sampson, Conference Leader, New York State Senate
  • Sheldon Silver, Speaker, New York State Assembly
  • Dean Skelos, Minority Leader, New York State Senate
  • Rob Simpson, C.E.O., CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity
  • Jay Snyder, Principal, HBJ Investments, LLC; N.Y.S. Commission for Public Authority Reform  
  • Elinor Tatum, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, Amsterdam News
  • Peter Ward, President, New York Hotel & Motel Trades Council, AFL-CIO
  • Danny Wegman, C.E.O., Wegmans
  • Sandra Wilkin, Founder & President, Bradford Construction Corporation; President of the Women’s Builder Council

Over the past several months, Andrew Cuomo has traveled across the State to discuss the difficult fiscal challenges facing New York and the tough and decisive measures needed to get the State back on track. Faced with budget gaps of $30 billion over the next three fiscal years, New Yorkers can no longer afford the size of government it has amassed over the past several decades, nor can we burden already struggling New Yorkers with rising taxes to pay for it. The Council of Economic and Fiscal Advisors will work with the Cuomo Administration to implement the core principles laid out by Cuomo during the campaign: to get New York’s fiscal house in order, reduce taxes and get people back to work.

“As I have said throughout my campaign, fiscal reform will be a top priority of my administration. We must overhaul our government, clean it up and pare it down while simultaneously putting New Yorkers back to work and making New York once again the jobs capital of the nation,” added Cuomo. “I am grateful to the members of the Council of Economic and Fiscal Advisors – who represent some of the best business minds from around the State and across the nation -  for their willingness to roll up their sleeves and provide counsel and advice to my administration on budgetary and fiscal issues. I look forward to working with them to find creative solutions to the economic challenges we face as a State.”

-- Tom Precious 

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri |

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski |