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Commissioners

Co-Chair Robert Abrams, former Attorney General of New York State

Robert Abrams’ 28-year career in public life was marked by achievement, independence and integrity. He was elected to three terms in the New York State Assembly, three terms as Borough President of the Bronx and four terms as Attorney General of New York State. He joined Stroock in 1994 following 15 years of distinguished service as Attorney General of the State of New York. As Attorney General, Mr. Abrams received numerous awards and honors and earned national prominence rarely achieved by a state-level official. He was widely heralded as a champion and protector of consumer rights. He served as president of the National Association of Attorneys General and was selected by his colleagues to receive the coveted WYMAN AWARD as Outstanding Attorney General in the Nation. At its June 2005 meeting, the National Association of Attorneys General presented Bob with The Bellotti Award, given to a former attorney general who “has served NAAG and worked diligently to further its vision and mission and who exhibits outstanding leadership abilities and high moral character.”

Mayor Bloomberg appointed Mr. Abrams in 2005 to serve on the New York City Charter Revision Commission. In 2006, New York Governor Elect Eliot Spitzer appointed Mr. Abrams to serve as Co-Chair of his Policy Advisory Committee on Governmental Reform for his Transition, and New York Attorney General Elect Andrew Cuomo appointed him Executive Chair of his Transition Committee. In 2008, New York Governor David Paterson appointed Mr. Abrams to serve on the Board of the United Nations Development Corporation. In 2010, New York’s Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman appointed him to be a member of the Advisory Council for the Retired Attorney Pro Bono Program. In 2010, Attorney General elect Eric Schneiderman appointed Mr. Abrams to serve as Honorary Co-Chair of his transition committee.

Co-Chair Benjamin Lawsky, Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services

Benjamin M. Lawsky is New York State’s first Superintendent of Financial Services. As Superintendent, Lawsky is the supervisor of all insurance companies in New York, all New York State-chartered depository institutions and the majority of United States-based branches and agencies of foreign banking institutions. He also regulates all of New York State’s mortgage brokers, mortgage bankers, check cashers, money transmitters, budget planners, and similar providers of financial services. Entities supervised by the Department number approximately 4400, with assets of about $6.2 trillion.

Prior to his current position, Superintendent Lawsky was Governor Andrew Cuomo's Chief of Staff. Previously, he served as the Deputy Counselor and Special Assistant to then-Attorney General Cuomo. Prior to that, Mr. Lawsky had spent over five years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he prosecuted white collar crime, organized crime, and terrorism cases. He began his career as Chief Counsel to Senator Charles Schumer on the Senate Judiciary Committee and as a Trial Attorney in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice.

Peter Bradford, former Chair of the Public Service Commission

Peter Bradford is one of the country's most experienced public utility regulators. He was chairman of the New York State Public Service Commission from 1987 to 1995. Mr. Bradford served as president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) in 1987. He chaired the Maine Public Utilities Commission from 1982 until 1987, and had been Maine's Public Advocate in early 1982.

He also served as a member of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). During his term, the NRC undertook a major overhaul of its regulatory and enforcement processes in the wake of the Three Mile Island accident. Mr. Bradford currently teaches at Vermont Law School and consults on regulatory practices and procedures within the US and abroad. He is a graduate of Yale University and Yale Law School.

Tony Collins, President of Clarkson University

Anthony Collins is a regional and national advocate for higher education - industrial partnerships that couple research discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise for commercialization and economic development with a focus on advancing sustainable energy solutions and environmental technology innovation. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Dr. Collins in July 2011 to serve as co-chair for the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. He is the also the president of the Seaway Private Equity Corporation that invests in new technology companies based in St. Lawrence County, New York, and serves on the board for (TSEC) The Solar Energy Consortium, which mobilizes related resources in New York State. He is a member of NYSERDA’s Technology & Market Development Advisory Committee which provides technical and policy guidance to NYSERDA on energy and environmental research and market development initiatives.

President Collins is the chair of New York’s Commission of Independent Colleges and Universities and the chair of the National Association of Independent Technological Universities’ public relations committee. In addition, he serves on the boards of the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity, the NYS Business Council, and on the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environment and Energy Systems.

Dr. Collins was among the primary architects of the Vision of a Clarkson Education that has guided evolution of the curriculum since 1995. As president, he now leads Clarkson’s Evolution to Excellence, a comprehensive strategic plan elevating the University’s academic reputation, strengthening its financial resources, and increasing the lifetime engagement of alumni and greater Clarkson community.

John Dyson, former Chairman of the New York Power Authority

John S. Dyson became a trustee of the New York Power Authority (NYPA) in March 2011, after being nominated by Governor Andrew Cuomo and confirmed by the State Senate. He was elected vice chairman of the board by his fellow trustees in March 2012. Mr. Dyson is Chairman of Millbrook Capital Management, Inc., an investment firm whose activities include managing private equity investments and a stock investment fund. From 1997-2001, Mr. Dyson was the Chairman of New York City's Council of Economic Advisors. He was the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Finance in the administration of Mayor Giuliani from 1994 to 1996. Mr. Dyson served as the Chairman of the New York Power Authority from 1979 to 1985, where he enhanced the safety and economics of two nuclear power plants then owned and operated by the Authority. He was Commissioner of Commerce for New York State when the "I Love New York" advertising campaign was created. In 1975, Governor Hugh Carey appointed him to Commissioner of Agriculture of New York State.

Rev. Floyd Flake, Senior Pastor of Greater Allen African Methodist Episcopal Cathedral

The Reverend Dr. Floyd H. Flake is the senior pastor of the more than 20,000 member Greater Allen A. M. E. Cathedral of New York in Jamaica, Queens, and President of Wilberforce University in Ohio. During his 31-year pastorate, Allen has become one of the nation’s foremost Christian churches and development corporations. The church and its subsidiary corporations operate with an annual budget of over $34 million. The church also owns expansive commercial and residential developments; a 750-student private school founded by Flake and his wife Elaine, and various commercial and social service enterprises, which has placed it among the nation’s most productive religious and urban development institutions. The corporations, church administrative offices, school, and ministries comprise one of the Borough of Queens’ largest private sector employers.

Flake served eleven years in the U.S. Congress, and was a member of the Banking and Finance, and The Small Business Committees. He established a reputation for bipartisan, innovative legislative initiatives to revitalize urban commercial and residential communities. Most notably, the Community Development Financial Institutions Act of 1993 contained provisions named the Bank Enterprise Act (BEA), authored by Representative Floyd Flake, which provided incentives for financial institutions to make market-oriented investments in destabilized urban and rural economies. These BEA provisions along with the Community Development Fund Initiative (CDFI) continue to yield millions of dollars’ worth of direct and secondary investment for residential and commercial growth. It also provides needed Federal Insurance relief for banks, and increased private sector capital flow in communities with declining economic fortunes. The BEA has directly impacted the volume of residential mortgage and commercial lending in grossly under-invested locales.

Mark Green, former New York City Public Advocate

Over the past 40 years Mark Green has been a public official, public interest lawyer, author, teacher, TV commentator, radio executive and, now, the host of a syndicated national radio show, Both Sides Now. Becoming a member of the Washington, D.C. Bar (and later the New York State Bar), he spent 10 years in the 1970s working with Ralph Nader, ultimately running Public Citizen's Congress Watch, the largest consumer lobbying group in D.C.

From 1990 to 1993, he served as Consumer Affairs Commissioner in the administration of Mayor David Dinkins. Mark left the Consumer Affairs Department in 1993 to successfully seek election as New York City's first Public Advocate. He served two terms as New York City Public Advocate (1993-2001). He’s the editor and author of 22 books on public policy, including Who Runs Congress? and The Monopoly Makers.

Joanie Mahoney, Onondaga County Executive

Elected in November 2007, Joanne M. Mahoney is the first woman to serve as County Executive for Onondaga County. After spending time in private practice, County Executive Mahoney accepted a position with the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office where she worked for five years as a criminal prosecutor. Interested and involved in politics for most of her life, Joanie worked on many campaigns throughout the years. In 1999, she became a candidate herself and was elected Councilor-at-Large in the City of Syracuse where she served a four year term.

County Executive Mahoney was instrumental in the passing of a new sales tax sharing agreement that benefits all county residents and increases transparency in government. She has also made it a priority to encourage local towns and villages to work together and share services where possible, in order to save money for the residents.

Under her watch not only has the County maintained its AAA bond rating, it has been upgraded from “Negative” to “Stable.” The County Executive has made literacy a priority creating a literacy fund that helped form the Imagination Library which provides free books to young children. Joanie has guided the County in a partnership with Say Yes to Education, which will help increase graduation rates and make college a possibility for many city students.

Kathleen Rice, Nassau County District Attorney

Elected in 2005 and re-elected in 2009, Kathleen Rice is the first woman to serve as Nassau’s chief law enforcement officer. As district attorney, Kathleen has been a champion for progressive criminal justice policies, which have achieved impressive results and commanded national attention. Immediately after taking office in 2006, Kathleen took on the epidemic of drunk driving on Long Island. She’s helped to author and champion passage of legislation to enact tougher penalties on those who drink and drive with kids in the car and on those drunk drivers who injure other motorists on the road. She’s successfully prosecuted those who kill innocent victims on our roads with murder, and she’s dramatically reduced plea-bargaining for recidivist offenders. Kathleen’s efforts to combat drunk driving have been praised by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, profiled on CBS News’ 60 Minutes, and caused the New York Daily News to label her “the nation’s toughest prosecutor on DWI offenses.”

Dan Tishman, Vice Chairman at AECOM Technology Corporation, and Chairman and CEO of Tishman Construction Corporation

Daniel R. Tishman is Vice Chairman and a member of the Board of Directors for AECOM Technology Corp. (NYSE: ACM), an $8-billion global provider of professional technical and management support services. Mr. Tishman is also Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Tishman Construction, one of the largest and most experienced builders in the world, which joined AECOM in July of 2010. The firm was founded in 1898 and has remained at the forefront of the industry under Mr. Tishman’s leadership. Tishman Construction provides construction and project management, owner’s representation, and other construction-related services to a diverse array of clients across the United States and in the United Arab Emirates.

Mr. Tishman has worked in real estate development and construction for over 25 years and has been a major force behind the green building movement. Under his leadership, Tishman managed the construction of 4 Times Square, the first green skyscraper in New York City, and 7 World Trade Center, the first office tower in New York City to be certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Tishman Construction recently completed construction of the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, the first skyscraper in the world to be certified LEED Platinum, and the LEED Gold-certified CityCenter, which is the largest and most sustainable mixed-use hotel, residential, retail and casino complex in the United States.