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Ernie Anderson, Jr, External Relations Associate, New York State Senate
As an External Relations Associate for the New York State Senate Democratic Conference, Ernie collaborates with State Senators and their staff on legislative and agenda based issues.
Before moving to the Capital District area, Ernie was a Field Organizer for Organizing for America, President Obama’s reelection Campaign, in Brevard County, Florida last spring. Striving to build an inclusive and structured Campaign team, Ernie was a lead Organizer in Florida where he was selected to speak at a Presidential Rally preceding a speech by President Barack Obama. Ernie became intrigued by the power of grass roots organizing and Campaign methods as an intern at the White House in the Office of Presidential Correspondence.
Interested in the theoretical concepts behind still and moving images and they’re historical effect on minority communities, Ernie graduated with his Bachelors of Arts degree in Film & Television and a minor in African-American Studies from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA. He then went on to intern at NASA Langley Research Center where he wrote and produced marketing technical videos for technology licensing purposes.
Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Ernie enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, and producing short films.
Loren Baum, Communications Associate, Environmental Advocates of New York
Loren Baum joined Environmental Advocates of New York in January 2013. He supports the organization’s overall communications strategy through the design, production, and distribution of multimedia for members, policy makers, the press, and supporters.
Prior to joining Environmental Advocates, Loren produced documentary films and television in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv with Highlight Films, Ltd., including but not limited to Jerusalem 3D, an IMAX film, and the Conan O’Brian show. Loren also has extensive experience in Israel/Palestine in the field of public diplomacy. In his work for the Israeli government, Loren coordinated large-scale infrastructure projects in the West Bank, as well as numerous progressive, cross-border initiatives.
Loren has a B.A. in International Relations and Conflict Resolution from the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, and has pursued graduate studies in History at Ben Gurion University in Beersheva, Israel. Loren is a native of Upstate New York, and enjoys hiking, sailing, and live music.
Samantha Bernstein, Director of Albany Affairs, NYS Senate
Samantha Bernstein is the current Director of Albany Affairs for New York State Senator Tony Avella.
In her current role, Samantha is tasked with coordinating the Senator’s Albany Operation. Samantha’s responsibilities include: Meeting with advocacy groups and lobbyists to discuss legislation; Conducting Legislative research; Working with constituents on various matters; and facilitate the Senator’s Albany schedule.
Prior to joining the New York State Senate in March 2013, Samantha served as an Confidential Aide under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Administration. During her time with the Executive Chamber, Samantha served as a Scheduler to the Counselor to the Governor, and Deputy Secretary for Policy Management. Most recently, Samantha served as an Confidential Aide to the Education Policy Department within the Executive Chamber.
Samantha holds a B.A. in English from the State University at Albany. She is originally from Staten Island, NY and currently resides in Albany, NY.
Daniel Butterworth, Program Director for Community Engagement, University at Albany
Daniel Butterworth is a Capital Region native who currently serves as the Program Director for Community Engagement for the Office of the President at the University at Albany. In this role, he helps develop University-community partnerships and expand UAlbany’s impact in the Capital Region and beyond. Daniel creates linkages between academics and practitioners, provides strategic assistance to campus committees, organizes events on- and off-campus, and develops communications and marketing materials. He is also a founding contributor to the Emerging Issues in the Nonprofit Sector workshop series, a program promoting the capacity and sustainability of the region’s nonprofit organizations.
Prior to his work at UAlbany, Daniel spent four years managing the Schenectady Damien Center, a community center providing social and emotional support services and educational programming to the region’s HIV/AIDS community. He has also consulted on various research and evaluation projects for organizations including the New York State Savings and Government Efficiency (SAGE) Commission, the Capital Area School Development Association, and the Evaluation Consortium.
Daniel holds two Master’s degrees from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany„a Master of Arts in Political Science with a focus on democratic political theory and a Master of Public Administration with a focus on nonprofit management. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Drew University.
In his spare time, Daniel can be found hiking in the Adirondacks, belting out karaoke tunes, practicing yoga in the park, and exploring farmer’s markets and vintage stores.
Tanisha Dyall, Empire State Fellow, NY State Government
Tanisha Dyall is a current Empire State Fellow, who works with one of New York State Government’s top troubleshooters, implementing policies and strategies that positively benefit the lives of New Yorkers. Tanisha comes to the New Leaders Council with an international development and public policy background. Her work focused on policies that addressed the root causes of socio economic challenges that stunted global development.
Her most recent role as Senior Associate for National Membership Programs at the United Nations Foundation, comprised of extensive project management work, designing and implementing programs to support the success of the
United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. Her work in public policy consisted of the mobilization of 120+ grassroots Chapters across the U.S.
In her effort to support a strong U.S.-UN relationship, Tanisha liaised with various UN agencies including the United Nations Development Program, UN Women and the United Nations Department of Public Information. Additionally, Tanisha worked with the U.S. Department of State to educate the American public about U.S.-UN policy.
Tanisha earned her Bachelor of Arts in Government and Politics, her Masters of Arts in International Relations, and a Graduate Certificate in International Law from St. Johns University.
Lauren Ford, LGBT Health Specialist, Pride Center of the Capital Region
Lauren Ford is a Licensed Master of Social Work, currently serving as the LGBT Health Specialist at the Pride Center of the Capital Region. She is an alumnus of the University at Albany where she received a Bachelors of Social Welfare with minors in Sociology and Women’s Studies prior to her Masters degree. Lauren has been active in LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) advocacy work for over a decade after attending her first Gay/Straight Alliance meeting in high school and has been involved with multiple organizations within the LGBT movement such as the University at Albany’s Pride Alliance and LGBTQ Advisory Board, the Syracuse “Q” Youth Center, the Empire State Pride Agenda, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network and the Human Rights Campaign.
As the LGBT Health Specialist at the Pride Center, Lauren provides direct support, service coordination and provider-consultation across ten counties to promote the health and wellbeing of LGBT individuals and families. Her special areas of expertise regarding LGBT heath include comprehensive healthcare access for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, sexual and reproductive freedom, reducing new HIV and other sexually transmitted infection rates, and affordable health insurance coverage.
Outside of her work, Lauren is an active member of Big Brothers Big Sisters and has been matched with her adorable “little brother” for over a year. She is excited to be involved with the New Leaders Council and always eager to expand her skills to combat intersectional oppression.
Dylan Hayden, Special Assistant / Empire State Fellow, New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
Dylan was appointed in 2012 by Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve in New York State government as a member of the inaugural class of Empire State Fellows. His position has allowed him to shape policy in the areas of workforce development, economic growth, disaster preparedness, performance management, and employment programs for the formerly incarcerated.
Prior to entering state government, Dylan worked at the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, a regional economic development think tank, where he helped facilitate a series of regional roundtable discussions as part of the World Class Greater Philadelphia Initiative. While in Philadelphia, he also played an active role in the 2010 US Senate campaign of former Congressman Joe Sestak.
Dylan served for six years in the Untied States Navy as an Arabic and Pashto-Afghan linguist. In this role, he qualified as a Naval Aircrewman and was awarded the Air Medal and the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal for participating in over forty combat reconnaissance flights in Afghanistan.
In 2012, Dylan earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a B.A. in Political Science from SUNY New Paltz, and an Associate’s Degree in Arabic from the Defense Language Institute.
Kate Howard, Attorney, CoppsDiPaola, PLLC
Kate is an attorney at the Albany law firm of Copps DiPaola, PLLC. Her practice focuses primarily on adoption, child advocacy, and education law. Kate also consults as a legal specialist at the Board of Cooperative Educational Services for Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene Counties. Before joining the firm Kate led a second level review of financial records for the appointed Trustee in the Madoff Bankruptcy case.
A native of upstate New York Kate left the area for several years to pursue her educational goals. Kate served as a Rotary Club Ambassador overseas, speaking regularly in Belgium and England. She received a BA from the University of Richmond, participated in graduate studies in global affairs at New York University, and graduated magna cum laude from New York Law School. In law school Kate was an editor on Law Review, interned for Federal Judge Paul A. Crotty, and volunteered at the NYLS Securities Arbitration Clinic. In her work at the clinic Kate represented investors before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). These investors could not afford attorneys and could not have brought their cases without the clinic’s help.
In addition to her work at the firm and BOCES Kate is an active member of the community and continues to volunteer her services to those in need. Kate volunteers at The Legal Project representing victims of domestic violence in Family Court. Kate is also a member of the Capital District Women’s Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Albany County Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Junior League of Albany and the Capital Alliance of Young Professionals.
Imran Khan, Empire State Fellow, New York State Executive Chamber
Imran Khan is currently serving as an Empire State Fellow for Food and Agriculture, working in New York State’s Executive Chamber. He received his BS in biochemistry from Texas A&M University, MEd from Southern Methodist University, and MPP from the University of Virginia’s Batten School. Previously, he served as a policy fellow with the U.S. Department of Energy and as an Education Pioneers fellow in Houston, his hometown. In 2009, he founded Develop U, a non-profit organization aimed at community development, urban renewal, and neighborhood revitalization in South Dallas. During the summer of 2010, Imran worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA, teaming up with PepsiCo and CitySquare to deliver food as part of a student nutrition and summer enrichment program for underserved communities in Dallas. Prior to this, Imran taught high school science in Dallas area public schools and worked at 3M as a materials scientist. His professional interests include anti-poverty programs, community development, and resource access through the use of effective social policy and government operations.
Sean Maguire, Regional Project Manager, New York State Department of State
Sean M. Maguire, AICP is a Regional Project Manager with the New York State Department of State’s Division of Local Government Services. He is an experienced planner and presenter, providing technical assistance to local officials on municipal management and land use matters. In the Department’s Municipal Management Unit, he assists communities across eighteen upstate counties with the state’s Local Government Efficiency program, the federal Northern Border Regional Commission and the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Councils.
Prior to joining the Department of State, Sean was the Senior Economic Development Planner for Albany County’s Department of Economic Development, Conservation, and Planning. With Albany County, he administered the Empire Zone program, managed an EPA Brownfield Pilot project and inventory, and served the County Executive’s economic development representative to the local Workforce Investment Board. He also served as the acting Senior Planner, providing direct support to the County Planning Board, leading an initiative to improve the efficiency of the County Planning Board by developing a web-based project submission and tracking system.
In addition, Sean worked briefly as a private planning and economic development consultant. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a graduate of the University at Albany. He holds degrees and certificates in Geography; Urban and Regional Planning; GIS and Remote Sensing; Urban Policy; and Public Sector Management. This spring, he will complete a second Master’s degree in public administration. Sean supports regional approaches to planning, economic development and other matters.
At home in the Capital Region, Mr. Maguire is actively involved in the community. He is a fire commissioner and volunteer firefighter for the Westmere Fire District of Guilderland. He serves as a spokesman for the Town of Guilderland Fire Chiefs’ Association, providing important information about emergency incidents in the community. He has been an active member of the University at Albany Alumni Association for a number of years. He has been happily married to his wife Amie since 2008 and is the proud dad to two wonderful children.
Julie Marlette, Deputy Director of Governmet Relations, NYSSBA
Julie Marlette currently serves as the deputy director of government relations at the New York State School Boards Association acting as a lobbyist for nearly 700 public school districts across the state.
Prior to her current role Julie held numerous roles in the New York State Legislature, first working in the office of Senate Minority Office of Conference Services; as Legislative Director for Assemblymember Susan John; as a Legislative Analyst for the Speaker’s Office of Program and Counsel; and, as Senate Senior Analyst for Elementary and Secondary education. Julie also served as a government relations representative for the New York State School Boards Association, where she has now returned in a new role.
After more than a decade in the State Capitol, Julie relocated to New York City to become the Managing Director for state funding at Teach for America, responsible for overseeing TFA’s overall state appropriations strategy across 34 states.
After leaving TFA Julie joined the staff of 50CAN: The 50-State Campaign for Achievement Now where she where she served as Vice President of Political Strategy, fine-tuning political strategies and government relations in seven states; then the Founding Executive Director of 50CAN’s affiliate C4 organization, the 50CAN Action Fund, running nine independent expenditure campaigns in two states in the pilot year; and, finally as the Executive Director of NYCAN, 50CAN’s New York affiliate.
Julie graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with a Bachelors degree in Communications and Rhetoric and a Masters degree in Political Communications.
Christopher B. Ortiz, Empire State Fellow, NYS Office of the Governor, Executive Chamber
Christopher B. Ortiz is a rising leader in New York State government, a public-interest minded attorney, and a proud native of the Bronx, NY. In September 2013, New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo appointed Chris to serve in the Executive Chamber of the Governor’s Office as a member of the 2013-15 class of New York Empire State Fellows, a program that trains professionals to be the next generation of State policymakers.
Prior to entering the Empire State Fellows program, Chris worked as an Associate Attorney at the New York City law office of Kaye Scholer LLP, where he focused on antitrust, commercial and real estate litigation. Kaye Scholer and the New York State Bar Association also recognized Chris’s pro bono practice for three consecutive years, which included the representation of immigrants seeking asylum in the United States and defense of the City of New York in tort litigation.
Outside of Kaye Scholer, Chris led the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, a voting rights affiliate of the New York State Democratic Party, as Secretary and a Committee Co-Chair in the organization, where he recruited and organized Election Day poll-monitors and advocated for measures to increase voter-participation.
Chris graduated Summa Cum Laude with his Bachelor of Arts in Government and Politics from St. John’s University and earned his law degree at Cornell Law School. At Cornell, he served as an editor of the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, and as a law intern in the Antitrust Bureau of the New York State Office of the Attorney General.”
David Rozen, Legislative Counsel, New York State Senator Michael Gianaris, Deputy Democratic Leader
David A. Rozen, Esq., is Legislative Counsel to NYS Senator Michael Gianaris (Deputy Leader, NYS Senate Democratic Conference; Chair, NYS Senate Democratic Campaign Committee). David also provided political consulting/election law assistance for successful NYS Senate candidates Neil Breslin, Terry Gipson and Cecilia Tkaczyk. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy – University at Albany. Rozen worked for former NYS Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Michael A.L. Balboni, then went on to Albany Law School, where he earned his J.D. with honors while concentrating in Government Administration & Regulation.
While in law school, Rozen was elected as the Second Circuit Governor of the American Bar Association’s Law Student Division (ABA LSD) and was presented with the “Star of the Division Leadership Award” in 2009 and the “Gold Key” in 2010, the highest recognition bestowed by the ABA to law students.
Upon graduation from law school, he was awarded a Graduate Legislative Fellowship with NYS Senator Neil Breslin. Rozen currently serves in a variety of leadership positions including: Director, Albany Law School Alumni Association; Vice-Chair, City of Albany – Citizens’ Police Review Board; Secretary/Committee Member, Albany Democratic Committee – 6th Ward; LGBTQA Youth Group Facilitator, Pride Center of the Capital Region; SUNY Albany Alumni Council Officer; Alumni Advisor, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar (HOBY), among others. He was received: Albany Knickerbocker Ledger’s “30 Under 30″ Award, 2012; Outstanding Young Alumni Award, Albany Law School’s National Alumni Association, 2013; and the Director of Recruitment Award, HOBY, 2013.
Mahati Acharya Tonk, Graduate Assistant, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
Mahati Acharya Tonk is a Master of Public Administration student at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy where she is also a Graduate Assistant in the College’s Office of Career Development. Prior to graduate school, Mahati spent 6 years in New York City working at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management company. At BlackRock, Mahati was a Vice President on the Executive Team of the Global Head of BlackRock’s Client Business. She led a team focused on business management and strategy initiatives impacting BlackRock’s clients around the world and was also responsible for developing all presentation content for the Global Head. She also served on the Operating Committees of both BlackRock’s Women’s Initiative and Vice President Advisory Council.
Mahati has been a Red Cross volunteer for the past 15 years. She founded and Chaired the American Red Cross National Young Professionals Council which engages and designs programs for volunteers aged 21-35. In this role Mahati also represented North America on the Steering Committee for the Red Cross Red Crescent World Youth Meeting held every 10 years in Italy, which provided training to face humanitarian challenges to youth volunteers representing 187 different countries. Previously, Mahati served as a Representative on the American Red Cross National Youth Council.
Mahati graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Applied Economics and Management. At Cornell, Mahati was a Meinig Family Cornell National Scholar and a member of Sphinx Head Society, Cornell’s oldest senior honor society.
Gregory Young, Supervisor, Fulton County
A lifelong resident of Upstate New York, Gregory Young is passionate about community engagement. He holds magna cum laude Bachelors and Masters degrees in History and Political Science from the College of Saint Rose and is a doctoral candidate in American Studies at the University at Buffalo. In November 2013, Gregory was the youngest person elected to the Fulton County Board of Supervisors, where he represents the City of Gloversville’s 5th ward.
Young also teaches courses in State and Local Government and other fields within political science at area community colleges and he has received an award for outstanding advisement. Gregory holds volunteer and leadership positions in a variety of community and political organizations and campaigns, with a focus on environmental and economic sustainability and community capacity-building. Gregory helps the Elected Officials to Protect New York with its database, organizing, and outreach efforts. In addition to his work co-founding the Little Flower Community, he serves on the Board of Directors of Ant Hill Cooperative and the Board of Trustees of Friends of Ganondagan State Historic Site.
He has held a local outreach fellowship with the Sierra Club, a public humanities engagement fellowship with the New York Council for the Humanities, and, in 2013, he was one of twenty young leaders chosen to be a fellow in the Front Line Leaders Academy.