Albany, NY January 31, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the appointments of Elizabeth R. Fine, Charles S. Imohiosen, Margaret A. Tobin, John J. Gilstrap, Katie L. Codey, Kerri Jew, and Claire McLeveighn to Empire State Development (ESD). Ms. Fine will serve as General Counsel, Mr. Imohiosen as Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Tobin as Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Gilstrap as Executive Vice President, Ms. Codey as Policy Advisor, Ms. Jew as Executive Director of the Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development, and Ms. McLeveighn as Vice President of International Trade and Investment.
“As we continue to create new jobs and grow economic opportunity throughout New York, I am pleased to announce the appointments of these highly qualified individuals to my administration,” Governor Cuomo said. “Each of these men and women represent the best and brightest of their respective fields and bring invaluable knowledge and experiences to Empire State Development. I am sure their service will help us to continue New York’s economic progress.”
Elizabeth R. Fine, General Counsel
Ms. Fine previously served as the General Counsel to the New York City Council. In that role, Ms. Fine was chief legal officer to the Council, responsible for all aspects of legal representation for the Council, its Speaker, members, and divisions. Her distinguished career includes the following highlights: Special Counsel to President William J. Clinton; Counsel to Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children; Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she directed administration-wide and DOJ initiatives, policy planning, and legislative programs; and Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee. Ms. Fine earned a J.D. from New York University, an L.L.M. from Georgetown University, and a B.A. from Brown University.
Charles S. Imohiosen, Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Imohiosen previously served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Taskforce, in Washington, D.C. In that role, he advised the Executive Director on infrastructure issues related to post-storm rebuilding and assisted New York State with finance and energy initiatives. Previously, he served as Counselor to the Deputy Administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and as an associate at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Mr. Imohiosen earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. from Williams College and served as a law clerk to Judge Colleen McMahon in the Southern District of New York.
Margaret A. Tobin, Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Tobin joined the Cuomo administration as the Executive Director of the New York Works Task Force in 2012 to lead the Governor’s initiative to overhaul the capital investment process for New York State. In that role, which she will continue to fill, Ms. Tobin led the development of the State’s first-ever, 10-year, Statewide Capital Plan, coordinating $174 billion in capital investment across 47 agencies and authorities, and has overseen more than 600 projects valued at more than $1.5 billion, while achieving a 100% on-time, on-budget performance. During her distinguished career, Ms. Tobin has served as a Principal at Cherry Tree Development, an Executive Vice President at Thor Equities, a Vice President at Vornado Realty Trust, EVP/CFO of the Hudson River Park Conservancy, and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Finance and Economic Development during parts of the Koch and Dinkins Administrations. Ms. Tobin earned her B.A. from Vassar College and her M.B.A. from Stanford University.
John J. Gilstrap, Executive Vice President
Mr. Gilstrap is a senior management executive with extensive private sector experience. Mr. Gilstrap previously served as principal of Unthinkable Media, a consultancy specializing in reshaping brand perceptions, and as CEO and founder of UBM Inc., which manages property and maintains buildings throughout the tri-state area. Mr. Gilstrap also worked for MTV Networks and JPMorgan Chase. Mr. Gilstrap earned an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.
Katie L. Codey, Policy Advisor
Ms. Codey previously served as Senior Policy Analyst for the New York City Council, where she managed the Speaker’s economic development, workforce development, and transportation policy portfolio. Ms. Codey also served as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Jose Linares in New Jersey. Ms. Codey earned an M.P.A. from the University of Georgia, a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.
Kerri Jew, Executive Director of the Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development
Ms. Jew joined ESD in May 2013 as the Corporation’s Compliance Officer. Prior to that, she owned and operated a small business in Westchester County, served as a Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services, and also served as Chief of Staff for Columbia University Facilities. She began her legal career at Proskauer Rose, and spent several years as a federal civil rights litigator at the New York City Law Department. Ms. Jew received a B.A. from Cornell University and graduated with distinction from Emory University School of Law.
Claire McLeveighn, Vice President of International Trade and Investment
Ms. McLeveighn, a consultant in international relations and business development since 2010, has extensive experience forging partnerships across multiple sectors. She was previously Manager of International Engagement for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, facilitating global initiatives with Atlanta’s business community, international stakeholders, and government entities, supporting the airport’s role as a catalyst in international business development. She also served as the Director of External Affairs and International Relations for the City of Atlanta. Ms. McLeveighn earned a B.A. from Brown University and an M.P.A. from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.
About Empire State Development
Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of Empire State Development is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, Empire State Development strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State.