Albany, NY - July 30, 2013 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the appointment of Thomas P. Abt as the Administration’s new Deputy Secretary for Public Safety.
“I am pleased to welcome Thomas Abt to my administration as Deputy Secretary for Public Safety,” Governor Cuomo said. “Having worked on national criminal justice issues and initiatives to reduce violence and improve distressed neighborhoods across the country, Mr. Abt brings valuable experience to New York State government. As we continue to build a new New York, Mr. Abt will help lead efforts to enhance public safety and ensure the wellbeing of our families and neighborhoods. Public safety contributes to a secure economy and a thriving society, and I look forward to working with Mr. Abt to achieve just that for New Yorkers.”
“Governor Cuomo has put together an impressive team to work on the issues that affect New Yorkers every day, and I am thrilled for the opportunity to join them,” Mr. Abt said. “Since taking office, the Governor has spearheaded important actions to improve public safety in New York - fighting gun violence, expanding the DNA database, transforming the juvenile justice system, and working to stop the epidemic of distracted driving. I am excited to build upon these and other initiatives to protect and improve the quality of life of all New Yorkers.”
Until recently, Mr. Abt served as Chief of Staff to the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he worked with the nation’s principal criminal justice grant-making and research agencies to integrate evidence, policy, and practice. Over four years with the Obama Administration, Mr. Abt played a lead role in coordinating the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, a network of federal agencies, local communities, and private partners working together to reduce youth and gang violence. He was a founding member of the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, a place-based effort to align federal investments to help neighborhoods in distress transform themselves into neighborhoods of opportunity. The Initiative was recently recognized by Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School as one of this year’s Top 25 Innovations in Government. Mr. Abt also participated extensively in OJP’s Evidence Integration Initiative, which works to improve the quality, quantity, and translation of scientific evidence into criminal justice policy.
Prior, Mr. Abt worked as an associate at the law firm of Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison in New York, and served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Mr. Abt received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan and received a law degree with honors from Georgetown University Law Center.