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Commissioner Directory

Hon. Judith S. Kaye (Ret.), Chair
Appointed by Governor Paterson
Term ends 3/31/13

John A. Cirando
Appointed by Assembly Minority Leader Kolb
Term ends 3/31/17

Steven M. Cohen
Appointed by Governor Cuomo
Term ends 3/31/16

Ruth W. Friendly
Appointed by Chief Judge Lippman
Term ends 3/31/16

Michael J. Hutter
Appointed by Temporary President of the Senate Skelos
Term ends 3/31/19

Simone M. Levinson
Appointed by Governor Cuomo
Term ends 3/31/14

Alan Mansfield
Appointed by Senate Minority Leader Sampson
Term ends 3/31/16

Hon. E. Leo Milonas (Ret.)
Appointed by Chief Judge Lippman
Term ends 3/31/17

Margaret S. Morton
Appointed by Chief Judge Lippman
Term ends 3/31/18

Alvin H. Perlmutter
Appointed by Chief Judge Lippman
Term ends 3/31/19

Ellen Schall
Appointed by Speaker Silver
Term ends 3/31/18

Dierdre K. Scozzafava
Appointed by Governor Cuomo
Term ends 3/31/15

Counsel

Henry M. Greenberg, Counsel

Katrina E. James, Assistant Counsel

Cynthia L. Neidl, Assistant Counsel

Commissioner Biographies

Hon. Judith S. Kaye (Ret.): Judge Kaye served as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of the State of New York, and Chief Judge of the State of New York, until her retirement on December 31, 2008. After several years in private practice, in 1983 Judge Kaye was appointed as an Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals by Gov. Mario Cuomo, becoming the first woman to serve on New York's highest court. Chief Judge Kaye worked to improve the jury system, and established community courts and other "problem-solving" approaches to issues in the courts involving drug addiction, mental health, and domestic violence. Judge Kaye is currently Of Counsel to Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. A native of Monticello, New York, Judge Kaye attended Barnard College and New York University School of Law.

John A. Cirando: John Cirando is a partner of the law firm of D.J. and J.A. Cirando, Esqs., in Syracuse, New York. He served as Chief Assistant District Attorney in the Onondaga County District Attorney's Office and was a member of the United States Army, Judge Advocate General Corps. He has served as Chairperson of the New York State Bar Association's Committee on County Courts and Public Relations Committee, and as Secretary and member of the Board of Directors of the Onondaga County Bar Association. He has taught as an adjunct professor of law at Syracuse University College of Law and authored the 2004-2005 Survey of Criminal Law in New York State for the Syracuse University Law Review. He is general counsel for Vera House, Inc., and in 2005, received the Sister Mary Vera Recognition Award. He is a member of the NYS Law Revision Commission. He received his B.A. from St. Bonaventure University and his J.D. from S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo, School of Law.

Steven M. Cohen: Steven M. Cohen is currently a partner at the law firm of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP.  Previously, he served as Secretary to Governor Cuomo, and also as Mr. Cuomo’s Counselor and Chief of Staff in the Office of the New York Attorney General.  He also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief of the violent gang unit for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.  Mr. Cohen graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and earned his B.A. from New York University.  He currently resides in Brooklyn.

Ruth W. Friendly: Ruth Friendly is director of Media and Society Seminars at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Until 2012 she served as vice president and senior editorial director of Fred Friendly Seminars, Inc., continuing the work initiated by her husband, Fred Friendly. Starting in 1980, she worked with her husband creating and expanding the Columbia University Media & Society Seminars to promote constructive dialogue on complex contemporary issues. Ms. Friendly has served as executive producer, producer, editor, and researcher on more than 80 hours of Seminars programming for PBS. Ms. Friendly has also produced over 300 non-televised seminars for medical, legal, judicial, educational, governmental and civic groups across the country. Prior to 1980, Ms. Friendly taught for seventeen years in the Scarsdale public school system. She received her B.A. from Smith College and her M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Michael J. Hutter: Michael J. Hutter is a Professor of Law at Albany Law School, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1976. He is also Special Counsel to the law firm of Powers & Santola, LLP, in Albany, New York, where he specializes in appellate practice. Professor Hutter is an honors graduate of Brown University, and Boston College Law School, where was the Editor-In-Chief of Boston College’s law review (Annual Survey), and was elected to the Order of the Coif. After graduation, Professor Hutter served as law clerk to Judge Matthew J. Jasen, an Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals. From 1979-1984, he was the Executive Director of the New York State Law Revision Commission. He also served as Chair, NYS Capital Defender Office from 2005-2008. He presently serves as a Commissioner on the New York State Law Revision Commission. Professor Hutter is the immediate-past President of the Albany County Bar Association.

Simone M. Levinson: Simone M. Levinson is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Turnaround for Children, a nonprofit organization devoted to helping high-poverty, low-performing public schools create positive learning environments.  Ms. Levinson is also a member of the New York State Spending and Government Efficiency Commission, and serves on the National Council for AIPAC.  In 2009, Ms. Levinson co-founded the first New York Women's Division of AIPAC.  Previously, Ms. Levinson ran Martel Productions, her own successful event and marketing firm.  Ms. Levinson is a graduate of Tufts University.

Alan Mansfield: Alan Mansfield chairs the litigation practice of the New York office of Greenberg Traurig, LLP and serves on the firm's executive committee. Mr. Mansfield handles complex civil litigation and white-collar criminal matters, representing clients in diverse industries in matters ranging from product liability to corporate and securities to defamation and fraud. Mr. Mansfield is a former Chair of the Board of Directors of MFY Legal Services, Inc., and continues to serve on MFY's Board. He graduated from Brown University and Duke University School of Law.

Hon. E. Leo Milonas (Ret.): Judge Milonas has had twenty-six years of judicial experience, including service as an associate justice of the Appellate Division, First Department and as the Chief Administrative Judge of the State of New York. Judge Milonas is a past president of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and serves or has served on numerous other judicial advisory committees. Judge Milonas is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School and is currently a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

Margaret S. Morton: Margaret Morton is the Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, where she formerly served as General Counsel. Ms. Morton manages day-to-day operations of the City's funding for the not-for-profit cultural field. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Morton served in several government counsel positions, including the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, the New York City Mayor's Office of Public Safety, and the New York State Unified Court System, where she also managed the Human Resources Department. Ms. Morton is a graduate of Barnard College and Georgetown University Law Center.

Alvin H. Perlmutter: Alvin H. Perlmutter is Executive Producer and Director of the Independent Production Fund, and President of Sunrise Media LLC and Alvin H. Perlmutter, Inc. He previously served as NBC News Vice President, where he was responsible for all network documentaries and news magazine programs, and before that as Director of Public Affairs Programming and Program Manager of WNBC-TV, New York. Mr. Perlmutter is a former National Trustee of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and a past Governor of the Academy’s New York Chapter. He also served as a member of the Overseas Press Club of America and chairman of the board of both the Citizens for Independent Public Broadcasting and the Anti-Defamation League Dore Schary Awards Committee. He is a member of the board of directors of the New York Open Center, the Rockland Center for the Arts and is Chairman of the Board of Advisors of CUNY-TV. Mr. Perlmutter lectures on broadcasting matters to professional groups and universities, and has conducted classes in television news and public affairs at New York University and Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Perlmutter is a graduate of Syracuse University.

Ellen Schall: Ellen Schall is a Senior Presidential Fellow at New York University and Martin Cherkasky Professor of Health Policy & Management at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Most recently, Schall served as Dean of the Wagner school from 1992 to 2013. In that role she led the school’s trajectory from an institution with a strong local and regional reputation to one that is widely recognized nationally and internationally, and ranked #6 overall in the US. News & World Report ranking of public affairs schools. She began her career as a Legal Aid Society criminal defense attorney, and served as Commissioner of the NYC Department of Juvenile Justice from 1983 to 1990. She has extensive experience in nonprofit management and governance, including more than 30 years of active membership on the board of University Settlement House. Dean Schall’s legacy is one of helping to transform organizations by encouraging others to step up to their leadership potential. She received a B.A. from Swarthmore College and a J.D. (cum laude) from NYU School of Law.

Dierdre K. Scozzafava: Dierdre K. "Dede" Scozzafava is the New York Deputy Secretary of State for Local Government.  Before Governor Cuomo appointed her in January 2011, she previously served from 1999 through 2010 in the New York State Assembly representing the 122nd Assembly District, which includes portions of St. Lawrence, Lewis, and Oswego Counties.  She also served as a trustee in her hometown Village of Gouverneur, and then as mayor of Gouverneur from 1993 through 1998.  Ms. Scozzafava worked for 20 years with the investment firm of Tucker Anthony.  She holds a B.S. from the Boston University School of Management, and an M.B.A. from Clarkson University.

 
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