Headshot of New ESD President & CEO Eric Gertler

Eric Gertler

In August 2019, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo nominated Eric Gertler to serve as President and CEO of Empire State Development. A member of the ESD board since June 2018, Gertler assumed his role as Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate on Sept. 3. He replaces Howard Zemsky, who will remain Chair of the ESD Board.

Gertler brings extensive private and public sector leadership to ESD, from roles including Executive Chairman of U.S. News and World Report, managing member of Ulysses Ventures, a multi-strategy investment fund based in New York City, Executive Vice President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Managing Director of the Center for Economic Transformation. A media executive, entrepreneur and published author, Gertler has written and spoken extensively on key policy issues and economic development priorities including workforce development, infrastructure investment, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Gertler is a graduate of Brown University and holds degrees from the Sorbonne and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris. He earned a law degree, with honors, from American University, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.

Board of Directors

The Corporation is governed by a board of directors comprising two ex-officio members and seven members appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate. The chair of the Empire State Development Board is selected by the governor. Board members serve without compensation. 

Howard Zemsky, Chair
Confirmed – June 20, 2019

Eric J. Gertler, Director
Confirmed – June 20, 2018
Empire State Development, President and CEO Designate
NYS Department of Economic Development, Acting Commissioner
Effective – September 3, 2019

Robert R. Dyson, Director
The Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corporation, Chairman and CEO
Confirmed - March 16, 2010
Reappointed - June 20, 2012

Hilda Rosario Escher, Director
All American Home Care, Executive Vice President for Community & Government Affairs
Confirmed - June 16, 2015

Cesar A. Perales, Director
Confirmed - June 17, 2016

Linda A. Lacewell, Ex Officio Director
NYS Department of Financial Services, Superintendent
Appointed - February 4, 2019
Confirmed - June 20, 2019

Board meetings

The board typically meets the third Thursday of every month.


You can find board meeting archives here.

ESD Executive Management Team

Eric Gertler – Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate
Kevin Younis – Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Commissioner
Richard Newman – Chief of Staff and EVP, State Marketing Strategy
Elizabeth Fine – EVP, Legal and General Counsel
Rhoda Glickman – SVP, Film, Arts and New Media Development
Ed Hamilton – Sr. Deputy Commissioner for Finance and Administration
Elaine Kloss – Chief Financial Officer
Michael Lefebvre – EVP, Public Policy, Planning and Incentives
Holly Leicht – EVP, Real Estate Development and Planning
Jeff Nordhaus – EVP, Innovation and Broadband
Pravina Raghavan – EVP, Small Business Services and Community Economic Development
Valerie White – EVP and Executive Director, Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development
Matthew Gorton – EVP, Public Affairs and Communications

For more information, contact:
ESD Office of Public Affairs
(800) 260-7313