Headshot of Howard Zemsky

A Message from Commissioner Howard Zemsky

Eight years ago, I received an unexpected invitation to co-chair the Western New York REDC under a new Governor, Andrew Cuomo. Four years later, he extended another unexpected invitation and asked me to head Empire State Development.

Serving as President, CEO and Commissioner of ESD and as Governor Cuomo’s head of economic development has been the honor of a lifetime. Working with the ESD team has been the best part of my job. I’m indescribably proud of what we’ve accomplished and of my association with everyone at ESD.

As reported by various news outlets earlier this month, I am planning to step back from my role as  President, CEO & Commissioner of Empire State Development. In the meantime, I will continue to serve in this capacity and will take an active role in the search for a replacement. I know that when a new President, CEO & Commissioner comes on board, we will make a smooth transition – and I expect to remain involved as Chair of the ESD Board.

New York has been the beating heart of business for a very long time, and ESD is at the center of that success. Ours is often the go-to agency for so many of the Governor’s key initiatives and we have a very bright future ahead. I look forward to continuing that work.

Howard Zemsky

President, CEO & Commissioner

Empire State Development