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Meet the Trustees

Meet The Trustees

The SUNY Board of Trustees is comprised of 18 members, 15 of whom are appointed by the Governor, with consent of the NYS Senate. The president of the Student Assembly serves as a voting member, and the presidents of the University Faculty Senate and Faculty Council of Community Colleges serve as non-voting members. Members also comprise a group of ten .

This diverse representation is also expanded on to include you, the public, holding open forums twice a year so that constituents have the opportunity to interact with the Board and provide input.

Dr. Merryl H. Tisch headshot
Dr. Merryl H. Tisch
Chairman
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Dr. Merryl H. Tisch was appointed Vice Chairman of the State University of New York Board of Trustees on March 6, 2018. She first joined the Board on June 21, 2017. Her term on the Board expires June 30, 2020.

Dr. Merryl H. Tisch is one of the nation's leading voices on education, having served at the helm of New York State’s governing body for education from 2009 to 2016. As Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, Dr. Tisch was responsible for setting the state’s education policy and overseeing both public and private education throughout New York.

Dr. Tisch was a member of the Board of Regents for twenty years and held the position of Vice Chancellor from 2007 to 2009. Her policies were informed by years of experience in the fields of education, community service, and philanthropy, including her work as a first-grade teacher at New York City’s Ramaz School and the B’nai Jeshurun School.

She currently holds a number of philanthropic and civic positions, including serving on the board of the International Rescue Committee and as co-chairperson of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, a leading social services agency. In addition, Dr. Tisch is on the board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and acts as the Met’s representative on the Public Design Commission. She also sits on the executive committees of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Citizens Budget Commission, and serves on the board of The Trust for Cultural Resources of the City of New York and the Graduate School of Education’s Board of Overseers at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Tisch founded the Tisch Cancer Institute at Mt. Sinai Hospital in 2008.

She earned a B.A. from Barnard College, an M.A. in Education from New York University, and received an Ed.D from Teacher’s College, Columbia University

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Cesar Perales headshot
Cesar Perales
Vice Chairman
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Cesar Perales was appointed a member of the SUNY Board of Trustees on June 21, 2019 his term expires on June 30, 2021. On September 25, 2019 Mr. Perales was designated Vice Chairman of the Board by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Mr. Perales grew up in New York City and earned a bachelor's degree from City College and a law degree from Fordham Law School.

Most recently, he served as New York State’s Secretary of State, where he was a leader in the state’s economic development, community revitalization and anti-poverty efforts. At the request of Governor Andrew Cuomo, he also established the New York Office for New Americans and the Empire State Fellows Program.

Mr. Perales became a neighborhood legal services lawyer upon graduation from law school and represented hundreds of indigent New Yorkers. He went on to be a co-founder and first head of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF), now known as LatinoJustice PRLDEF. Under his leadership, the organization brought suit against several school boards to ensure that non-English speaking students received language assistance. He also initiated successful anti-racial gerrymandering litigation in New York City. Mr. Perales also sued several jurisdictions to provide translation at the ballot box – a requirement that was subsequently made an amendment to the national Voting Rights Act.

Mr. Perales has devoted much of his life to public health and human services, serving as Assistant Secretary for Health, Education and Welfare under President Jimmy Carter; New York State Commissioner of Social Services under Governor Mario Cuomo; Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services under New York City Mayor David Dinkins and Senior Vice-President for Community Health at the New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Mr. Perales serves on the Board of Directors of Empire State Development, New York State's economic development agency. In 2018, he served as Chair of the New York City Charter Revision Commission.

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Joseph Belluck headshot
Joseph Belluck
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Joseph W. Belluck was appointed as a member of the SUNY Board of Trustees on June 3, 2010. Effective July 1, 2010, his term on the Board expires June 30, 2017.

He graduated in 1989 with a B.S. in Sociology from Binghamton University. Joseph W. Belluck, Esq., graduated magna cum laude from the University at Buffalo School of Law in 1994, where he later served as an adjunct lecturer on mass torts. He is a partner in the Manhattan law firm of Belluck & Fox, LLP, which focuses on asbestos, consumer, environmental and defective product litigation.

Mr. Belluck previously served as counsel to the New York State Attorney General, representing the State of New York in its litigation against the tobacco industry, as a judicial law clerk for Justice Lloyd Doggett of the Texas Supreme Court, and as Director of Attorney Services for Trial Lawyers Care, an organization dedicated to providing free legal assistance to victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Mr. Belluck has lectured frequently on product liability, tort law and tobacco control policy. He is an active member of several bar associations and serves as a member of the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

He lives in New York City and Woodstock, with his wife Laura and two children, Olivia and William.

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Courtney Eagles Burke headshot
Courtney Eagles Burke
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Courtney Burke has over 20 years of experience in health and disability policy. Since July of 2015 she has been working as the Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for Albany Medical Center (AMC) in Albany, New York, where she is responsible for developing and managing the implementation of AMC’s strategic plan, with a particular focus on increasing AMC’s capacity to carry out population health initiatives and value-based care, providing market analysis, and researching and monitoring changes in government programs.

From July 2013-July 2015 she served as New York State’s Deputy Secretary for Health for Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, overseeing 8 different health, disability, and aging-related agencies and offices. While in this role, she was involved in launching the state’s successful health insurance exchange, helped secure an $8 billion Medicaid waiver, and a $100 million State Innovation Model award from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Previous to that she served as Commissioner of the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, an agency of nearly 20,000 employees serving 126,000 New Yorkers with Developmental Disabilities. An expert in health and disability policy, Burke also served as Director of the New York State Health Policy Research Center at The Rockefeller Institute of Government and as a Senior Medicaid Researcher, where she published and co-authored numerous articles and research papers. She also served as the senior policy analyst at the Office of Advocate for Persons with Disabilities and has a Master’s in Health Policy and Management from the School of Public Health at the University at Albany.

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Eric Corngold
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Eric Corngold was appointed as a member of the SUNY Board of Trustees on June 20, 2013.

Mr. Corngold is a partner at Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman LLP, leading the firm's white-collar criminal defense and investigations practice. He represents businesses, their executives, and their employees during federal and state criminal investigations, as well as in regulatory matters involving the Securities and Exchange Commission and other federal and state government agencies. He also conducts internal investigations for corporations and other institutions on behalf of officers, boards of directors, and audit committees.

Mr. Corngold served as New York State's Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice from 2007 to 2009. Prior, he was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York for more than a decade. In that office, Mr. Corngold held a number of different positions, including Chief Assistant United States Attorney from 2005 to 2007, and the Chief of the office's Business and Securities Frauds Unit from 1999 to 2005.  In 2003, Mr. Corngold was awarded the Henry L. Stimson Medal for outstanding contribution to the Office of the United States Attorney by the New York City Bar Association.

Mr. Corngold received his B.A. from Swarthmore College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received his law degree from Yale Law School, where he was a Senior Editor of the Yale Law Journal, and was a law clerk to United States District Judge Charles P. Sifton of the Eastern District of New York. Mr. Corngold frequently lectures on white-collar crime, securities law, and criminal procedure topics, and is currently an adjunct Professor of Law at St. John's University School of Law, where he teaches that school's course on White Collar Crime.

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Robert Duffy headshot
Robert Duffy
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Rochester native Robert J. Duffy began as Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce president and Chief Executive Officer January 1, 2015. Prior to working for Rochester Chamber, Duffy served as New York lieutenant governor in Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration from January 2011 to December 2014. Duffy previously served as Rochester mayor from January 2006 to January 2011 and as Rochester police chief from March 1998 to April 2005, when he resigned his post to run for mayor. He joined the Rochester Police Department in November 1976.

During his tenure as Rochester mayor, Duffy was widely recognized for reducing the cost of government, improving services, lowering tax rates, and attracting millions of dollars in private-sector investments.

As lieutenant governor, Duffy chaired the Regional Economic Development Councils aimed at rebuilding New York's economy and positioning the Empire State to be a global economic leader. Duffy also served as chair of the Spending and Government Efficiency Commission. In that role, Duffy oversaw an effort to make New York's government more modern, accountable, and efficient.

Duffy also played an instrumental role on the governor's Mandate Relief Council. He chaired a series of statewide mandate relief hearings, which sought input from local government officials and constituents on the statutory and regulatory burdens faced by local governments and school districts.

In May of 2012, the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations awarded Duffy the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. The medal honors notable American citizens who demonstrate a life committed to community service.

Duffy holds two degrees from Monroe Community College, a Bachelor of Science from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a Master of Arts from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

Duffy also serves on a variety of boards, including Chairman AIM Photonics Leadership Council, Center for Governmental Research, Community Preservation Corporation, Business Council of New York State, AVANGRID, and Visit Rochester.

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Christy Fogal headshot
Christy Fogal
President, Faculty Council of Community Colleges
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Christy Fogal was elected President of the Faculty Council of Community Colleges in 2019. She first served as alternate delegate and then delegate for the FCCC representing Monroe Community College for the last 9 years.

Christy has been a Mathematics Professor at Monroe Community College since 2000. Having received a B.S. in Mathematics from Clarion University of Pennsylvania then an M.S. from Rochester Institute of Technology she regularly teaches Statistics I and Statistics II both in the lecture and online formats and developed the Statistics for the Social Sciences course.  She was recently granted the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service in spring of 2019.

In Christy’s time with the FCCC she served as the first chairperson of the then newly formed Education Initiatives Committee after which she was elected to the vice president’s position where she served for 4 years. During this time Christy was a member of the Provost’s Open SUNY Advisory Committee, Student Mobility Steering Committee, Co-chaired the Applied Learning Task Force, General Education Advisory Committee, and planned and attended several SUNY Voices events.

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Gwen Kay headshot
Gwen Kay
President, Faculty Senate
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Dr. Gwen Kay, Professor of History at SUNY Oswego and President of the Faculty Senate, joined the State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees July 2017

A member of Oswego’s faculty since 2000, she specializes in 20th-century American history, particularly issues of medicine, science, and gender. She has taught undergraduate courses in History, First Choice, as well as in the Honors program. She has supervised four students working towards their Master's degree in History, as well as more than 20 undergraduate Honors theses.

Professor Kay also serves the academic community. She is Director of Oswego’s Honors program, served as coordinator of the History department’s graduate program, is on numerous campus and SUNY-wide committees, and is Vice President and Secretary of the University Faculty Senate. Additionally, she is Treasurer for the History of Science Society. Professor Kay has also served the community in which she lives. She is an instructor of religion for the Syracuse Jewish community and has chaired numerous nonprofit boards in the Jewish community.

Dr. Kay’s first book, Dying To Be Beautiful, focused on federal regulations around cosmetics in the 20th century. Her current work examines the gendering of science, looking particularly at the transformation of the field of human ecology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries as both a way to teach science to women and also to de-gender science. She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters, and co-editor of Remaking Home Economics, a book on family and consumer sciences

Professor Kay received her B.A. degree in Biology and History from Bowdoin College and her Ph.D. in the History of Medicine and Science from Yale University. 

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Eunice Lewin headshot
Eunice Lewin
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Eunice A. Lewin was appointed to the SUNY Board of Trustees on February 2, 2010.

Since 1979, Trustee Lewin has been employed as a bilingual social worker for the Committee on Special Education at the Buffalo Board of Education. Previously, she volunteered at Buffalo Catholic Charities in 1976, before being employed there for three years as a Social Worker and later obtaining a position with the Erie County Department of Social Services in the Division of Child Protection.

Trustee Lewin serves on several Boards of Directors, including as commissioner of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, founding member of Roswell Park Alliance, and member of Buffalo Urban League, Hispanic United of Buffalo and Canisus College Board of Regents. She is also a member of the Erie County Chapter of Links, Hispanic Women’s League and Buffalo Niagara Guitar Festival Originators.

She was honored with the Ebony and Ivory Civic Award in 1994; inducted into The Western New York Women's Hall of Fame on March 14, 2002; and received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education in 2002; the National Conference for Community and Justice of Western New York 50th Annual Citation Award in 2003; and the Marcus Garvey Community Service Award in 2004.

Trustee Lewin was born in Guantanamo, Cuba. Her family migrated to the United States in 1967. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City before moving to Buffalo in 1976. She obtained a Master's degree in American and Puerto Rican Studies in 1978, and a Master's degree in Educational Administration in 1989, both from the University at Buffalo.

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Stanley S. Litow headshot
Stanley S. Litow
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Stanley S. Litow was appointed as a member of the SUNY Board of Trustees on June 24, 2015.  Effective July 1, 2015, his term on the Board expires June 30, 2022.

Stanley S. Litow is a Professor at both Columbia and Duke University. At Duke University he also serves as Innovator in Residence. Stan is the author of The Challenge for Business and Society: From Risk to Reward. He previously served as President of the IBM International Foundation and as Deputy Chancellor of Schools for the City of NewYork. Before his service at IBM and the NYC public schools he served as President and Founder of Interface and as Executive Director of the NYC Urban Corps, operated out of the Mayors Office. He has served on a multiple of Presidential and Gubernatorial Commissions and in addition to his service on the SUNY Board of Trustees he also serves on the board of Roosevelt House and the Citizens Budget Commission. Stan helped devise the innovative school to college to career program called, PTECH as well as the IBM Corporate Service Corps, often referenced as the corporate version of the Peace Corps. He has received multiple awards for his community service, from organizations such as the Ann Frank Commission, the Marin Luther King Commission, and the Center for an Urban Future as well as the Corning Award from the New York State Business Council.

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Austin Ostro headshot
Austin Ostro
President, SUNY Student Assembly (SUNYSA)
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Austin Ostro will serve as the 2019-20 President of the SUNY Student Assembly (SUNYSA) and Trustee on the SUNY Board of Trustees. Austin is entering his second year as a graduate student at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the University at Albany. He is pursuing his Master’s in Public Administration (MPA). 

Austin has always had an unmatched drive for public service. Immediately upon entering college at the University at Albany, he became a Senator of the campus student government. Austin stayed in this role for two years, serving as Vice Chair of the Senate, student representative on the faculty governance body, and member of the Governance and University Planning and Policy Committee as well as the Rules Committee. Serving in this capacity opened Austin's eyes to the power students have when they worked collectively. While still in his second term, he decided he wanted to advocate for students on an even larger scale. This is when Austin first stepped into a role on the Student Assembly Executive Committee- as Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs.

A year later, Austin moved up to Director of Legislative Affairs, and within a few short months became Chief of Staff to then-President Marc Cohen. Austin worked alongside Marc and others on the leadership team to amplify the student voice and elevate the Student Assembly's advocacy. Austin continued as Chief of Staff to then-President Braun, until January of 2019 when he was elected Vice President. 

Throughout his journey in the Student Assembly, Austin has proven his dedication, talent, passion, and perseverance. As President, Austin is committed to continuing the efforts of past leaders to expand the impact of Student Assembly advocacy; promote diversity, equity, and inclusion; build organizational capacity; and fight for students on the system, local, state and federal levels. 

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Richard Socarides headshot
Richard Socarides
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Richard Socarides was originally appointed as a member of the SUNY Board of Trustees on June 21, 2012 and was reappointed on June 16, 2015. His current term on the Board expires June 30, 2022.

Mr. Socarides is Head of Public Affairs at GLG (Gerson Lehrman Group), the leading professional learning platform, overseeing media, communications, marketing and government relations.

Mr. Socarides served as White House Special Assistant and Senior Advisor to President Bill Clinton where he focused on policy and political issues.  He has also worked on Capitol Hill as Special Assistant to Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and in senior corporate roles in media (Time Warner), entertainment (New Line Cinema) and technology (AOL). A lawyer by training, Mr. Socarides was formerly a partner in Squadron, Ellenoff, Plesent and Lehrer and Of Counsel at Brady Klein Weissman LLP, both New York City law firms.

Mr. Socarides is a writer and regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine and is also a frequent social and political commentator on television. He is a long-time gay rights advocate. A native New Yorker, Mr. Socarides is a graduate of Hofstra University School of Law and Antioch College.

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Carl Spielvogel
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Ambassador Carl Spielvogel is one of the nation’s leading international business executives. He joined the SUNY Board of Trustees in June, 2008.

He started his working career as a reporter and columnist at The New York Times. He later spent 20 years at McCann-Erickson and The Interpublic Group of Companies as Vice Chairman, before starting his own global marketing services company, Backer Spielvogel Bates Worldwide, as Chairman and CEO.

The Ambassador is currently Chairman and CEO of Carl Spielvogel Associates, Inc., an international marketing and finance company.

In his Government service, he was the U.S. Ambassador to The Slovak Republic; and a Governor of the U.S. Board of Broadcasting. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, and served in the U.S. Army for two years.

He serves on numerous cultural and corporate Boards, and is a graduate of Baruch College of the City University of New York. He resides in Manhattan, New York City. 

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Edward Spiro headshot
Edward Spiro
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Edward M. Spiro was appointed as a member of the SUNY Board of Trustees on June 17, 2016, for a term commencing June 22, 2016. His term on the Board expires June 30, 2020.

Mr. Spiro is a partner at Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello P.C. handling complex commercial litigation at the trial and appellate level in state and federal courts, and in arbitrations, for individual and corporate clients. He has extensive experience defending civil litigation related to concurrent governmental investigations or prosecutions, including class actions, derivative cases, and other complex matters involving the securities and antitrust laws. Mr. Spiro also represents law firms and accounting firms in a variety of contexts, including on partnership issues and matters of professional responsibility and liability. He has served as an expert in the areas of legal ethics and standards of care.

Mr. Spiro is co-author of Civil Practice in the Southern District of New York, 2d Ed. (Thomson Reuters 2015), a two-volume treatise updated annually, and co-author of a regular New York Law Journal column on civil practice in the Southern District of New York. He has lectured on professional ethics for the Practicing Law Institute and for the past several years chaired a New York City Bar Association CLE program entitled "Ethics, Discipline and Real World Obligations."

Mr. Spiro is a member of the Departmental Disciplinary Committee of the Appellate Division, First Department. He is a member of the House of Delegates of the New York State Bar Association. He is a former director of the New York County Lawyers’ Association and former Chair of its Committee on Professional Discipline. Mr. Spiro is a former Chair of the Committee on Professional Discipline of the New York City Bar Association. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a trustee of the Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon.

Mr. Spiro graduated from Colgate University, B.A., cum laude, and Boston University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, where he was a member of the Law Review.

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Cary Staller
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Cary F. Staller was originally appointed as a member of the SUNY Board of Trustees on June 3, 2009 and was reappointed on June 16, 2015.  His current term on the Board expires June 30, 2022.  Mr. Staller is President of Staller Associates, Inc., a commercial real estate firm with offices in Hauppauge, New York.

Mr. Staller is the Secretary and a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Stony Brook Foundation at Stony Brook University.  Since 1988, Mr. Staller has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Staller Center for the Arts at Stony Brook University.  Mr. Staller previously served on the Quality Assessment Review Board of Stony Brook University Medical Center.

Mr. Staller is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated summa cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  Mr. Staller received his Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School.  Following graduation from law school, Mr. Staller worked as an attorney specializing in real estate and tax law.

Mr. Staller served as the Mayor of the Village of Old Field from 1999 until 2008, when he retired from this position.

Mr. Staller is a member of the Bar of the State of New York. He and his wife reside in the Village of Old Field on Long Island. They are the proud parents of three children.

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