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The Empire

Cuomo's inner circle: Cohen, Zambelli, Glaser, Creelan and Lawsky

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Andrew Cuomo taps his inner circle for the first round of jobs in his new administration.

Steven Cohen will be the Secretary, the top job in a NY governor's administration. Lots of people will be reporting directly to him, who in turn, reports directly to the governor. Cohen worked with Cuomo in the AG's office.

Ben Lawsky will be the Chief of Staff. He came over from Schumer's office, was a top aide to Cuomo in the AG's office, and has, from time to time, fielded media inquiries.

Andrew Zambelli, who was the Secretary to Governor Mario Cuomo, will be a Counselor to the new Governor Cuomo.

Howard Glaser, who worked with the younger Cuomo at the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, will be director of State Operations.

Jeremy Creelan, who supported Cuomo in his political career and helped shape his reform agenda, will be the Special Counsel for Public Integrity and Ethics Reform.

Cuomo, who has been known to call reporters directly, has not yet named a director of communications.

Here's the announcement:

Governor-elect Cuomo announced the following appointments:
·         Steven M. Cohen will serve as Secretary to the Governor.
Mr. Cohen served as Counselor & Chief of Staff to New York State
Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo. Prior to joining the New York State
Attorney General's Office, Mr. Cohen was a partner at Cooley Godward
Kronish LLP, where he was a member of the firm’s Litigation
Department. Mr. Cohen also served for a decade as an adjunct
professor at Columbia Law School teaching a course in federal
criminal prosecutions and served as the Chair of The Mayor’s
Committee on New York City Marshals. Before entering private
practice, from 1991 to 1998, Mr. Cohen was an Assistant United States
Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he served as
Chief of the Violent Gangs Unit. Before joining the U.S. Attorney's
Office, Mr. Cohen served as a law clerk to the Honorable Stanely
Sporkin, U.S. District Judge and then the Honorable Frank X.
Altimari, U.S. Appellate Judge.

·         Mylan L. Denerstein will serve as Counsel to the Governor.
Ms. Denerstein has served as the Executive Deputy Attorney General
for Social Justice from January 2007 to the present managing almost
100 attorneys statewide in the areas of Charities, Civil Rights,
Environmental Protection, Health Care, Labor, and Tobacco
Compliance.  Prior to her current appointment, Ms. Denerstein served
as the Deputy Fire Commissioner for Legal Affairs for the New York
City Fire Department, the largest municipal fire department in the
country. From 1996 - 2005, Ms. Denerstein served in the United States
Attorney’s Office, Southern District, first as  an Assistant United
States Attorney, prosecuting complex securities and insurance fraud,
money laundering and organized crime.  She later became Deputy Chief
of the Criminal Division where she assisted in managing the Criminal
Division with over 100 Assistant United States Attorneys.

·         Yrthya A. Dinzey-Flores will serve as the Chief Diversity
Officer. Ms. Dinzey-Flores previously served as Manager at the Toyota
USA Foundation and Program Officer for National Philanthropy Programs
at Toyota Motor North America. She also served as a community
relations and philanthropic consultant for the Novartis
Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Prior to that she was Director of the
Office of School CBO Partnerships at the New York City Department of
Education, managing relationships and providing support to more than
350 community-based organizations. The Chief Diversity Officer is one
of three statutorily required positions within the executive chamber,
along with the Secretary and the Counsel. The Chief Diversity
Officer’s task is to reform and strengthen the State’s programs and
efforts encouraging the growth of Minority and Women’s Business
Enterprises within the state government and in the private sector.

·         Andrew “Drew” Zambelli will serve as Counselor to the
Governor.  In that capacity he will serve as senior advisor to the
Governor and be responsible for the oversight and strategic
integration of the communications, inter-governmental, legislative
and constituency efforts of the Office of the Governor.  From 1985 to
1994, he served in the administration of Governor Mario M. Cuomo
including as Secretary to the Governor from 1991 to 1994.  Since
1995, he has been a market strategy and research consultant to
corporate, political and non-profit clients including many Fortune
500 corporations. During this period, he has been affiliated with
Strategic Frameworking, Inc. of Washington and Massachusetts and
Summit Strategy Group, LLC which he founded in 2007.

·         Judge Leslie G. Leach will serve as Appointments Secretary.
Judge Leach was appointed Executive Deputy Attorney General for the
Division of State Counsel in February 2007. Prior to the appointment,
he had served since 2004 as the Administrative Judge of the Eleventh
Judicial District, Supreme Court, Queens County. Judge Leach was
appointed as a Judge of the Criminal Court of the City of New York by
Mayor David N. Dinkins in 1993, reappointed by Mayor Michael R.
Bloomberg in 2002, while serving as an Acting Justice of the Supreme
Court, and was elected a Justice of Supreme Court in November 2003.
He has taught Business Law at York College, CUNY, since 1982.

·         Howard B. Glaser will serve as Director of State Operations
and Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor.   During the Clinton
Administration, Mr. Glaser served in several senior management roles
at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, including
Counselor to the Secretary, Deputy General Counsel and Deputy
Assistant Secretary. After leaving HUD, Mr. Glaser was Senior Vice
President and General Counsel to the Mortgage Bankers Association in
Washington, DC.  At the state level, Mr. Glaser served at the
Department of Taxation and Finance as Special Assistant to the
Commissioner and in the Executive Chamber as Special Assistant to the

·         Jeremy Creelan will serve as Special Counsel for Public
Integrity and Ethics Reform. Mr. Creelan is currently a partner at
the law firm Jenner & Block LLP.  Mr. Creelan joined Jenner & Block
after serving as Deputy Director of the Democracy Program at the
Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.  At
the Brennan Center, he developed numerous high-profile cases to
reform New York’s election laws to protect voters’ rights and reduce
corruption, advocated for democratic reforms in such areas as ethics
and campaign finance, and published a comprehensive analysis of the
legislative process in the New York State Assembly and Senate.  In
1998-99, he clerked for the Honorable Denise L. Cote, U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York.

·         Benjamin Lawsky will serve as Chief of Staff. Mr. Lawsky
was appointed Deputy Counselor and Special Assistant to the Attorney
General in January 2007.  In the Attorney General's Office, Mr.
Lawsky led the nationwide investigation of the student loan industry
and oversaw the investigations of Wall Street bonuses and the Bank of
America-Merrill Lynch merger.  Mr. Lawsky also served as General
Counsel of the Cuomo 2010 campaign. Prior to joining the Attorney
General's Office, Mr. Lawsky served from late 2001 until 2007 as an
Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New
York, where he prosecuted securities fraud, organized crime, and
terrorism cases.  Prior to that, Mr. Lawsky was Chief Counsel to
Senator Charles E. Schumer.  From 1997 to 1999, he was a Trial
Attorney in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice in

·         Adam Cohen will serve as Special Policy Advisor.  Mr. Cohen
is a Lecturer at Yale Law School and a fellow at the Yale Information
Society Project.  He was a member of the New York Times Editorial
Board from 2002-2010, and before that, a journalist and a lawyer, a
law fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama,
and a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia Circuit.  He is the author of Nothing to Fear: FDR’s Inner
Circle and the Hundred Days that Created Modern America and The
Perfect Store: Inside eBay, and the co-author of American Pharaoh:
Richard J. Daley: His Battle for Chicago and the Nation."