Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced the nomination of Eric Gertler to serve as president and CEO of Empire State Development. Gertler is executive chairman of U.S. News & World Report and has been on the board of ESD since June 2018. The attorney will assume his new role in September and outgoing CEO Howard Zemsky will maintain his position as chair of the state's economic development agency.
"Eric is an innovative leader who spent decades at the intersection of business, media and government - making him uniquely suited to run our chief economic development and tourism agency," said Cuomo. "I'm grateful to Howard for continuing to serve as chairman of the board after a successful term overseeing this administration's locally-driven economic development strategy and in particular helping turn around Buffalo's economy and bringing young people back to Upstate cities. New York is the better for his service and the combination of these two fantastic leaders will be dynamite for future growth across the state."
"I have boundless faith in the economic potential of New York State and I look forward to supporting Governor Cuomo in further strengthening our dynamic economy for this and future generations," said Gertler. "As we continue to attract business investment, stimulate new industry, reinforce our existing infrastructure and invest in workforce development, we will build on New York State's legacy as one of the nation's most decisive economic engines."
"I have worked closely with Eric as a board member and have complete confidence that he is the right person to lead the critical work of ESD," said Zemsky. "His experience, insight and understanding of both New York and the business community will be of enormous benefit to his work at ESD and to the State. I look forward to a productive partnership with Eric as I continue as chairman of the Board of Empire State Development."
In addition to his role at U.S. News & World Report, Gertler is a former co-chair and co-publisher of the New York Daily News. He has overseen Ulysses Ventures, a multi-strategy investment fund based in New York City, and served as executive vice president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation and as managing director of the Center for Economic Transformation under multiple mayoral administrations.
Cuomo's anouncement also noted that Gertler serves as a trustee to the Zuckerman Institute and Zuckerman Family Foundation and as a board member of Columbia University's Zuckerman Mind Brain and Behavior Institute. He is on the Board of Governors for Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Tel Aviv University, as well as the Weizmann Institute of Science. Gertler also chairs the American-Israel Friendship League.