Governor Hochul Announces New Administration Appointments

By HOCHUL PRESS OFFICE | November 22, 2021

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced new administration appointments.

“As my administration works to deliver results for all New Yorkers, it is crucial we bring on the best and the brightest to solve our state’s most pressing challenges and lead the way,” Governor Hochul said. “With the diverse backgrounds and wealth of experience we are adding to our team, we will work with partners at all levels to move our state forward and get the job done for New Yorkers.”

Jeffrey H. Pearlman has been appointed Special Counsel to the Governor. Mr. Pearlman most recently served a second term as the Director of the Authorities Budget Office, designed to make public authorities more accountable and transparent, and to act in the public interest consistent with their intended purpose. He previously served as Chief of Staff and Counsel to Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. Prior to this, Mr. Pearlman served as Chief of Staff to the New York State Senate Democratic Conference. Mr. Pearlman was also formerly Of Counsel to the law firm Greenberg Traurig where his field of practice included Government Affairs and litigation, specializing in Ethics, Freedom of Information Law, Election Law and other client related matters. Additionally, Mr. Pearlman was an Assistant Counsel to Governor David Paterson. Mr. Pearlman served as a staff person in the New York State Assembly and New York State Senate during which he worked for Member of the Assembly Ivan Lafayette, and State Senators Liz Krueger, Martin Connor, David Paterson, Jeremy Weinstein, Donald Halperin, and Manfred Ohrenstein. Mr. Pearlman also served as a judicial intern to New York Supreme Court Justice Louis Benza. He is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and Albany Law School and resides in Albany, New York.

Micah Lasher has been appointed Director of Policy. Mr. Lasher has served in an array of leadership roles in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. He was Head of Policy and Communications for Sidewalk Labs, an Alphabet (Google) company focused on innovation in technology and urban design to address challenges facing cities across the world. Previously he served as Chief of Staff in the Office of the New York State Attorney General where he managed a government organization of 1,800 employees, providing direct oversight of high-profile and sensitive matters, and helped reestablish New York as a progressive leader among state attorneys general. As Director of State Legislative Affairs for the City of New York from 2010 to 2012, Mr. Lasher represented Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg before New York State government, leading the work of formulating and advancing the legislative agenda of more than fifty city agencies, and negotiating complex agreements with the governor and legislature. Mr. Lasher was also Executive Director of External Affairs for the New York City Department of Education, an aide to Congressman Jerry Nadler and a founding partner of the communications consulting firm now called SKDKnickerbocker. Actively involved in the civic and political affairs of New York City, Mr. Lasher serves as a trustee of several nonprofit organizations, including the Riverside Park Conservancy (which he chairs), the Community Service Society, and Everytown for Gun Safety. Mr. Lasher is a graduate of New York University where he received a B.A. in Sociology.

Lonnie T. Threatte has been appointed Deputy Director of Policy. Mr. Threatte most recently served as Assistant Deputy Director of the Office of Program and Counsel in the New York State Senate directing a team of policy analysts and counsels. Prior to that, he served as Vice President of External Affairs for the Higher Education Services Corporation and as the Assistant Deputy Secretary for Education in the Executive Chamber of the Governor’s Office.  Mr. Threatte began his career with the New York State Assembly Ways and Means Committee where he grew from the role of analyst to Deputy Director of Budget Studies. Mr. Threatte earned his Bachelor of Arts in Government from Dartmouth College and his Master of Public Administration from Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

Chatodd Floyd has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Legislative Affairs and Policy. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Secretary, Mr. Floyd served as the Director of Legislative Affairs where he served as a liaison between the Senate and Assembly and also oversaw special projects such as the New York State Vaccine Equity Task Force providing education and outreach to communities of color.  Prior to joining the Office of the Governor, Mr. Floyd was the Deputy Chief of Staff for the New York City Mayor’s office.  During his time in City Hall, Mr. Floyd served in a myriad of capacities including Interim-Director of State Legislative Affairs, overseeing all state legislative matters on behalf of the City as well as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. Mr. Floyd began his career in State Service as a Legislative Fellow for Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (Bronx/Westchester) and also served as Legislative Budget Analyst for the Ways and Means Committee in the New York State Assembly. Mr. Floyd is a native of Columbia, SC and holds a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Emory University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Veronica Ng has been appointed Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs. Prior to joining the Governor’s office, Ms. Ng helped the New York State Senate secure a supermajority as a lead consultant at The Parkside Group. Ms. Ng previously served as Director of External Affairs for then-Lieutenant Governor Hochul and previously worked in external relations at the Senate Democratic Conference, and as Communications Director for then-Council Member Mark Weprin. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and Anthropology from Hunter College. Born and raised in Queens, she resides in Jackson Heights, is a 2x marathoner and a record holding powerlifter.

Sandra Rivera, Esq. has been appointed Senior Advisor for Legislative Affairs. Previously, Ms. Rivera was in private practice advising clients on a variety of matters relating to technology and economic development, health and human services, and criminal and social justice. Most recently, she served as Principal of her own firm, Rivera Law, PLLC.  Additionally, she was appointed as a Commissioner of the Office of Court Administration’s Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission.  She has also served in a variety of leadership roles at the New York State Bar Association and was Chair of the Board of Family Planning Advocates of New York State. Before attending law school, Ms. Rivera began her career as a legislative associate in the New York State Assembly Majority Leader’s Office. Ms. Rivera is a graduate of the University at Albany, where she received a BA in Anthropology and MA in Political Communication. She received a JD from Albany Law School and is admitted to practice in New York.

Rhay Guillen has been appointed Director of Legislative Affairs. Mr. Guillen previously served as Senior Advisor for Legislative Affairs at the New York Executive Chamber. He also served as Deputy Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs to New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and a Regional Coordinator for the New York State Assembly Office of Communications and Information Services. In addition, Mr. Guillen worked as a Coordinator for the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee. He started his career in the offices of Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and Congressman Dan Maffei. A South Bronx native, Mr. Guillen holds a B.A. from SUNY Oswego.

Matthew Pennello has been appointed Director of Cabinet Affairs. Most recently, Mr. Pennello served as Director of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs for the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance. Prior to that he has served in the NYS Executive Chamber as Special Assistant to the Governor for Legislative Affairs, Regional Representative for the Mohawk Valley, and Assistant Director for Central New York Intergovernmental Affairs with the NYS Department of Labor. He has also served as a Policy Advisor for the City of Syracuse. Mr. Pennello has also advised and worked on local, congressional and statewide campaigns in New York State. He is a native of Cortland and received his B.A. in Political Science and Economics from SUNY Cortland, where he also earned a SUNY Research Fellowship studying the effect of terrorism on modern constitutional theory.