NY Governor Cuomo Announces 5 New Latino Appointments

State of New York | Executive Chamber (March 20. 2015) 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced five appointments to his administration, building on a diverse, growing team committed to implementing his bold agenda.

«These men and women are among the most dedicated and talented individuals in their respective fields, and they will help make New York stronger and fairer than ever before in their new roles,» Governor Cuomo said. «Our administration is actively working to move New York forward, and I am proud to welcome each of these individuals to the team to further our efforts.»


Elizabeth De León Bhargava has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Labor. Ms. Bhargava previously served as First Deputy Chief of Staff for New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito and, prior, as Deputy Commissioner for the Neighborhood Development Division of the New York City Department of Small Business Services, where she was responsible for the city’s Business Improvement Districts, the largest network in the country investing more than $100 million in programs and services throughout NYC. Before working for the City, she was Associate Commissioner for the New York State Department of Labor and Assistant Deputy Counselor for the New York State Attorney General. Ms. Bhargava has a B.A. from Binghamton University and a J.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law.


Rose Rodriguez has been appointed Chief Diversity Officer. She has served the State in a variety of executive and management roles, most recently as Special Assistant to the Commissioner and Director of Workforce Development at the New York State Department of Labor, where she spearheaded several agency efforts linked to the Governor’s initiatives including the Buffalo Billion, The New NY Bridge, and the New NY Bronx Works partnership. Prior to joining the administration, she served as Vice President for Policy and Programs at the Committee for Hispanic Children and Family, Inc., as Senior Advisor and Director of Constituent Services for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development as Deputy Director in the Office of Community Planning and Development. She served in the cabinet of Governor Mario Cuomo as the Executive Director of the Office of Hispanic Affairs and Chairperson for the Governor’s Hispanic Advisory Board. Ms. Rodriguez has a B.S. from Fordham University and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law.


Jorge Montalvo has been appointed Deputy Secretary of State for Economic Opportunity where he will advise and support the Secretary of State in the management of the Department of State and will be responsible for assisting in formulating agency policy and implementing program plans related to the $60 million Community Service Block Grant, the Division of Consumer Protection and the Cemeteries Division, among other State programs. Mr. Montalvo will continue to serve as Director of the New York State Office for New Americans and will also continue to oversee the Regional Economic Development Councils Opportunity Agenda and the Empire State Fellows program. Mr. Montalvo previously served as Director of Strategic Policy Initiatives for the New York State Consumer Protection Board. Before joining the State, he served as Policy and Public Affairs Officer for the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Corporate Relations and Volunteerism coordinator for the NYC 2012 Olympic Bid Committee. Mr. Montalvo has a B.A. in chemistry from Dartmouth College.


Matthew Fernandez Konigsberg has been appointed Special Counsel to the Secretary for Ethics, Risk and Compliance at the Department of State. Mr. Konigsberg previously served as an associate at Foran Glennon focusing on first-party property coverage, subrogation recovery, casualty/liability defense matters, as well as other types of commercial litigation. Before joining Foran Glennon, he served as Assistant Corporation Counsel for the New York City Law Department, where he held a hybrid position as a pre-trial and trial attorney. He also served as pro bono Legal Counsel for the Rockland County Board of Advisors for ASPIRA of New York, Inc, a Hispanic non-profit organization working to foster educational excellence and civic responsibility among young Latinos. In this role, he counseled the Rockland County Board on diverse legal issues arising out of ASPIRA’s Rockland operations. He is also Deputy Regional President of the Hispanic National Bar Association – Region II, serving on its Judiciary Committee, and has served as Judiciary Co-Chair of the Puerto Rican Bar Association. Mr. Konigsberg has a B.A. from University of Wisconsin-Madison and a J.D. from Rutgers School of Law – Newark.


Angel Santana has been appointed the Governor’s Bronx Regional Representative. Mr. Santana previously served as Director of Community Affairs and, prior, Community Liason for State Senator Jose M. Serrano. He has a B.A. from Mount Saint Mary College and is currently pursuing an M.P.A. at Columbia University.


Extreme Latino Underrepresentation in New York State Government: 2014, The NiLP Latino Policy & Politics Report (January 8, 2015)

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