News from New York State Office of the Governor

For Immediate Release: May 16, 2011


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the following nominations and appointments to his administration:

Benjamin M. Lawsky was nominated to be the Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services.

Governor Cuomo created the Department of Financial Services (DFS) by merging the New York State Banking Department and the New York State Department of Insurance as part of the 2011-12 budget. The DFS is designed to better regulate modern financial services organizations. By combining the Banking and Insurance Departments into a unified financial regulator, the new Department of Financial Services will be a more efficient, modern, and comprehensive regulator of the financial sector.

Mr. Lawsky is currently the Governor's Chief of Staff. He previously served as the Deputy Counselor and Special Assistant throughout the administration of then-Attorney General Cuomo.

Prior to that, Mr. Lawsky spent more than five years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he prosecuted securities fraud, organized crime, and terrorism cases. Previous to that, Mr. Lawsky served as Chief Counsel to Senator Charles Schumer on the Senate Judiciary Committee and as a Trial Attorney in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice.

James J. Wrynn will be appointed to serve as Deputy Superintendent of Financial Services. Most recently, Mr. Wrynn was the Superintendent for the New York State Insurance Department. Prior to that, he spent 25 years as a trial attorney focusing in the areas of life, accident and health insurance, property and casualty insurance, general liability insurance, insurance coverage disputes, professional malpractice, and product liability.

Fernando Ferrer was nominated to be a member of the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Mr. Ferrer was the Bronx Borough President from 1987-2001 and a New York City Mayoral candidate in 2001 and 2005. In addition, he was a member of the New York City Council from 1982 to 1987.

Jonathan Sheffer was nominated to be a member of the Council on the Arts.

Mr. Sheffer is a conductor and composer who founded the Eos Orchestra in NY, and has appeared as a guest conductor around the world. He is a graduate of Harvard University and later was a student at Juilliard Extension and Aspen School of Music. He currently serves as the New York City Council Speaker's designee to the board of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Governor Cuomo also announced the nominations of members to the Public Health and Health Planning Council:

Other than Mr. Wrynn, these nominations are subject to Senate confirmation.

John T. Milgrim was appointed to serve as Deputy Inspector General for Public Affairs.

Mr. Milgrim has most recently been serving as the Governor's Director of Special Projects. He previously served as press secretary throughout the administration of then-Attorney General Cuomo.

Previously, Mr. Milgrim worked for 15 years as an award-winning journalist for the Dow Jones Community Newspaper Group, the last six years of which were covering New York State government as a member of the Legislative Correspondents Association in the Capitol.

Additional news available at
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