CUNY opens the 2016-2017 academic year with seven new members on its Board of Trustees, six appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and one, Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, by Mayor Bill de Blasio. “All of the new Trustees have solid records of leadership in the public and private sectors and are clearly committed to a successful, vibrant CUNY,” said Chancellor James B. Milliken, and four are proud alumni of the University.
The new chairperson of the Board of Trustees, William C. Thompson Jr. served as Comptroller for the City of New York from 2002 until 2009. Before that he was Brooklyn Deputy Borough President and a five-term President of the New York City Board of Education. As Board of Education President, he worked closely with CUNY officials to expand the University’s College Now program, which enables public high school students to take college courses. Chairperson Thompson is a Trustee Emeritus at Tufts University and a graduate of Tufts.
Other new trustees are:
Fernando Ferrer, Co-Chairman of Mercury Public Affairs, LLC, Vice-Chair-man of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Director of Sterling Bancorp and Sterling National Bank. As Bronx Borough President from 1987 to 2001, Trustee Ferrer funded nearly $2 million in notable upgrades to CUNY’s Lehman College, Bronx Community College and Hostos Community College. Across the borough he also created housing for about 66,000 families. He earned a B.A. from the University Heights College of Arts and Sciences of New York University, and an M.P.A. degree from Baruch College.
Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, SVP, Corporate Relations & Government Affairs at EmblemHealth. Trustee Cortés-Vázquez’ career includes service as New York’s Secretary of State, the first Hispanic in the post; and as a member of the New York State Board of Regents. She has also held leadership positions at AARP and Cablevision. A Hunter College graduate, she co-founded the CUNY/SUNY Model Senate of Somos el Futuro. She earned her master’s at New York University’s Graduate School of Public Service, and certificates from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and Columbia University’s School of Non-Profit Management.
Mayra Linares-Garcia, Director of Public Affairs and Communications for New York and Puerto Rico at Coca-Cola Co. Prior to that she served as director of Latino Affairs in the office of Gov. Cuomo. From 2011 to 2015 she was Citizen Services Representative in the Cuomo administration, working on community affairs with a focus on the Latino community throughout New York State, including Latino outreach and building and improving the government’s relationships with New York’s communities. She received her B.A. in political science from Marymount Manhattan College.
Robert F. Mujica, Budget Director for the New York State Division of the Budget. Trustee Mujica develops and manages the state’s fiscal policy, including overseeing preparation of budget recommendations for state agencies, economic forecasting, tax policy, planning, capital financing and management of the state’s debt portfolio. He previously served as Chief of Staff to the Temporary President and Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate and as Secretary to the Senate Finance Committee. He received his B.A. from Brooklyn College, a master’s in government administration from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Albany Law School.
Ken Sunshine, Co-CEO and Founder of Sunshine Sachs, a leading PR agency with offices in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. A media and public relations consultant for almost 40 years, Trustee Sunshine is also a longtime human and civil rights activist and serves on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Community Service Society, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC and the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. He served as Mayor David Dinkins’ Chief of Staff from 1990 to 1993, and is an advisor to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
Sandra Wilkin, founder and president of Bradford Cos., has built Bradford Construction Corp. into one of the leading woman-owned construction firms. She has been a passionate advocate for the advancement of women, minorities and small businesses in the industry. Ms. Wilkin was responsible for the “disparity study” funded by the New York City Council, which provided objective proof of the need to direct construction dollars, subcontracting opportunities and technical support to minority- and women-owned business firms. She is a graduate of Kingsborough Community College who went on to earn a bachelor of science in business and public administration from New York University, a bachelor of science in nursing from Hunter College and a construction management certificate from NYU.