Alumna Kathy Hochul ’80 BA (PSc) is first female governor of NYS
Kathy Hochul ’80 (PSc), New York State’s lieutenant governor and an alumna
of Syracuse University’s Maxwell School
of Citizenship and Public Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences, has become the 57th and first female
governor of New York State.
Hochul, a former U.S. Congresswoman who represented New York’s 26th
congressional district in western New York from 2011-13, has served as
the state’s lieutenant governor since 2015. She was head of government
and strategic relations for M&T Bank at the time of her lieutenant
She previously served as a practicing attorney, member of the Hamburg
Town Board, (1994-2007), deputy county clerk (2003-07) and clerk
(2007-11) of Erie County in western New York. Earlier in her career, she
was a legislative aide to Congressman John LaFalce and Sen. Daniel
Patrick Moynihan (D-NY)--also a former University Professor in the Maxwell School--and was instrumental in drafting legislation related to campaign finance
reform, immigration reform and combating drug abuse.
As lieutenant governor, Hochul has served as president of the New
York State Senate and the state’s liaison to New York’s federal
representatives in Washington, D.C. She chaired the state’s 10 Regional
Economic Development Councils, the state’s Workforce Investment Board,
the Women’s Suffrage 100th Anniversary Commemoration Commission and the
New York State Heroin and Opioid Abuse Task Force.
She also spearheaded the state’s “Enough is Enough” campaign to
combat sexual assault on college campuses. Hochul participated in a
roundtable discussion on sexual and relationship violence at Syracuse
University in April 2015.
Hochul has spoken to student veterans as part of the Veteran and
Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) program and to
student entrepreneurs and has helped to celebrate the opening of new
laboratories at the SyracuseCoE.
Hochul came to Syracuse University in 1976 to major in political
science. Here, she took political science courses, including Modern
American Politics, Russian Politics and Constitutional Law. She also
engaged in debates, sharpened her public speaking skills and
participated in student government.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Syracuse in
1980 and holds a juris doctor degree from Catholic University.