President & CEO
Empire State Development & Commissioner of the New York State Department of Economic Development
In January 2015, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo nominated Howard Zemsky to serve as President & CEO of Empire State
Development and Commissioner of the New York State Department of Economic Development. Mr. Zemsky was confirmed by the Senate on March 30, 2015.
Empire State Development, or "ESD," is the economic development agency of New York State. Mr. Zemsky and his colleagues manage a broad range of programs, incentives and services designed to increase private sector investment and job creation in New York. The organization has a staff of over 450 people located in 12 offices across the State. Howard works closely with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and the respective regional co-chairs to implement the Regional Economic Development Councils, the Governor' s decentralized, collaborative and strategic approach to economic development.
Howard Zemsky has co-chaired the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council during the past four years and has worked closely on the Governor' s Buffalo Billion revitalization initiative. His company, Larkin Development Group, has redeveloped approximately 1.0 million square feet of historic building space in Buffalo since 2002, with a particular focus on reclaiming Buffalo' s earliest industrial neighborhood, the Larkin Historic District.
In recent years Howard has chaired Western New York' s Transportation Authority, SUNY Buffalo State College serving over 10,000 students, and he has served as President of the Richardson Center Corporation, a non-profit board charged with rehabilitation of the Richardson and Olmsted designed former NY State Psychiatric Hospital.
Mr. Zemsky has a Bachelor' s degree from Michigan State University and a M.B.A from the University of Rochester.
He is a Brooklyn native, a product of Long Island and a resident of Buffalo where he and his wife Leslie have lived for 30 years with their 3 children.