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Governor Kathy Hochul began her career in public service on her local Town Board before serving as Erie County Clerk, and then as a member of Congress for New York’s 26th Congressional District. She more recently served in statewide office as Lieutenant Governor and now as the first female Governor of the State of New York.
As Lieutenant Governor from 2015 to 2021, Hochul successfully spearheaded numerous initiatives and lead the administration’s economic development and job creation efforts across the state, working every day to advocate for policies that help all New Yorkers make ends meet.
She also helped New York State manage the COVID-19 pandemic response, while focusing on a recovery that builds back better and more inclusive.
Hochul chaired the statewide Regional Economic Development Councils that have transformed the state’s economy by building upon regional strengths through long-term strategic plans.
She also served as co-chair of the State’s Heroin and Opioid Task Force to hear from experts and community members in search of answers to the opioid crisis and develop a comprehensive strategy for New York.
As Lieutenant Governor, she championed the ‘Enough is Enough’ law to prevent sexual assault on college campuses, spearheaded the State’s Paid Family Leave program, and worked to eliminate the gender wage gap, expand access to affordable child care, and combat sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace and beyond.
She served as chair of the State’s Women’s Suffrage Commission and co-chair of the State’s Child Care Availability Task Force.
From 2011 to 2013, Hochul served in the U.S. House representing New York’s 26th Congressional District. Then Congresswoman Hochul served on the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, traveling to Afghanistan to confer with military leaders and meet with active duty men and women. Her focus in Congress was job creation and bridging the skills gap by bringing together business and academia, and creating opportunities for returning veterans.
Early Career and Education
Hochul served as Erie County Clerk from 2007 to 2011. Before that, Hochul worked for 14 years as a Hamburg Town Board member. She served as liaison to the local economic development agency and worked to attract new businesses and create jobs following the loss of the Western New York manufacturing base.
Hochul holds a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and a law degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. She began her legal career working at a large firm in Washington, D.C. and later served as legal counsel and legislative assistant to Congressman John LaFalce and Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. She was instrumental in drafting legislation related to campaign finance reform, immigration reform and combatting drug abuse.
In 2006, Hochul joined her mother and aunt in establishing the Kathleen Mary House, a transitional home for victims of domestic violence.