Meet the 2012-2014 Empire State Fellows
The following outstanding professionals form the inaugural class of Empire State Fellows:
Michael Baer is the Chief Financial Officer for JP Morgan’s US Equity, Global Multi-Asset Group, Private Equity, and Hedge Fund of Funds investment platforms where he is responsible for financial planning and strategy for more than $180 billion in client assets and financial oversight of an operating budget of over $275 million. Michael’s writings include policy papers about the use of social impact bonds as a new outcomes-based social finance investment vehicle in financing water supply and sanitation services in developing countries. Michael earned a Bachelor of Science in business management from Babson College and a Masters of Science of Global Affairs at New York University. Michael is certified as a Chartered Financial Analyst, and he is a marathon runner and tri-athlete.
Placement: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Tamara manages the Business & Legal Affairs division of Sony Music Entertainment where she leads the team responsible for identifying ancillary markets to promote and distribute Sony’s music. Tamara earned a Bachelor of Arts in history and politics from Mount Holyoke College and an Intellectual Property Law Certification from the New York University School of Professional & Continuing Studies. Tamara serves on the Board of Directors of Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow and speaks Italian, Spanish, Latin and some Japanese.
Placement: New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities
Alejandra Diaz rose to Lead Experience Architect at NTT DATA, INC. where she leads a team in developing qualitative research approaches and uses the resulting audience insights to inform and design services, system interfaces, business processes, and communication strategies primarily in the pharmaceutical space. Alejandra earned a Bachelor of Arts in the History of Science, History of Medicine from Yale University, and a business certificate from the Columbia University School of Continuing Education. Alejandra serves on the New York community advisory board member for the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and HIV Prevention Trials Network.
Placement: Executive Chamber
Samuel Filler was the Director of Programs for the Transportation and Land Use Collaborative (TLUC), an urban planning consulting firm in Southern California that specialized in stakeholder engagement in Latino communities. Samuel was also a Coro Fellow in Southern California and an Americorps member with City Year. Samuel earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from Vassar College, and a Master of Urban Planning from the NYU Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. Samuel speaks intermediate-level Spanish.
Placement: Empire State Development
Jennifer M. Gomez
Jennifer Gomez is a Legislative Counsel at the New York City Council, where she advises council members on a wide array of issues, including the impact of policies instituted by the Administration for Children’s Services, the Department of Homeless Services, and the Human Resources Administration. Previously, Jennifer was a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law and a litigation associate at Simpson Thacher and Bartlett LLP. Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Latin American Studies, cum laude, from Mount Holyoke College and a JD from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. She is currently a board member of the Dominican Bar Association. Jennifer is a native Spanish speaker, conversant in French and Portuguese, and speaks basic Italian.
Placement: New York State Office for Temporary and Disability Assistance
Dylan J. Hayden
Dylan served for six years in the United States Navy, including a tour in Afghanistan, as an Arabic and Pashto-Afghan linguist. Dylan has worked at the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, where he helped implement a revolutionary electronic fare collection system at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. Dylan earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the State University of New York at New Paltz and an Associate of Arts in Modern Standard Arabic from the Defense Language Institute, Foreign Language Center, in addition to his Master of Public Administration from the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania. Dylan is an avid SCUBA diver, holds a Private Pilot certificate and speaks Arabic and Pashto.
Placement: New York Department of Labor
Kisha is Vice President and Senior Project Manager at Rosenberg Housing Group (RHG), a private affordable housing development company that specializes in working with public housing authorities on mixed-finance projects. Before joining RHG, Kisha served as a Program Assistant for YouthBuild in Harlem, a General Management Coordinator at Walt Disney Theatrical Productions, and a Community Outreach and Special Events Coordinator at Parsons Child and Family Center. Kisha earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a Masters in regional planning at the State University of New York at Albany. Kisha is certified as a LEED Green Associate.
Placement: New York State Homes and Community Renewal
Nora Yates is the Executive Director of the Pride Center of the Capital Region, where she has revitalized and expanded the 42 year old organization. Nora previously worked at the Empire State Pride Agenda managing staff statewide. Nora developed and taught various courses as an adjunct professor at the State University of New York at Albany for six years, and served as a project manager at Kaleel Jamison Consulting Group. Nora earned a Bachelor of Arts in French and Women’s Studies, and a Master of Arts in Women’s Studies at the State University of New York at Albany. Nora also earned a Master in Public Administration from the Sage Graduate School.
Placement: New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services