The Albany 40 Under 40 Rising Stars of 2017

albany rising stars

Many of Albany’s most powerful figures in Albany are well into middle age. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for example, is 59 years old. State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan is 56, while the youngster of the group, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, is a relatively spry 49. State Sen. Jeff Klein, the leader of the Independent Democratic Conference, is in his 50s, while his rival, state Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, is in her 60s.

Week in and week out, we focus on these individuals and their influential peers who tend to be in the same age group. But this week, we take a step back and look at the next generation of political leaders – all of them under the age of 40.

RELATED: Albany 40 Under 40 2016

In this year’s Rising Stars list, we put the spotlight on a few ambitious young politicians who have put in their time before finally running for public office – and winning. We feature advocates and activists who left behind careers – and bigger paychecks – to follow their passions. We profile the governor’s point person on fixing the subways, Albany’s fact-checker-in-chief, the man who could be the next leader of the state Republican Party – and dozens more.

Introducing: The Albany 40 Under 40 for 2017.

Organizer, New York Civil Liberties Union

Iman Abid


Organizer, New York Civil Liberties Union

Finance Director, State Senate Independent Democratic Conference

Sarah Bangs


Finance Director, State Senate Independent Democratic Conference

State Senator

Jamaal T. Bailey


State Senator

Mobility Manager, Capital District Transportation Authority

Lauren Bailey


Mobility Manager, Capital District Transportation Authority

Managing Partner, Relentless Awareness LLC

Joe Bonilla


Managing Partner, Relentless Awareness LLC

Associate Executive Director, Upstate, Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies

Kathleen Brady-Stepien


Associate Executive Director, Upstate, Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies

Deputy Secretary for Transportation, Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Ali Chaudhry


Deputy Secretary for Transportation, Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Counselor, Public Affairs, Eric Mower + Associates

Saleem M. Cheeks


Counselor, Public Affairs, Eric Mower + Associates

Reporter, The Buffalo News and PolitiFact New York

Dan Clark


Reporter, The Buffalo News and PolitiFact New York

Grassroots and Policy Coordinator, New York State Network for Youth Success

Sara Cooper


Grassroots and Policy Coordinator, New York State Network for Youth Success

Special Counsel to state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan

James Curran


Special Counsel to state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan

Assemblywoman

Carmen De La Rosa


Assemblywoman

New York Assistant State Director, National Federation of Independent Business

Erin DeSantis


New York Assistant State Director, National Federation of Independent Business

Director of New York State Governmental Affairs, Housing Works

Jillian Faison


Director of New York State Governmental Affairs, Housing Works

Executive Director, Charter School Office, State Department of Education

David M. Frank


Executive Director, Charter School Office, State Department of Education

Policy Analyst, Empire Center for Public Policy

Ken Girardin


Policy Analyst, Empire Center for Public Policy

Senior Policy Advisor, Empire State Development

Alexandra M. Greene


Senior Policy Advisor, Empire State Development

Director of Communications and Strategy, Millennium Pipeline Co.

Michelle Hook


Director of Communications and Strategy, Millennium Pipeline Co.

Executive Director, New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus

Kyle H. Ishmael


Executive Director, New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus

Deputy Director and General Counsel, Human Services Council of New York

Michelle Jackson


Deputy Director and General Counsel, Human Services Council of New York

Staff Attorney, New York’s Utility Project

Lisabeth Jorgensen


Staff Attorney, New York’s Utility Project

Chairman, Erie County Republican Committee

Nicholas A. Langworthy


Chairman, Erie County Republican Committee

Vice President of Governmental Affairs, New York Credit Union Association

Michael Lieberman


Vice President of Governmental Affairs, New York Credit Union Association

Legislative Director, Patrick B. Jenkins & Associates and The Riddell Group LLC

Cory Loomis


Legislative Director, Patrick B. Jenkins & Associates and The Riddell Group LLC

Assistant Commissioner of Public Affairs, State Department of Environmental Conservation

Sean Mahar


Assistant Commissioner of Public Affairs, State Department of Environmental Conservation

Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, State Attorney General's Office

Joe Malczewski


Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, State Attorney General's Office

Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, The Roffe Group

Alexandra C. Moore


Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, The Roffe Group

Water and Natural Resources Associate, Environmental Advocates of New York

Liz Moran


Water and Natural Resources Associate, Environmental Advocates of New York

Managing Partner, Capital Companies NY

Daniel C. Oh


Managing Partner, Capital Companies NY

Chief of Staff, New York Department of State

Lilian Vieira Pascone


Chief of Staff, New York Department of State

Assemblyman

Ed Ra


Assemblyman

Special Assistant to the Commissioner, State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services

Esteban “Steve” Ramos


Special Assistant to the Commissioner, State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services

Senior Associate General Counsel, UnitedHealthcare

Kelly Ryan


Senior Associate General Counsel, UnitedHealthcare

Government Relations Director, American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association

Kristin Salvi


Government Relations Director, American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association

Director of Political and Governmental Affairs, Laborers' Eastern Region Organizing Fund

Edgar Santana


Director of Political and Governmental Affairs, Laborers' Eastern Region Organizing Fund

State Government Reporter, Gotham Gazette

Rachel Silberstein


State Government Reporter, Gotham Gazette

Associate State Director, AARP New York

Joe Stelling


Associate State Director, AARP New York

Manager of Operations and Outreach, Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York

Phoebe Stonbely


Manager of Operations and Outreach, Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York

Northeast Director, Young Invincibles

Kevin Stump


Northeast Director, Young Invincibles

Program and Policy Director, League of Women Voters of New York State

Jennifer Wilson


Program and Policy Director, League of Women Voters of New York State