Liz Gordon has extensive government and policy-making experience. She served most recently as Special Counsel to the Commissioner at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), where she played a key role in developing policy and overseeing Department operations and budgeting. At DEC, Liz served as the lead on issues that required intergovernmental coordination, working closely with the Governor’s Office and the leadership in other State Agencies such as Department of Transportation, Department of Health, Empire State Development Corporation, and the Office of the State Comptroller, as well as local governments across the State.
Prior to her service at DEC, Liz worked in the New York State Governor’s Office as Assistant Secretary for the Environment where she negotiated the environmental budget, handled legislative initiatives, and exercised oversight of multiple state agencies and authorities including DEC, Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Adirondack Park Agency, Department of Agriculture and Markets, Department of State, and Environmental Facilities Corporation. Liz has also served as Assistant Commissioner for Intergovernmental Affairs at the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, where she led the successful effort to secure an historic $100 million investment in State Parks infrastructure, and served as a trouble-shooter on Historic Preservation issues. In addition, Liz has a dozen years of experience working in the New York State Legislature, having served as Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chairman Tom DiNapoli’s Senior Counsel, where she successfully drafted and negotiated more than 200 bills that were signed into law.
Throughout her years of government service, Liz has developed strong relationships with a vast variety of stakeholders including businesses of all sizes, environmental groups, municipalities, utilities, developers and historic preservation advocates. Liz has Chaired her local Planning Board in the Town of Easton and has served on the Town’s Comprehensive Plan Committee. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, Liz lives on a farm in upstate New York with her husband, two sons and various farm animals.
Stu Gruskin's career has spanned both the public and private sector. Most recently, Stu served as Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the Department. In that capacity, he was responsible for supervising all environmental quality and natural resource policy and regulatory initiatives, press and media activities, and the management of 3,000+ employees. In addition, Stu was DEC’s primary liaison with the Governor’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office, other state agencies (e.g., Department of Transportation, Public Service Commission, Department of State, Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Empire State Development Corporation, Division of Budget, etc.), the New York City Mayor’s Office, NYC Department of Environmental Protection, NYC Economic Development Corporation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and many industry and environmental stakeholders, trade associations, and advocacy groups.
Stu also served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), a public benefit corporation with approximately $12.5 billion in assets, responsible for financing drinking water and clean water infrastructure projects throughout New York state, administering the State Revolving Fund program, providing technical assistance to municipalities and businesses, and funding other types of environmental programs. Special projects he was involved with at EFC included implementing the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus) funding, and creation of a nationally recognized “green innovation” grant program.
Prior to entering government service, Stu had a twenty-five year legal and business career in New York City. His areas of practice included commercial and real estate litigation, real estate acquisitions, sales, and financing, and government relations. Among other things, Stu has assisted clients in privatization initiatives, procurement and government contract matters, regulatory compliance, and facilitating public/private projects in the energy, housing, and infrastructure areas. Stu was also a principal of a company that provided structured financing services for real estate development projects nationally. A graduate of the State University of New York at Albany and Albany Law School of Union College, Stu lives in Westchester County with his wife and has two sons.
Stu is a frequent speaker on environmental policy issues. Recent (and upcoming) speaking engagements include:
American Water Works Association, New York Section, Keynote Speaker, Spring Conference 2012, “The Hydrofracking Controversy: Regaining Perspective”
Fordham University Center for Research in Contemporary Finance, Second Symposium on Climate Change Economics and Energy Finance, "Mitigation and Applications" panel
AGRION Symposium, Natural Gas as a Bridge Fuel and Hydraulic Fracturing, A Discussion of the Risks and Benefits
Blank Rome, LLP, 3rd Annual Significant Legal Developments Affecting the Chemical, Oil and Gas Industries, “Shale Oil and Gas: Making Sense of the Issues and Players”
Columbia University Energy Symposium 2011, "Natural Gas: Opportunities and Controversies in the U.S. and Abroad"
New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA), 2011 EMEP Conference, "Environmental Monitoring, Management and Protection in New York: Linking Science and Policy," Marcellus Shale Panel.
West Virginia University College of Law, Center for Energy and Sustainable Development, “Drilling Down on Regulatory Challenges: Balancing Preservation and Profitability in the Development of Shale Gas Resources”
New York Policy Forum, “Hydrofracking in New York’s Marcellus Shale, Poison or Panacea?”
Hamilton College, Levitt Center Speaker Series, Sustainability Program, Panel: Hydrofracking
National Association of Environmental Professionals, “Fracking and Green Energy Development Impacts to Natural Resources” Webinar
New York State Association of General Contractors, 2011 Summer Meeting, Marcellus Shale Development Panel
Blank Rome, LLP Forum and Webcast, “Marcellus Shale Gas Development in New York State: The Issues and the Players”
Finger Lakes Institute, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 2011 Environment and Development Conference: “Proactive Approaches to Mitigating Marcellus Shale Development”
New York State City/County Management Association, “Hydrofracking in New York State: The Regulatory Perspective”
New York League of Conservation Voters, Town of New Castle, “Hydrofracking in New York State: Myths and Realities”
Cornell University Law School, Environmental Law Society Energy Conference, “Gas Drilling, Sustainability, Energy Policy: Searching for Common Ground”
Pace Law School Continuing Legal Education, “Natural Gas Drilling in the Marcellus Shale”