In his January 2014 State of the State Address, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the nomination of President Mark D. Gearan as Chair of the New York State Gaming Commission, a volunteer assignment that provides oversight of the state’s newly created agency for the lottery, horse racing and casinos. This is the second time Governor Cuomo has reached out to higher education for leadership in this area; Cornell University President David Skorton was appointed last year by Governor Cuomo to serve as the Chair of the New York State Racing Association.
In announcing Gearan’s appointment, Cuomo said: “The Chairman of the Gaming Commission, which is appointed by me, is going to be Mr. Mark Gearan, president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He’s a great academic, the former director of the Peace Corps, and a model of civic engagement. He’s done a great job at the university and it’s a pleasure to have him. We thank him for taking the time on this important obligation.”
“Given the importance I place in public service and our citizen duty to insure honest, transparent government, I have accepted the Governor’s request to serve,” says Gearan. “I am grateful for Governor Cuomo’s support and look forward to joining colleagues like President Skorton in continuing to build the growing economy in the upstate region.”
“I commend Governor Cuomo on his nomination of Mark Gearan to chair the New York Gaming Commission,” said Michael Wilton, executive director of the New York State Gaming Association. “Mr. Gearan’s background in the academic sector as an administrator and policy expert, as well as his tenure at the Peace Corps show that he is a person of skill and vision. We believe he is well suited to help the gaming and racing sectors realize their full potential in New York. We look forward to working with him.”
Appointed president of Hobart and William Smith in 1999, Gearan has led the Colleges during a period of unprecedented growth and development. One of our nation’s leading experts on the intersection of higher education and civic engagement, Gearan is chair of the Talloires Network Steering Committee, an international association of more than 200 institutions on six continents committed to strengthening the civic roles and social responsibilities of higher education. He is the co-chair of the National Advisory Board on Public Service at Harvard College, is a board member of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, and a former Board member of The Partnership for Public Service and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
With extensive credentials in public policy, he served as Director of the Peace Corps and was Assistant to the President, Director of Communications and Deputy Chief of Staff in the White House. Outside of the education and service arenas, Gearan is an appointee of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Commission on Political Reform. The national commission focuses on policy recommendations on electoral system reform, congressional reform and encouragement of greater public service. He is a former member of the White House Council for Community Solutions, a group of cross-sector leaders appointed by President Barack Obama to recommend collaborative solutions to increase civic engagement. In the upstate region, Gearan serves on the advisory councils of the Happiness House Foundation, Ontario ARC and the Geneva Community Center, and is a founding member of Geneva 2020, a collective impact initiative designed to assist the Geneva City School District on key initiatives including increasing the graduation rate and improving career and college readiness.
A number of media outlets reported on Gearan’s nomination, including the Telegram & Gazette (Mass.), Finger Lakes Times, Finger Lakes News Radio, Rochester Business Journal, Times Union and Capital New York, among others.