Jason Conwall ’09, the upstate press secretary for Empire State Development, was recently named a “Rising Star” in City & State magazine’s 40 Under 40 list.
Each year City & State, the only media company devoted solely to covering government and politics in New York, identifies the state’s up-and-coming leaders.
This year’s competition included “hundreds of notable elected officials, advocates, consultants, operatives, union leaders, flacks and journalists from every corner of the state in the running,” the magazine reports. “The 40 young people we ultimately decided to honor may still be early on in their careers, but they have already distinguished themselves in the eyes of their colleagues, and are well on their way to even greater and more meaningful accomplishments in the futures.”
“This is an important recognition,” Conwall said in a video interview with City and State. “To be considered and to be chosen among a lot of really great people out there in the Albany political and government world is a big deal, and I’m very thankful and appreciative of it.”
Conwall, who majored in political science, worked in the New York State Senate until early 2012, when he joined Empire State Development, New York’s chief economic development agency where he is “at the forefront of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s efforts to bring new jobs to upstate New York,” City & State reports in Conwall’s 40 Under 40 profile.
The mission of Empire State Development promotes a vigorous and growing economy, encourages the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increases revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, Empire State Development strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State.
“When I came on, my biggest role was the lead on communications for the Regional Economic Development Councils, which is one of the best initiatives that has been launched by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his first three and a half years here,” says Conwall, who also serves as the top communications official on the state’s tax credits for movie companies and the Start-Up NY program. “It’s brought people together within the regions, and really empowered them and given them the tools to plan their own economic future and invest in their strengths and identify their weaknesses and try to turn those weaknesses into strengths.”
Watch the interview with Conwall here.