Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith Announces Staff Appointments

 

Shelley Mayer Named Counsel to the Majority 

State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith today announced that he will appoint Shelley Mayer as Counsel to the Majority, Patricia A. Rubens as Deputy Secretary (Downstate), Meredith Henderson as Deputy Secretary (Upstate), Mortimer Lawrence as Special Counsel to the Majority Leader, Indira Noel as the Director of Intergovernmental Relations, and Lourdes Ventura as Counsel for Latino and Immigrant Affairs. 

"The transition is moving forward in an organized and timely manner," said Senator Smith.  "New Yorkers can feel the utmost confidence in the quality of today's appointments. This is a diverse and highly qualified group of individuals, and in the coming days and weeks we will continue to appoint people of the highest caliber to fill positions throughout the Senate." 

Shelley Mayer was appointed to the position of Counsel to the Majority. Ms. Mayer served previously as Counsel to the Minority under Senator Smith, as well as Special Counsel to former Minority Leader Martin Connor. Prior to her work with the Senate she was an Assistant Attorney General for 12 years, under Attorneys General Robert Abrams and G. Oliver Koppell. Mayer was also the Vice President of Government and Community Affairs for one of New York's largest hospital systems, Continuum Health Partners. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law and completed her undergraduate studies at SUNY Buffalo. Mayer and  her husband live in Yonkers, where she was born and raised. 

Patricia A. Rubens was appointed to the position of Deputy Secretary (Downstate). Ms. Rubens previously served for five years as the Chief of Staff to Senator Smith and following his election as Minority Leader, assumed the role of Deputy Secretary for Downstate Operations. Prior to her work with the Senate, Rubens served as the Regional Director at NYNEX where she facilitated the North East merger with AT&T. In addition, she held various senior management positions which focused on organizational structure and systems implementation within the respective operations. 

Meredith Henderson was appointed to the position of Deputy Secretary (Upstate). Before joining Senator Smith's staff, Ms. Henderson was the Director of  Human Resources for then-Minority Leader David A. Paterson. Prior to her work with the Senate she served as the Grants Writer for the W. Haywood Burns Environmental Education Center and as the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent of  the School District of the City of Albany. Henderson served 12 years as the Deputy Director of the Legislative Commission on Government Administration in the New York State Assembly. Her previous work also includes being the Executive Director of the New York State Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus, and Director of the Albany Office of the Governor's Advisory Committee for Black Affairs. 

Mortimer Lawrence was appointed to the position of Special Counsel to the Majority Leader. Mr. Lawrence formerly served as Chief-of-Staff for then-Minority Leader Malcolm A. Smith. Prior to his work with the Senate, Lawrence served as a partner in the Queens-based law firm of Hopkins, Lawrence and Bailey PC. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Fordham University and a Juris Doctor from Seton Hall School of Law. 

Indira Noel was appointed to the position of Director of Intergovernmental Relations. Ms. Noel previously served as the Director of Intergovernmental Relations and the Director of Policy for then-Minority Smith. She was also the Deputy Director of Policy for then-Minority Leader David A. Paterson. Before joining the Senate, Noel was the Legislative Director for Assembly Corrections Committee Chair, Jeffrion A. Aubrey. 

Lourdes Ventura was appointed to the position of Counsel for Latino and Immigrant Affairs.  Ms. Ventura previously served in the Minority Counsel's office under Senator Smith. Before her work with the Senate she was a prosecutor at the Queens County District Attorney's Office and also served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Bureau of the New York State Attorney General's Office. Ventura was an associate at the Long Island-based law firm of Ahmuty, Demers, and McManus and a former president of the Latino Lawyers Association of Queens County. She is a graduate of the University at Buffalo where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts, Master of Social Work and Juris Doctor. Ventura resides in Queens with her husband and son. 

More appointments are to be announced soon.