About Rachel May

Chair of Committee on Aging, Chair of Legislative Commission on Rural Resources

Democrat, Working Families Democrat, Working Families

District 53

Senator Rachel May (D-53rd) was elected to the New York State Senate in November 2018. She currently chairs the Senate Committee on Aging and the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources and sits on several other committees, including agriculture, elections, environmental conservation, higher education, and Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation.

A resident of Syracuse, she had a successful career in higher education prior to running for public office. Most recently, she served 15 years in areas relating to environmental sustainability at Syracuse University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF). Before moving to Syracuse, she was a professor of Russian language and literature, first at SUNY-Stony Brook and then at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. Locally, she has sat on the board of the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency and on the Syracuse Board of Zoning Appeals. 

Senator May earned a master’s degree from Oxford University on a Marshall Scholarship and a Ph.D. in Russian language and literature from Stanford University. She also earned a master’s degree from SUNY-ESF. She and her husband, a professor at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, have one daughter, who is currently a student at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.