About Toby Ann Stavisky

Chair of Committee on Higher Education

Democrat Democrat

District 16

Toby Ann Stavisky, the first woman from Queens County elected to the State Senate and the first woman to Chair the Senate Committee on Higher Education, is a native New Yorker who was born and raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She attended P.S. 9 before graduating from the Bronx High School of Science and Syracuse University, which she attended on an academic scholarship. The Senator completed graduate school at Hunter and Queens Colleges.

After working in the actuarial department of a major insurance company, Mrs. Stavisky taught Social Studies in the New York City high schools. As a result of her involvement with issues such as better schools, programs for older adults, social justice, opportunities for New Americans, and assisting small business, the Senator has been honored by many organizations.  These include the Taiwanese Association, the Korean American Association of Queens and the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps.  For her “dedicated service to seniors across Queens,” Senator Stavisky was presented with the Rose Kryzak Legislative Award from the Queens Interagency Council on the Aging.  The New York Branch of the NAACP honored her contributions toward furthering “freedom and human dignity.”  The Senator is proud to have been honored twice by the Flushing Chinese Business Association and in 2016 by the University Student Senate of CUNY.  In June, 2016, at the Queensborough Community College commencement, she was awarded the Presidential Medal for her “exceptional and longstanding commitment to public higher education.”

Currently, she serves as Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic Majority Conference and Chairwoman of the Senate's Committee on Higher Education.

Senator Toby Ann Stavisky was first elected to the Senate on November 2, 1999, and has subsequently been re-elected ten times. The Senator resides in Forest Hills.

Standing Committee Assignments 2019: Higher Education (Chairwoman), Education, Ethics, Finance, Health, Judiciary, and Racing, Gaming and Wagering. 

The former Toby Ann Goldhaar was married to Dr. Leonard Price Stavisky, a university professor, who served in the Assembly and Senate until his death in June of 1999. She has one son, Evan, who is married to Kristen Zebrowski Stavisky.