Board Members

SAPA 2016-17 Board of Directors

PETER FINN (Chair) – After a long career in public service, most recently as Administrative Director of the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, Peter has been appointed as a Public Service Professor at UAlbany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy where, among other things, he teaches a graduate class in public finance and budgeting. He also is working as a private consultant on issues relating to parks administration.

FRANKLIN HECHT (Treasurer) – Franklin retired as the Director of Financial Administration and Budgeting for the New York State Office of General Services where he oversaw all of this agency’s financial management, budgeting and accounting. He was a past member of the SAPA Board of Directors, and after a brief hiatus, he was again elected to the Board in 2016.

MARY MAGIN-KIELY – Mary is currently a Section Head in the Bureau of Contracts at the Office of the State Comptroller where she serves a project manager for an electronic contract submission pilot project and is responsible for implementation of the Public Authorities Reform Act provisions that authorizes the State Comptroller to review and approve certain State authority contracts. Mary has worked in State government for nearly 30 years.

PEGGY SHERMAN – Peggy is Director of the Statewide Financial System, which is the organization that supports the enterprise resource planning system for New York State’s financial administration. Previously she served as Deputy Commissioner in the Department of Taxation and Finance, Deputy Comptroller in the Office of the State Comptroller and worked on budget and tax issues for the New York State Assembly Ways and Means Committee.

BECKY D’AGATI – Becky is currently Director of the New York State Assembly Ways and Means Minority staff and serves as the primary fiscal advisor to the Assembly Minority Leader. Previously she served as Director of the New York State Senate Transportation Committee, as well as in various administrative positions in local government. Becky has worked in State government for 25 years.

RICHARD ROSE, Ph.D – Richard entered NYS government through the Public Management Intern program and has over twenty eight years of professional experience in NYS.  He currently serves as a Supervisor of Higher Education in the Office of Higher Education at the State Education Department.  He has been an adjunct faculty member totaling twenty years teaching numerous undergraduate courses. His latest research focuses on an analysis of data collection on American Indian students in public school districts in New York State.  

DAVID LIEBSCHUTZ, J.D. – David is a public service professor at the University at Albany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs, where he teaches courses in policy and leadership, and an adjunct professor of management  at Siena College, where he teaches the strategic management capstone course.  He is also the principal of DSLeadership, LLC, which consults with individuals and organizations on their long-range and strategic planning goals, and is a board certified life coach.  David earned his undergraduate degree in economics from Yale University and holds graduate law and policy degrees from Duke University.

THOMAS LUKACS – Tom is Director of Risk Management for the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) and serves as DFS’s Internal Control Officer, Information Security Officer, and Emergency Management Planning Coordinator. Tom oversees DFS’s internal control program and monitors compliance with the State’s cyber security requirements and standards.  From 2000 through 2013, Tom led the NYS Division of the Budget’s statewide implementation of the Internal Control, Internal Audit and Federal Single Audit programs and initiated the NYS Internal Control Task Force. In 2007, Tom created the NYS Internal Control Act Executive Briefing Book.    

STEPHEN L. SCHECHTER Stephen is a Professor of Political Science at Russel Sage College in Troy where he also directs the Council for Citizenship Education.  He teaches Public Policy, State Government, Community Politics and Civic Leadership.  Newly elected to the SAPA Board in 2016, Stephen recently completed a stint as Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of America Governance.

PAUL SHATSOFF (Immediate Past Chair) – Paul is currently a government relations and clean energy policy consultant. Prior to his role as a consultant, Paul was the Government Relations and Clean Energy Program Director for the Workforce Development Institute.  He retired from New York State Government from the position of Administrative Director for the Governor’s Office of Employee RelationsPaul has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Connecticut and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Rhode Island.


RUTH WALTERS (Excellence Awards Program Chair) –Ruth currently is Managing Director of the Walters Consulting Group.  Prior to starting her consulting firm, Ruth served as an Assistant Comptroller in the Office of the State Comptroller. Ruth served as a top level aide to two Assembly Speakers and as Director of the Office of Business Permits and Regulatory Assistance (now titled the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Reform.) and as a Special Assistant to former Governor Mario M. Cuomo.