Board Members

SAPA 2017-18 Board of Directors

FRANKLIN HECHT (Chair) – 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.

THOMAS LUKACS (Vice Chair) – Tom is Director of Risk Management for the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) and serves as DFS’s Internal Control 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.

ROBERT (BOB) CURTIN (Treasurer) – Bob is a Certified Public Accountant and currently the Director of Financial Administration for the NYS Office of General Services where he is responsible for operation of the Procurement, Budget and Accounting Units as well as implementing agency wide changes brought on by the Statewide Financial Management System (SFS), the Business Services Center (BSC) and changes in agency policy. Prior to assuming this position, Bob was an internal auditor at OGS and was responsible for the operation for the Internal Audit Unit From 1997 to 2015. Previously he worked with the New York State Comptroller’s Office Bureau of Management Audit beginning his career in October of 1986.

SORELLE L. BRAUTH – Sorelle is the Director of Administration for the New York State Department of Public Service (DPS). She began her career with NYS Government in the Rockefeller Public Management Intern Program and has had an extensive career for almost 35 years, primarily in budgeting, holding policy and management level positions with the New York State Division of the Budget as well as the State Education Department. She was also a former Director of Financial Administration for the Office of Attorney General as well as, DPS’ Director of Finance and Budget for seven years. Sorelle has degrees from both Boston University (Master’s in Educational Administration), and the State University of New York at Oneonta (Bachelor of Science).

CATHERINE DURAND Most recently, Catherine was a finance consultant to the City of Albany where she worked on a variety of budget, finance and organizational issues.  Catherine retired from the New York State Division of the Budget where she held the position of Deputy Director.  Prior to returning to the Division of the Budget, where she previously worked for over 20 years, Catherine was the Deputy Chief Information Officer at the NYS Office for Technology and a Deputy Commissioner at the State Department of Agriculture and Markets.  Catherine has a Bachelor of Science from Colby College and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kentucky.

EUGENE (GENE) MONACO – Gene is a Public Service Professor and for the past 25 years has served as Executive Director of the Professional Development Program (PDP) of Rockefeller College, one of the largest university-based continuing professional education programs in the nation. Monaco has over 30 years of experience in the design and delivery of instructional activities. Before coming to the UAlbany in 1986, Gene served as the Dean of Continuing Education and the Executive Director of the Public and Community Service Project at Hudson Valley Community College. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, the College of Saint Rose, and Schenectady County Community College.  He is the co-author of two books on government and technology.

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.  

STEPHEN L. SCHECHTER (Program Director) 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.

PETER FINN (Immediate Past 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.


PAUL SHATSOFF (Executive Director– Paul was most recently 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 Relations.  Paul 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.