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Hochul taps LI and Queens execs to direct state’s economic development efforts

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Business leaders from Long Island and Queens, Kevin Law and Hope Knight, will be nominated to lead the state's primary business-aid agency, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Thursday.

Law, a former CEO of the Long Island Association business group, is being tapped to serve as board chairman of Empire State Development. Knight, CEO of the Greater Jamaica Development Corp., will be ESD CEO.

The nominations are subject to confirmation by the State Senate, though Knight will serve in an acting capacity for now, according to an ESD official. ESD consists of two agencies: the Urban Development Corp. and Department of Economic Development.

"After the devastating impact the pandemic had on New York’s economy, we need the best of the best at the helm to lead our economy," Hochul said. "Hope Knight and Kevin Law are ready to lead New York’s economic development in communities and cities across the state and bring our economy back stronger than ever before."

Knight's position comes with a salary while Law's does not.

Law will replace ESD board chairman Steve Cohen, who resigned in August. Cohen, a long-time confidant of former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, was named in the state attorney general’s report as allegedly helping to discredit Lindsey Boylan, a former economic development aide to Cuomo who accused him of sexual harassment.

Law, 61, of St. James, is a partner and executive vice president at Tritec Real Estate Co. He joined the East Setauket-based developer in April after 10½ years at the helm of the LIA, the region’s most prominent business group.

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