Paul D. Tonko President & Chief Executive Officer NYSERDA
Paul D. Tonko was elected to serve as President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) on June 18, 2007. Since his time as a Montgomery County Supervisor at the age of 26, Mr. Tonko has been a leader in his community and New York State. He served in the New York State Assembly as the representative of the 105th District from April 1983 to June 2007.
In March of 1992, Mr. Tonko was named Chairman of the Assembly Standing Committee on Energy. As Energy Committee Chairman, Mr. Tonko championed initiatives that reduced rates for all classes of utility consumers and linked economic development and job creation with reduced rates. Mr. Tonko also successfully guided a comprehensive energy bill through both houses of the Legislature. The bill had been under negotiation for eight years before the 1992 agreement.
As Chairman of the Mohawk Valley Task Force and as former Chairman of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources, Mr. Tonko has conducted tours, public hearings, and forums and has hosted numerous meetings with local government officials, business, labor and agricultural leaders to gather input on the formulation of public policy.
As a former member of the Environmental Conservation Committee he has consistently supported a quality environment for all New Yorkers. Assemblyman Tonko is particularly proud of his efforts to secure clean water legislation and, working with concerned citizens, to block the proposed sitting of a low-level radioactive waste dump in the 105th Assembly District.
Assemblyman Tonko has won numerous awards in recognition of his work including the New York State Conference of Mayors 1991 Legislative Award for his "continuing commitment" to local government issues. Assemblyman Tonko was also honored by the Statewide Senior Action Coalition for his advocacy on behalf of senior citizens, and in 1993 was honored by the New York State for his advocacy for programs that help low-income New Yorkers make their homes more energy efficient. In 1995, Assemblyman Tonko was named "a friend of SUNY" for his support of public higher education in New York State.
A 1967 graduate of Amsterdam High School, Mr. Tonko went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering from Clarkson University in 1971. Prior to his election to the Assembly, Mr. Tonko was employed by the New York State Department of Transportation and served as Senior Valuation Engineer with the Department of Public Service for nine years. A very active participant in his community, Assemblyman Tonko's memberships include the Knights of Columbus, Council 209; BPOE, Lodge 101; the Kiwanis Club of Amsterdam; the Montgomery and Schenectady County Chambers of Commerce. He also serves as an honorary member of several district fire companies, as well as on the Boards of Directors for Hispanic Outreach Services, Horace J. Inman Senior Citizens Center, Montgomery County Red Cross, Montgomery County Unit of the American Cancer Society and is an Honorary Foundation Trustee of St. Mary's Hospital in Amsterdam. The Assemblyman is also a member of the board of trustees of public broadcasting station WMHT in Schenectady.