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Mid-hudson Redc Welcomes New Member, Suny New Paltz President Donald Christian, at September Meeting

(September 12, 2016)

Mid-hudson Redc Welcomes New Member, Suny New Paltz President Donald Christian, at September Meeting

The Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC) today welcomed State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz President Donald P. Christian to the Council, as its newest member.

“President Christian’s commitment to public higher education and the Mid-Hudson community make him a great addition to the MHREDC,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “From his experiences leading and teaching at public universities throughout the country, President Christian brings a national perspective to the Council and will be an asset to its local efforts to create jobs and improve the regional economy.”

“We are proud to serve as the Mid-Hudson Valley’s four-year public university, providing a high-quality educational resource and economic engine to our region,” said SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian. “I am pleased to join the Council this year and support its mission for community-based economic development and growth across our seven-county region.”

The Mid-Hudson REDC is co-chaired by Dennis J. Murray, PhD, President Emeritus of Marist College and Leonard S. Schleifer, MD, PhD, President & CEO of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The Mid-Hudson region includes Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties.

“With his background in the sciences and extensive record of engagement and service to the community, President Christian is an excellent addition to the Council,” said Co-chairs Murray and Schleifer. “We look forward to working with him in the coming weeks, as we review applications for this year’s REDC competition and finalize our 2016 Progress Report.”

The 2016 REDC Progress Reports are due on October 3. Through the first five rounds of the initiative, the Mid-Hudson REDC has delivered $392.6 million to support 459 projects throughout the seven-county region.

Round VI of the REDC initiative will award up to $750 million in economic and community development resources, including up to $175 million in capital grants and up to $70 million in Excelsior Tax Credits for projects and activities identified by the Councils as regional priorities in their communities. Additionally, up to $510 million from dozens of state agency programs will be awarded throughout the state as part of Round VI.

Donald P. Christian was appointed the eighth President of the State University of New York at New Paltz in June 2011, after serving as Interim President during 2010-11. Previously, Christian served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the College from 2009-2010.

Prior to his arrival at New Paltz, Christian was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire from 2004 to 2009, where he led campus, state, and national efforts to advance understanding of the value of a liberal education in a knowledge-driven 21st century society; strengthened student-faculty research programs; and supported projects to enhance equity and diversity on the campus.

Previously (1997-2004), he was associate dean for the Biological Sciences at the University of Montana, and held various positions at the University of Minnesota-Duluth (1978-1997). Christian has held appointments as professor of biology at all institutions he has served, including SUNY New Paltz. Christian earned a B. S. in Wildlife Biology, and M. S. and Ph.D. in Zoology from Michigan State University.

Throughout his career, Christian has received numerous research grants and contracts; published widely in journals; and presented his work at numerous conferences and other institutions. Additionally, Christian is a member of the boards of directors of Central Hudson Gas and Electric, Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, and the Mohonk Preserve. His other memberships include the Advisory Council of Historic Huguenot Street, the President’s Trust of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and he is a consultant with Mohonk Consultations.

About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council initiative is a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's transformative approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources.

After five rounds of the REDC process, nearly $4 billion has been awarded to more than 4,100 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plans, supporting the creation or retention of approximately 200,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit