Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that Dr. Donald P. Christian, President of the State University of New York at New Paltz, will be appointed co-chair of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC) starting in April 2018. Dr. Christian will replace Dr. Dennis J. Murray, Marist College President Emeritus, who has served as MHREDC co-chair since the Council’s inception in 2011. The Mid-Hudson Region includes Sullivan, Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Westchester and Rockland Counties.

“As a current member of the Mid-Hudson REDC, Dr. Donald Christian has already been a true partner in our mission to catalyze vibrant economic growth in the Mid-Hudson Valley and strengthen communities where New Yorkers can live, work, and play,” said ESD President, CEO, and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “I thank Dr. Dennis Murray for his committed service and leadership over seven rounds of the REDC initiative in the Mid-Hudson region and am confident he leaves the MHREDC in very capable hands. Dr. Donald P. Christian is an excellent choice to build on this region’s successful efforts to create jobs, support local business and spur major infrastructure.”

Incoming MHREDC Co-Chair and SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian said, "As the leader of SUNY New Paltz, the Hudson Valley’s largest public university, I have found my participation in this collaborative effort to build a stronger economy in the region and the state to be extremely rewarding. A strong economy is the foundation of our region’s quality of life. I am humbled and honored by this opportunity, and look forward to working with my Council colleagues, ESD leadership and staff, and other partners to continue this great trajectory.” 

MHREDC Co-Chair and Marist College President Emeritus Dennis Murray said, "It has been an honor to serve as the co-chair of the Mid-Hudson REDC for the last seven years. The Governor’s bottom-up approach to economic development has served the region well, and the Council has been successful in achieving positive results for the Mid-Hudson. I have no doubt that this success will continue under Dr. Christian’s leadership." 

During his tenure as Co-Chair, Dr. Murray led the MHREDC through seven rounds of the Regional Council initiative, with the Mid-Hudson Region being named a top performer in four of those rounds. Since 2011, the Mid-Hudson Region has received $560.7 million in state resources to support 687 projects across the region.

Dr. Donald P. Christian was appointed the eighth President at the State University of New York at New Paltz in June 2011 after serving as Interim President from 2010-11. Previously, Dr. Christian served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the College from 2009-2010. Working in collaboration with internal and external constituencies, the president provides overall leadership and guidance for the College and represents the campus’ interests within the SUNY System, with local, state, and federal-elected officials and surrounding communities, and leads or supports many aspects of the College’s role in SUNY and New York State economic development initiatives.

Prior to his appointment to SUNY New Paltz, Dr. Christian was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, associate dean for the Biological Sciences at the University of Montana and has held several positions at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, including Chair of Biology and Director of Graduate studies in the Biology Graduate Program.

About the Regional Economic Development Councils

The Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative is a key component of Governor Cuomo's 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 seven rounds of the REDC process, more than $5.4 billion has been awarded to more than 6,300 job creation and community development projects consistent with each regions strategic plans, projecting to create and retain more than 220,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visitwww.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NEW YORK,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.govand www.esd.ny.gov.