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December 9, 2019
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JP O'Hare

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Board of Regents Appoints Shannon Tahoe as Interim Commissioner

Additional Leadership Appointments Made

The Board of Regents today appointed Shannon Tahoe as Interim Commissioner, the State Education Department announced today. The Board also appointed William Murphy as the Deputy Commissioner for Higher Education and Aaron Baldwin as Acting and Deputy Counsel. Mr. Baldwin will serve in the Acting Counsel position until a permanent Commissioner is identified and Ms. Tahoe takes on the role of Counsel and Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs. The appointees will assist the Board of Regents and Department in carrying out its mission to raise the knowledge, skill and opportunity of all the people in New York.

“With these additional appointments, the State Education Department is further building up its leadership team,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “These individuals have demonstrated exceptional expertise in their years with the Department and will help the Board advance its goal of providing equity and a high-quality education for all students. We are so pleased Shannon will serve as Interim Commissioner until a permanent candidate is identified. Under Shannon’s proven leadership and steady hand, the Department is well positioned to move forward with the Board’s priorities and ensure the smooth operation of the day-to-day activities of the Department.”

“Through their distinguished service to the Department, these individuals are proven leaders,” Vice Chancellor T. Andrew Brown said. “The Board of Regents looks forward to working with them in their new capacities as we look ahead to implementing our top priority to foster equity in education for all New Yorkers in the New Year.”

Shannon Tahoe was appointed as Interim Commissioner. Since Nov. 16, Ms. Tahoe has served as Acting Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York. Over the past 13 years, Ms. Tahoe has served in various capacities in this Department, including Deputy Counsel and Assistant Counsel for Legislation.  Ms. Tahoe has consistently provided sound legal advice and counsel to the Board of Regents, Commissioner and Department staff on critical policy matters and key initiatives. She is intimately familiar with all aspects of the work of the Department, having managed the day-to-day operations of the Office of Counsel as Deputy Counsel and now Acting Counsel. During her tenure, Ms. Tahoe has also assisted with the successful management of a broad array of critical Departmental functions and responsibilities, including those of the Department’s Office of Management Services, Office of the Professions, Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services, Office of Cultural Education, Office of Performance and Improvement and Management Services, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, and the Department’s Chief Privacy Officer, as well as the Offices of Communications, Human Resources, Education Finance, and Governmental Relations. Ms. Tahoe holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Syracuse University and Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Rochester.

William Murphy will serve as Deputy Commissioner for Higher Education. Dr. Murphy has served in various roles at the State Education Department over the past 15 years, most recently as the Director of Professional Education where he led teams responsible for evaluating higher education programs for professional licensure at public and private colleges and universities in New York State and internationally. In this role, Dr. Murphy has maintained relationships with academic accrediting bodies, federal and state education agencies and all sectors of higher education. Prior to joining the Department, Dr. Murphy held positions at the Borough of Manhattan Community College and the Workforce Development Institute. He earned a Ph.D. from the University at Albany, a master’s degree from Baruch College and a Bachelor of Arts degree from LeMoyne College. Dr. Murphy starts his position Dec. 10.

Aaron Baldwin was appointed Acting and Deputy Counsel. Mr. Baldwin most recently served as the Department’s Assistant Counsel and Litigation Manager for nearly five years. Prior to joining the Department, Mr. Baldwin spent seven years with the Attorney General’s office serving as an Assistant Attorney General in the Litigation Bureau. Mr. Baldwin also held previous positions in private practice. Mr. Baldwin completed the New York State Leadership Institute at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs, earned a J.D. from St. John’s University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont. Mr. Baldwin starts his new position Dec. 10.