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RELEASE: Hochul names longtime Democratic operative Richard Kessel as chair of Nassau County Interim Finance Authority overseeing county's tangled finances.

For Immediate Release: 10/13/2023


Richard Kessel Named NIFA Board Chair and Director

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the appointment of Richard Kessel to the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority. Governor Hochul also announced that with his appointment, Mr. Kessel will fill the role of Chair and Director for the board.

“Richard Kessel has the background and experience which makes him the best candidate to fill this vacancy on the NIFA Board,” Governor Hochul said. “I am proud to have him take on this responsibility and look forward to the good he will bring to the greater Nassau community in this position. We also thank outgoing Chairman and Director Adam Barsky for his service to New Yorkers and dedication to this role.”

The Nassau County Interim Finance Authority is a public benefit corporation created by the New York State Legislature in June 2000. NIFA has certain powers to monitor and oversee the County's finances. In addition, NIFA is empowered to issue bonds and notes for various County purposes, including the restructuring of a portion of the County's outstanding debt. NIFA is governed by a seven-member Board appointed by the Governor, including one member each appointed upon the recommendation of the Majority Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the Assembly and the State Comptroller, and four members appointed without recommendation. Two of the members appointed by the Governor and the members appointed upon the recommendation of the Senate Majority Leader, the Speaker and the Comptroller must be residents of Nassau County.

Richard Kessel is an expert on energy and consumer issues with an extensive background in public service. Mr. Kessel previously served as the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency’s Board Chair and as CEO of the New York Power Authority. Mr. Kessel graduated with a bachelor’s degree from New York University and a master’s degree from Columbia University.

Richard Kessel said, “I thank Governor Hochul for appointing me to be Chair of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority. NIFA was formed over 20 years ago to monitor and oversee Nassau County’s finances and to ensure that the County is fiscally strong and has long term plans to have balanced budgets and stable finances to protect taxpayers and residents. I look forward to working with the Governor, her administration and members of the NIFA Board to move the county forward in a positive direction.”