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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government

Research Staff: Peter Kiernan

Peter Kiernan

Peter J. Kiernan is Chairman of the New York State Law Revision Commission and is a lawyer in New York City with the national law firm Schiff Hardin LLP where he concentrates on matters of government finance and infrastructure development. He is a graduate of the Cornell University Law School (JD), the Harvard Kennedy School (MPA), the Johnson School of Management of Cornell (MBA) and John Carroll University (A.B.).

Mr. Kiernan is the author of many government related law review and other articles. They recently include an “Analysis of Hydro Fracturing Gubernatorial Decision Making”, “Strengthening the Security of Defined Benefit Pension Plans” (the Blinken Report, Rockefeller Institute of Government, 2014, co-author), “State Intervention in Municipal Fiscal Distress” (2014), Reports of the State Budget Crisis Task Force (2012), and “Constitutional Debt Restraint” (2016).

Mr. Kiernan has had a distinguished career in government. From 2008-2010 he served as Counsel to the Governor. In 1984 he acted as Special Counsel in the Administration of Governor Mario Cuomo coordinating and directing the Westway State Park Project. From 1978 to 1980 he was Counsel to the Minority in the New York State Senate, and from 1975-1978 he was an Assistant to the Mayor and Counsel to the Deputy Mayor for Finance in New York City during New York City’s infamous Fiscal Crisis. He was a member of the Mayor’s Fiscal Crisis Management Team and he authored the Shinn Commission Pension Reform Legislation which completely restructured New York City’s five actuarially funded pension systems.

Areas of Expertise:

Fiscal issues, the interplay among government policy, politics, decision processes and culture.