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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government

Sunday, April 20, 2014
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Upcoming Forums and Events

Former Lt. Gov. Ravitch: My Life in Government

Rockefeller Institute of Government, 411 State Street, Albany
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Please RSVP by April 17th by contacting Michele Charbonneau at the Rockefeller Institute at (518) 443-5258 or by e-mail at

Former New York State Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch will discuss his efforts to advance New York State government through some of its most troubled times in a candid discussion with WCNY News & Public Affairs Director Susan Arbetter. The event is being held to draw attention to Ravitch's soon-to-be-released memoir, So Much To Do: A Full Life of Business, Politics, and Confronting Fiscal Crises (Public Affairs Press).

According to the book's publisher, "In six decades of public and private life, Richard Ravitch has earned a reputation for political savvy and business skill with a commitment to social responsibility. His boundless energy and pragmatism made him especially valuable in dealing with the fiscal crises of the mid 1970s in New York City, and later as head of the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Along the way, he developed a national reputation among his peers as a masterful problem solver with the capacity to unravel nearly any financial or political tangle."

During the course of the hour-and-a-half program, Ravitch will discuss his dealings with the MTA and NYC fiscal crises and his selection as the number two man in New York State government, under former Governor David Paterson. In addition, as an incomparable student of government at the state and federal level, he will lay out his philosophy for how New York and the nation should deal with its challenges going forward.

"Dick Ravitch brought many institutions, people, and beliefs together in unique ways," said Thomas Gais, director of the Rockefeller Institute. "I don't know anyone, for instance, who has combined such a deep concern for fiscal responsibility in government with an equally strong belief that an activist public sector is needed to solve big problems and achieve great ends. His intelligent pragmatism and love of facts have made him a long-time favorite of ours here at the Rockefeller Institute, and we will always be grateful for the times we've worked with him. I'm delighted that he'll be here at the Institute as part of the kickoff of the sale of his memoirs. Anyone who likes great stories should come to this forum."

New York: Where Wilderness Preservation Began – Motivating New Leadership A Celebration of the Wilderness Act’s 50th Anniversary

Rockefeller Institute of Government, 411 State Street, Albany
Sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government and Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve in Cooperation With the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Please RSVP by May 1st by contacting Michele Charbonneau at (518) 443-5258 or

In 2014, New Yorkers and the nation celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Wilderness Preservation Act of 1964. This anniversary has special meaning for New Yorkers. The Act’s chief lobbyist and author, Howard Zahniser, gained his inspiration from New York State’s “forever wild” article in the NYS Constitution protecting the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserve. Citizens adopted Article XIV of our NYS Constitution 120 years ago. We are “where wilderness preservation began” in America. Please join us as we kick-off a year-long commemoration of this important anniversary.

The keynote speaker is Joe Martens, NYS Commissioner of Environmental Conservation