News Release - Governor Cuomo Nominates Rockefeller Institute’s Courtney Burke to Lead Agency


For Immediate Release –

March 8, 2011

Media contact: Claire Hughes – (518) 443-5744 /

Governor Cuomo Nominates Rockefeller Institute’s Courtney Burke to Lead Agency

Director of Institute’s Health Policy Research Named Commissioner of State’s Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

Albany, N.Y. — Courtney Burke, director of the Health Policy Research Center at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, has been nominated by Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve as commissioner of the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities.

Burke will bring extensive knowledge of health care and government to the position. She has conducted research on health care policy at the Institute for 10 years, focusing primarily on Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), health reform and private insurance coverage. Since 2007, she has overseen all health policy research at the Institute, which examines the work of state and local governments in New York and nationally.

In announcing the nomination of Burke and two others to state posts, Governor Cuomo said, “This is a top-tier team that will bring fresh leadership and vision to these critical agencies. It is our fundamental responsibility as government to care for the most vulnerable among us. I look forward to working with this team to bring real reform and results to affected New Yorkers and their families.”

Rockefeller Institute Director Thomas Gais commended Burke as an accomplished policy researcher and communicator who will bring a unique set of talents and abilities to the commissioner’s position.

“It’s a great honor for Courtney, and it’s also a great day for the State of New York,” Gais said. “Courtney has done wonderful work for the Rockefeller Institute for the past 10 years. She’s explained health care policy and administration in New York State to more people, with greater clarity, than anyone in or out of government.

“I’m certain that her intelligence, her extensive knowledge of health care policy and management issues, her extraordinary ability to explain complicated issues to all kinds of audiences, and, perhaps most of all, her willingness to listen to and understand others’ points of views will all produce benefits for the OPWDD, its very important mission, and the citizens of New York,” Gais said.

Before joining the Institute, Burke was employed by the New York State Office of Advocate for Persons with Disabilities for several years, including as the senior policy analyst, and by the New York State Department of Health. She serves as board chair of Girls Inc., a nonprofit human-services organization, is a member of the State Academy for Public Administration, and was named one of The Business Review’s (Capital Region) “40 Under Forty” honorees for 2010. She holds a master’s degree in health policy and management from the School of Public Health, University at Albany, and received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut.

The Governor’s announcement of his nominations for three state agencies that serve disabled New Yorkers, including OPWDD, is here. Burke’s nomination is subject to confirmation by the New York State Senate.


About the Rockefeller Institute of Government

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, at the University at Albany, is the public policy research arm of the State University of New York. The Institute conducts fiscal and programmatic research on American state and local governments. Journalists can find useful information on the Newsroom page of the Web site,

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