Headshot of ESD Commissioner Hope Knight

Hope Knight

Headshot of ESD Commissioner Hope Knight

Hope Knight is the President, CEO and Commissioner of Empire State Development, New York State’s economic development agency. She was nominated to the position by Governor Kathy Hochul in October 2021, and confirmed by the New York State Senate in May 2022. 

At ESD, Commissioner Knight is dedicated to policies that advance sustainable and inclusive economic growth. She has been instrumental in the creation of the state’s Office of Strategic Workforce Development, which will focus on improving New York's workforce development programs and practices to better align with the needs and priorities of today's employers. Knight has also focused efforts on supporting New York State’s small businesses, ensuring that they have the resources needed to grow and thrive, and growing the state’s Minority and Women-Owned Business community. 

Prior to her appointment, Commissioner Knight served as President & CEO of Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, one of the nation’s first community development corporations. In that capacity, she advanced economic growth, community-building, and sustainable real estate development that has immeasurably revitalized and strengthened the Southeast Queens region. Additionally, from 2015 to 2021 she was a Commissioner on the New York City Planning Commission. 

Commissioner Knight was Chief Operating Officer of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, overseeing more than $150 million in investments and leveraging over $1 billion in private capital. She also served as a Vice President at Morgan Stanley in domestic and international capacities. Earlier in her career, Knight worked at Accenture and in New York City government. She holds a BA from Marymount Manhattan College and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business of the University of Chicago.

Board of Directors

The Corporation is governed by a board of directors comprising two ex-officio members and seven members appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate. The chair of the Empire State Development Board is selected by the governor. Board members serve without compensation. 

Kevin S. Law, Chair
Executive Vice President and Partner, TRITEC Real Estate Company
Confirmed and Designated Chair – June 3, 2022

Hope Knight, Ex-Officio Director
Empire State Development, President & CEO
NYS Department of Economic Development, Commissioner
Appointed – November 15, 2021
Confirmed – May 4, 2022

Francine DelMonte, Director
Confirmed - June 6, 2024

Hilda Rosario Escher, Director
Confirmed – June 16, 2015

Adrienne A. Harris, Ex-Officio Director
NYS Department of Financial Services, Superintendent
Appointed – September 13, 2021
Confirmed – January 25, 2022

Laureen Harris, Director
Confirmed - June 6, 2024

Michael K. Rozen, Director
Managing Partner, TRGP Investment Partners, LP
Confirmed – June 7, 2021

Robert M. Simpson, Director
President & CEO, CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity
Confirmed – June 3, 2022

John Wang, Director
Founder and President, Asian American Business Development Center
Confirmed – June 3, 2022

Board meetings

The board typically meets the third Thursday of every month. Click here to access the Board Meetings page.

ESD Executive Management Team

Hope Knight – President & CEO and Commissioner
Kevin Younis – Chief Operating Officer and Executive Deputy Commissioner
Jason Clark  – EVP, Division of Minority and Women's Business Development
Rhoda Glickman – SVP, Film, Arts and New Media Development
Matthew Gorton – EVP, Public Affairs and Communications
Ed Hamilton – EVP, Administration
Jeff Janiszewski – SVP, Strategic Business Development/Global NY 
Elizabeth Lusskin – EVP, Small Business and Technology Development
Raymond Orlando – Chief Financial Officer
Arden Sokolow – EVP, Real Estate Development and Planning
Joshua Bloodworth – General Counsel

For more information, contact:
ESD Office of Public Affairs
(800) 260-7313