Governor George E. Pataki  
Governor, State of New York
  New York City Firefighters Billy Eisengrein, George Johnson, Dan McWilliams and New York Governor Pataki  
UNLV Regent Dr. Jack Lund Schofield, Governor George E. Pataki, UNLV Regent Thalia Dondero and Cindy Doumani
University of Nevada (Las Vegas) - April 28, 2005

George E. Pataki



George E. Pataki, the 53rd Governor of New York State, has shown that strong leadership and commitment to core principles can position the Empire State to lead the nation well into the 21st century. New York State’s first Republican-Conservative chief executive, George Pataki was elected Governor on November 8, 1994. On November 3, 1998, he was re-elected by a margin of twenty percent, the largest landslide for a Republican Governor in New York history. Re-elected to a third term on November 5, 2002, George Pataki won by a margin of over 725,000 votes.

When Governor Pataki first took office in 1995, many New Yorkers had lost hope in the State’s future due to years of high taxes, massive job losses, and spiraling increases in crime and the welfare rolls. Under the Governor’s bold leadership, the State has been transformed, and today New York’s future has never been brighter.

Spurred on by Governor Pataki’s enactment of more than $100 billion in tax cuts, hundreds of thousands of new private sector jobs have been created since 1995. As a result of the Governor’s tough criminal justice policies, the State has experienced a record drop in its crime rate and New York is now the safest large state in America. Following the enactment of the Governor’s comprehensive welfare reforms, New York’s welfare rolls now stand at their lowest levels since the 1960’s. In addition, record investments have been made in New York’s public education system, the environment and health care.

In the wake of the devastating September 11th terrorist attacks, Governor Pataki has led New York through a heartbreaking time of mourning and remembrance, and on to a period of rebirth, recovery and revitalization. To ensure that New York continues moving forward, and to honor the memory of the heroes who were lost in the attacks, the Governor has made a personal commitment to rebuilding Lower Manhattan – making it stronger, better and more vibrant than ever before.

The centerpiece of this historic rebuilding effort will be an enduring, inspirational memorial that will pay tribute to those who perished on one of the darkest days in our nation’s history. The Governor has launched a comprehensive effort to attract new jobs and economic activity to Lower Manhattan, and the former site of the World Trade Center is now being revitalized with a world-class transportation hub and gleaming new office buildings. Governor Pataki also recently laid the cornerstone for the 1,776 foot high Freedom Tower – an architectural wonder that will serve as a soaring reflection of New York’s indomitable spirit, and a shining symbol of our nation’s refusal to let terrorists take away our freedoms.

To ensure an even brighter, stronger future for the Empire State, Governor Pataki has launched an unprecedented effort to make New York a worldwide powerhouse in high technology research, job creation and economic growth. The centerpiece of this effort is his $1 billion high-tech biotechnology Center of Excellence initiative, which is anchored by major research centers in Albany, Buffalo, Greater Rochester, Long Island and Syracuse. Based on a strong public and private sector partnership between the State’s leading academic institutions and industry leaders like IBM, Kodak, Corning and Dell, the Centers of Excellence will help to create thousands of new private sector jobs while positioning the State to meet the complex challenges of the 21st century economy.

Governor Pataki has also made the fight for a cleaner, healthier environment a hallmark of his time in office. New York has become a national leader in open space preservation, with hundreds of thousands of new acres protected since 1995. The Governor has played a strong leadership role in the clean-up of the majestic Hudson River and Long Island Sound, and he helped to successfully negotiate the historic agreement to protect the New York City Watershed. From adopting the toughest emission reduction and acid rain standards in the nation, to an unparalleled commitment to clean, renewable energy sources, no State is doing more than New York to enhance the quality of our natural environment.

Governor Pataki was born on June 24, 1945, on his parent’s Peekskill, New York family farm. He is a 1967 graduate of Yale University and a 1970 graduate of Columbia Law School, both of which he attended on academic scholarships. The Governor and his wife, the former Elizabeth (Libby) Rowland, reside in Garrison, New York, along the lower Hudson River. They have four children: Emily, Teddy, Allison and George Owen. Before being elected Governor, George Pataki served 10 years in the State Legislature. He was also the youngest Mayor ever elected in his hometown of Peekskill, and was re-elected with the largest plurality in the City’s history.