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Hope Knight ’85 Receives Key Nomination by NY Gov. Kathy Hochul

MMC Business Management alumna and Trustee Emerita Hope Knight ’85 has been nominated by New York Governor Kathy Hochul to serve as Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development and President and CEO of Empire State Development.

“After the devastating impact the pandemic had on New York’s economy, we need the best of the best at the helm to lead our recovery,” Hochul said in her announcement of Knight’s nomination.

In a statement released on October 28, 2021, Hochul tasked Knight with leading New York’s economic development across the state while building a stronger economy than ever before. Between her anticipated roles at the Department of Economic Development and Empire State Development, Knight will be immersed in the promotion, growth, inclusivity, and sustainability of New York State.

“Hope’s unparalleled ability to build community, coupled with her bold decision-making, will be transformative for New York State,” Marymount Manhattan College President Kerry Walk stated. “Hope embodies the creative and fearless spirit of MMC in the many roles she has played at the College: student, alumna, trustee, Chairperson of the Board, and now Trustee Emerita. Given her impressive record of visionary leadership, it’s no surprise that Governor Hochul has recognized her with this important nomination.”

No stranger to big-impact positions, Knight has served as President and CEO of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC) since 2015. In this role, she has worked to revitalize and strengthen the Southeast Queens region through advancing economic growth, community-building, and sustainable real estate development.

“Her tireless work spearheading Jamaica’s revitalization pre-pandemic and its recovery post-pandemic has been nothing short of remarkable, and we know for a fact that she will lead both the New York State Department of Economic Development and Empire State Development with vigor and grace,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. said in a statement to Marymount Manhattan College.

In addition to running GJDC, Knight was appointed to the New York City Planning Commission in 2015.

Knight has extensive experience working across sectors, having spent over two decades in the private, public, and not-for-profit areas, including with the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, Morgan Stanley, and the Department of General Services, now known as the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. Knight has served on a number of boards, including her alma mater’s, serving at MMC as a trustee for four terms (2006-2018) and as Board Chairperson (2015-2017). She was elected to the distinguished role of Trustee Emerita by the Board in May 2019.

“The magnitude of Hope’s impact on communities large and small is remarkable,” MMC Board of Trustees Chair Michael J. Materasso stated. “During her time as a Board member and then Chair, her leadership was dynamic and her vision far-sighted. She represents the very best of the MMC community. I look forward to seeing all that she accomplishes in her new role.”

Fellow MMC alumnus and Trustee Emeritus Paul C. Lowerre ’81 echoed the observations of Walk and Materasso. “Hope Knight brings unalloyed excellence to the table,” he said. “We’ve observed this in all her efforts at Marymount Manhattan College. There’s no doubt she will deliver the same for the State of New York. We are filled with pride.”

Knight will serve as Acting Commissioner, President, and CEO until confirmation by the Senate.