Gov. George Pataki
Governor George Pataki is the founder and Chairman of the Pataki-Cahill Group. The Governor joined the law firm of Chadbourne and Parke, LLP, in 2007 as counsel, focusing on their energy, environmental and infrastructure practice areas. He also served as United States Delegate to the 62nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. In addition, he co-chaired the Council on Foreign Relations Independent Task Force on Climate Change.
Prior to starting the Pataki-Cahill Group, he served three terms as the 53rd governor of New York State, from 1995 through 2006. At the end of his 12 years as Governor, New York State had its lowest rate of welfare dependency in over 40 years, its lowest rate of violent crime in over 40 years, had cut state taxes by over $140 billion, had almost 700,000 more private sector jobs, its highest credit rating in over 40 years, and billions of dollars in surplus. Governor Pataki also led New York State through the attacks of September 11th and its aftermath.
Widely known for his protection of over one million acres of open space, the most in New York State's history, Governor Pataki balanced his pro-business philosophy with award-winning, cutting-edge policies in the renewable energy and environmental fields. The governor implemented the first integrated strategy for creating clean, renewable transportation networks utilizing alternative fuels, including tax and other incentives for both consumers and manufacturers, grants for alternative retail fuel distribution systems and the exemption of renewable fuels from all State and local taxes.
Governor Pataki also established New York's leading brownfield program spurring development in cities across the state by creating a $200 million fund to support the redevelopment of contaminated sites and instituting a $135 million tax credit program to encourage public private investment in brownfields. He instituted the nation's green buildings tax credit incentive program which led to the first building of the first high-rise green office building in the world, the first high-rise green residential building in the United States and a host of other green projects currently under development. Most notably, through his determined leadership Governor Pataki ensured that the redeveloped World Trade Center site will be a global example of green building design.
In addition, Governor Pataki worked to create public private partnerships for clean energy generation in New York State resulting in one of the largest industrial solar power arrays in the U.S. and one of the largest wind-power arrays in the Eastern United States. He introduced net metering to encourage alternative energy production in homes and established the nation's first business park devoted to the development of clean energy technologies. Governor Pataki also established the Albany Nanotech Center for Excellence and the nation's most innovative renewable portfolio standard to ensure that New York rate payers were supplied with the most cost-effective renewable energy.
Among numerous other awards, BusinessWeek named Governor Pataki one of the top 20 “individuals who stand out for their efforts to cut gases that cause global warming” in the world. Also, in 2006, Vanity Fair called him a governor who “gets it” in its inaugural Green Issue for his efforts concerning the environment.
Governor Pataki serves on the Advisory Council of global investment bank Greentech Capital Advisors. He serves on numerous boards, including: Ecological, a sustainable real estate development firm; Cosan, one of Brazil's largest private companies with a focus on ethanol and sugar production; and Clearlake Capital and MidOcean Partners, both private equity firms.
Governor Pataki was a partner in the New York law firm Plunkett & Jaffe until 1987. He was elected mayor of Peekskill, New York in 1981, and served in the New York State Legislature as an assemblyman and then as state senator from 1985 to 1994, before becoming governor. The governor and his wife Libby reside in Garrison, N.Y. They have four children and one grandson.