Roberta Reardon, Commissioner of Labor
New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon was appointed in October 2015 to oversee the Department’s more than 3,300 employees. On June 15, 2016, Commissioner Reardon was unanimously confirmed by the New York State Senate.
Previously, Commissioner Reardon served as President of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) from 2007-2012. She was the founding Co-President of SAG-AFTRA, a 165,000-member union for the entertainment industry, when the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) merged with AFTRA in 2012. After stepping down from that position in late 2013, Commissioner Reardon consulted for the AFL-CIO as Special Liaison for Common Sense Economics. She also taught in the Cornell/CUNY Labor Relations Certificate program.
Commissioner Reardon is a former member of the Board of Trustees for the AFTRA Health and Retirement Fund, as well as the New York City Labor Council. She has been honored with the Jewish Labor Committee’s 2009 Human Rights Award as well as the New York City Central Labor Council’s 2012 Award for Service to the Labor Movement and was a recipient of the Cornell ILR School, Union Leadership Institute’s 2017 Change Maker Award.
Commissioner Reardon graduated from the Cornell Industrial and Labor Relations School’s New York State AFL-CIO/Cornell Union Leadership Institute and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wyoming. She is a Worker Institute Fellow at Cornell University and sits on the Board of Trustees for the Actors Fund of America.
Scott Melvin, Executive Deputy Commissioner of Labor
Scott serves as the Executive Deputy Commissioner for the New York State Department of Labor.
Career Background: Scott Melvin has more than 25 years of experience in local and State government. He was the Chief of Staff at the DOL for Commissioner Roberta Reardon. In this role, he advised the Commissioner on the Department’s policy agenda, managed executive and senior level staff members, and oversaw external stakeholder engagement. Previous to that role, he worked for three years on programmatic issues such as helping the formerly incarcerated return to the workforce.
Scott lives in the West Side of Manhattan with his husband.
Orville Abrahams, Deputy Commissioner of Business Advocacy and Engagement
Orville oversees the development of a new business engagement unit designed to allow the agency to unify, streamline, and improve how we serve the evolving needs of our business customers.
Career Background: Orville started his professional career as a development manager with the Albany Housing Authority. After that, he served as the Executive Director of the Albany YMCA before taking the role of Community Development Director for the Capital District YMCA. He helped develop community-based initiatives in many capital region communities.
Education: Orville has a Masters of Business Administration and bachelor’s degree from SUNY Albany.
Jill Archambault, Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel
Jill oversees the Office of General Counsel which provides legal advice to the Labor Commissioner and the diverse programs within the Department of Labor.
Career Background: Jill has a decade of experience in state government. She served as Acting General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel for the DOL. Previously, Jill was an Assistant Counsel to the Governor and an Excelsior Service Fellow in the Governor’s Counsel’s Office. She oversaw legal affairs for the labor and workforce portfolio and for several state agencies.
Education: Jill graduated Albany Law School summa cum laude and served as a member of the Albany Law Review Executive Board. She is also a graduate of Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina.
Peter Brancato, Associate Commissioner for Strategic Communications
As the head of the communications team, Peter's mission is to promote the important work the DOL does for all of New York’s workers and businesses.
Career Background: Peter has extensive experience in public and private sector communications. Prior to coming to the DOL, Peter was the Deputy Director of Communications for Cabinet Affairs in the NYS Executive Chamber. There he oversaw the communications departments for all the state agencies. Before that, Peter was an Emmy award winning tv journalist and News Operations Manager in the Capital Region.
Education: Peter graduated with a BS in business economics from SUNY Oneonta.
Odo Butler, Associate Commissioner for Policy, Strategy and Research
Odo oversees the Division of Research and Statistics, the primary source of labor market information in New York State. Odo has also overseen the development of various tools for programs to understand their data better and for the public to have easier access to labor market information.
Career Background: Odo has over 15 years of experience in the public sector, higher education, and the U.S. Navy. Before joining NYS DOL, Odo was the director of Institutional Research at American International College and SUNY Schenectady.
Education: Odo has a doctorate degree in Law and Policy from Northeastern University, a master’s degree in History and Political Science from the College of St. Rose, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from SUNY Albany.
Thilden Carr, Chief Technology Officer
As the Acting Chief Technology Officer, Thilden’s mission is to continue to help drive transformation through the help of technology as well as our modernization strategy.
Career Background: For over 20 years Thilden has been a noteworthy leader in the IT space within state government, starting his career with The Division of Budget. There he managed all levels of IT support with a focus on end-users. At ITS he served in many roles to help push ITS initiatives and build better relationships with state agencies. He served under the CTO for many years influencing strategic direction that directly supported the agencies and its end-users.
Education: Thilden holds an A.A.S Computer Information Systems
Karen Coleman, Deputy Commissioner for Administrative Services, Chief Financial Officer
As the Deputy Commissioner for Administrative Services and Chief Financial Officer, Karen oversees the Department’s human resources, employer relations, staff training, and leadership development.
Career Background: For over 20 years, Karen has worked primarily in education and workforce development. She led the state’s public workforce development, as well as employment system and workforce policy.
Education: Karen holds a BS in mathematics education from the College of St. Rose and an MS in educational administration from SUNY Albany.
Beau Duffy, Deputy Commissioner of Strategic Communications
As Deputy Commissioner for Strategic Communications, Beau is responsible for the overall operations of the DOL’s Communications Office, directing outreach activities to ensure public understanding of the agency’s programs and services.
Career Background: Beau started his professional career more than 30-years ago in television news, including stints as an Executive Producer and News Director. He has also served in communications roles with Congressman Paul Tonko, the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, and the NYS Department of Transportation. Prior to coming to DOL, Beau spent eight years as Director of Public Information for the New York State Police.
Education: Beau graduated with a BA in public communication from the College of Saint Rose in Albany.
Jacqueline Kagan Dupiche, Associate Commissioner for Worker Protection
In her role as Acting Associate Commissioner for Worker Protection, Jacqueline supervises, along with the Deputy Commissioner, all areas of Worker Protection including Labor Standards, Safety and Health, Public Work, Immigrant and Policy Affairs, and the Office of Special Investigations.
Career Background: Jacqueline joined the NYS Department of Labor in 2019 as the Director of the Office of Special Investigations in Worker Protection. Prior to joining the Department, she worked for more than twenty years as a criminal prosecutor, first at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office and then as the Deputy Special Prosecutor for the NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs. As a prosecutor, Jacqueline worked on cases ranging from special victims to rackets to fraud, seeking justice for crime victims.
Education: Jacqueline is a licensed attorney in New York State. She earned her undergraduate degree from Arizona State University and a J.D. from NYU School of Law.
Susan Filburn, Deputy Commissioner for Employment Security
As the Deputy Commissioner for Employment Security, Susan is responsible for the oversight, policy direction, leadership, and administration of the New York State Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program.
Career Background: Susan has more than 20 years of experience in state government. She started her government career with the NYS Division of Budget and prior to this position, she was the Deputy Chief Procurement Officer for Office of General Services. Susan is a U.S. Army Veteran who served in numerous locations as a UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter Aviation officer.
Education: Susan holds a Masters of Public Administration from the Syracuse University Maxwell School, as well as a Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Stephen M. Geskey, Associate Commissioner for Adjudication and Determination
Steve is the Associate Commissioner for Employment Security, Adjudication and Employer Liability Services. He oversees various facets of the New York State Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program, including adjudication services, hearing processing, and employer liability.
Career Background: Prior to joining the team at DOL Steve served in a variety of public sector legal and administrative capacities.
Education: Steve is an attorney and holds a law degree from University of Detroit, School of Law, as well as a B.S. and MBA from Michigan State University.
Vicki Gray-Roddy, Associate Commissioner for Administrative Services
Vicki is the Associate Commissioner for Administrative Services overseeing the EDGE training office, Personnel, and the Office of Employee Relations.
Career Background: Vicki began her career at the DOL in the Division of Research and Statistics where she co-led a team that created CareerZone, a system to help youth make career and college decisions.
Vicki later transitioned to the Division of Employment and Workforce Solutions. She managed teams that oversaw youth and staff development. More recently, Vicki worked on leadership development with the Commissioner to drive agency improvement.
Education: Vicki has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from SUNY Cortland and a Master of Science in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology from SUNY Albany.
Jeanette Lazelle, Deputy Commissioner for Worker Protection
Jeanette has been part of Worker Protection with the NYS Department of Labor for 18 years. Throughout her career, Jeanette has focused on empowering workers and assisting employers to understand labor laws.
Career Background: Prior to joining the Department of Labor, Jeanette worked for the US Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Assistance Division as an Attorney Advisor.
Education: Jeanette is a licensed attorney in New York State and bilingual in English and Spanish. She earned an undergrad degree from SUNY Buffalo and a J.D. from SUNY Buffalo School of Law.
Yvonne Martinez, Deputy Commissioner for Research and Strategic Planning
As the Associate Commissioner for Research and Strategic Planning, Yvonne primarily oversees the Division of Research and Statistics—the premier source of labor market information. She also leads the Department’s internal green initiatives and agency transparency.
Career Background: Prior to joining NYSDOL, Yvonne spent over 20 years with the Office of the State Comptroller. She held various leadership roles within the Division of Local Government and School Accountability and oversaw annual financial reporting, local official training, and policy research activities.
Education: Yvonne holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a B.A. from Incarnate Word College.
Dana Politis, Associate Commissioner for Workforce Development
Dana serves as the Association Commissioner for Workforce Development. In her role, she leads special projects and initiatives to support New York’s workforce. Her goal is to ensure all New Yorkers are empowered with the right education, training and skills for the jobs of the future.
Career Background: Prior to her role at DOL, she was the founding Director of Community Workforce Programs at Montefiore Medical Center, leading community workforce development strategy and implementation. She implemented new partnerships with the NYC Department of Education, CUNY, and other community-based organizations to design employer-led career readiness and workforce training programs in healthcare.
Education: A Bronx native, Dana is a first-generation Greek American who was the first in her family to graduate from college. She has a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College and a master’s degree in Public Health from the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.
Melissa Quesada, Chief Diversity Officer
As Chief Diversity Officer, Melissa develops and implements diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives for NYSDOL. This includes creating, managing, and optimizing all efforts related to making the workplace a fairer, more-equitable environment for all employees.
Career Background: For 15 years, Melissa has served in various government, non-profit, and private sector roles. She previously served as Director of Latino Affairs, the Governor's primary representative to the Latino community. Melissa also served as Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Worker Protection at the DOL. In that role, she implemented multi-agency, statewide outreach efforts.
Throughout her career, she has also served non-profits such as the National Puerto Rican Day Parade and the Institute for Puerto Rican/Hispanic Elderly.
Education: Melissa holds a J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law and a B.A. from Binghamton University. She was the President of the Delta Phi Epsilon, Binghamton Chapter.
Molly Streb, Chief of Staff
In her role as the Acting Chief of Staff, Molly works with the Commissioner and other members of the leadership team to execute key projects and initiatives across the agency.
Career Background: Before joining DOL, Molly worked in the NYS Executive Chamber for five years; most recently as the Deputy Director of Scheduling and Operations. In this role, she coordinated the Governor’s daily schedule and organized state-wide and regional gubernatorial events. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Molly managed multiple New York State testing facilities in New York City.
Education: Molly holds a B.A. in Political Science from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Lars Thompson, Associate Commissioner for UI Claims Processing and Quality Review
Lars is the Associate Commissioner for Unemployment Insurance (UI) Claims Processing and Quality Review. He oversees the intake of UI claims, benefit eligibility reviews, and federal/state compliance assessments.
Career Background: Lars has served New York’s UI program in a variety of roles for the past 14 years.
Education: Lars holds a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Rhode Island.
Chris White, Deputy Commissioner for Workforce Development
Chris oversees New York State's 95 career centers. In that role, he updates workforce development systems, policy, and monitoring trends in the workforce. Chris's goal is to modernize how we train workers for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
Career Background: Chris has worked for New York State since 2012, previously leading the DOL's Communications Office, and later serving as Director of Communications for then-Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. He has overseen several major statewide outreach campaigns including $15 minimum wage, closing the gender wage gap, subminimum wage, and workplace sexual harassment prevention.
Education: Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Ithaca College where he also minored in music.
Page Updated 10/4/2023