Steering Committee

The Program is directed by the Steering Committee, whose focus is on strategic program objectives and confirming the selection of program candidates.

Mortimer Zuckerman with Eric and James Gertler

Steering Committee Members

Mortimer B. Zuckerman (сenter)
Trustee, Zuckerman Institute

Eric J. Gertler (right)
Trustee, Zuckerman Institute

James S. Gertler (left)
Trustee, Zuckerman Institute

David Z. Robinson (not pictured)



Eric J. Gertler

Eric Gertler currently serves as Commissioner, President and CEO of Empire State Development (ESD), New York State’s economic development agency. He was nominated to this position by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in August 2019. Gertler has been a member of the Empire State Development board since June 2018.

Gertler brings extensive private and public sector leadership to Empire State Development, from roles including Executive Chairman of U.S. News & World Report, managing member of Ulysses Ventures, Executive Vice President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Managing Director of the Center for Economic Transformation under two mayoral administrations in New York City. A media executive, entrepreneur and published author, Gertler has written and spoken extensively on key policy issues and economic development priorities including workforce development, infrastructure investment, entrepreneurship and innovation.

As Executive Chairman of U.S. News & World Report, the nation’s leading news authority on rankings and expert guidance on life decisions, Gertler has provided oversight and overall strategic management and development of the media company. Gertler has also overseen Ulysses Ventures, a multi-strategy investment fund based in New York City. Gertler also served concurrently as Co-Chairman and Co-Publisher of the New York Daily News, New York’s hometown newspaper.

Prior to his government service for New York City, Gertler successfully led several technology and media companies. In the technology sector, Gertler served as CEO of Altruik (product search optimization), PrimeAxis Media (content aggregation/consumer rankings) and Privista (identity theft protection). In media, Gertler served concurrently as President of U.S. News & World Report, Fast Company and The Atlantic, for which he managed day-to-day operations with a focus on expanding the respective brands into new areas, including online and live events.

Gertler was honored in 2017 as a Great Immigrant by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which recognizes the extraordinary contributions of naturalized citizens through its annual Great Immigrants tribute. Gertler was also named to City & State Magazine’s “The 2016 Responsible 100 List” honoring corporate social responsibility in New York City.

Gertler serves as a trustee and adviser to the Zuckerman Family Office, Zuckerman Institute and Zuckerman Family Foundation. He is a current member of Young President’s Organization (“YPO”) and previously served as the Chair of the YPO Metro New York Chapter. Previously, he was also a board member of Columbia University’s Zuckerman Mind Brain and Behavior Institute and served on the Board of Governors for Technion—Israel Institute of Technology as well as Tel Aviv University. He has also served as the Chairman of the American-Israel Friendship League.

Gertler is the author of the critically acclaimed book Prying Eyes: Protect Your Privacy From People Who Sell To You, Snoop on You or Steal From You (Random House). He began his career as an attorney with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

A graduate of Brown University, Gertler holds degrees from the Sorbonne at the University of Paris, the Institut D’Etudes Politiques in Paris, with honors, and a law degree, with honors, from American University, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review and was inducted into the National Leadership Honor Society Omicron Delta Kappa.

James S. Gertler

Mr. James S. Gertler is President and CEO of Drew Lane Capital, LLC, a private investment firm based in New York City; Vice Chairman and Senior Managing Director of Legacy Partners, Inc. a private investment firm focused on Greater China; and Trustee and Advisor to the Zuckerman Family Office, Institute and Foundation.

Mr. Gertler is a board director of the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute at Columbia University, a board director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, a Member and Trustee of New York-Presbyterian Hospital, a governor of the International Board of Governors of Tel Aviv University, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and Weizmann Institute of Science, on National Leadership Council of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, treasurer and a board director of America’s Voices in Israel, and a board director of the America-Israel Friendship League.

Mr. Gertler is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, receiving a Master in Business Administration in 1992. He received a Bachelor in Science in Economics degree, magna cum laude, from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in 1988. He is married to a writer and has two daughters.



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