State Senate’s Confirmation Of John S. Dyson Marks His Return To The NYPA Board After Nearly 26 Years

Christine Pritchard
(518) 433-6839

March 31, 2011

Photo of John S. Dyson


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced John S. Dyson of Millbrook, N.Y., as the newest member of the Power Authority Board of Trustees. Dyson joins the Power Authority with particularly wide breadth of knowledge of the statewide public power utility and appreciation of its importance to New York.  

On Monday (March 28), the New York State Senate confirmed the nomination of Dyson by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to the NYPA board.  This followed approvals by the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. Dyson, who is chairman of Millbrook Capital Management, an investment firm, appeared before both committees.     

 “I’m honored to have been nominated by Governor Cuomo to the NYPA board and thank him and the State Senate for the confidence they’ve shown in me,” Dyson said.  “Under Governor Cuomo’s broad energy agenda, NYPA can be expected to be one of the cornerstones for advancing the state’s clean, economical and reliable energy supplies and spurring capital investments and job growth. These are very difficult economic times, but under the Governor’s innovative leadership, I’m confident that there are real opportunities for turning things around, and that the New York Power Authority will be part of the solution from the resources that it brings for providing clean, economical power and other essential energy services.”  

"John Dyson’s return to the New York Power Authority board will reunite our organization with an individual whose demonstrated leadership and substantial knowledge of the utility industry are sure to make a real difference in NYPA’s contributions to the state’s electric power system, economy and environment,” Richard M. Kessel, NYPA president and chief executive officer, said.  “I’ve been privileged to know John for many years and can attest to what a stand-out public servant he has been in various governmental roles, including his heading of the Power Authority from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s, a challenging period in which the state made significant strides in reducing dependence on foreign oil for generating electricity. I greatly look forward to working closely with John in his second stint on the NYPA board, in supporting Governor Cuomo’s energy agenda for clean and reliable power supplies and maximizing opportunities for creating jobs from our lower cost power allocations and various other energy initiatives.”

“The New York Power Authority is indeed fortunate to have John Dyson back on its board of trustees,” Michael J. Townsend, NYPA chairman, said. “The influential positions that he has held over the decades in state and local governments, including his leadership of the Power Authority during a period marked by efforts to promote energy independence and fuel diversity, give assurance of the significant contributions he’ll make during his second time on the NYPA board.  These are consequential matters that continue to resonate, as New York State pursues varied strategies under Governor Cuomo to expand clean alternative energy supplies and reduce global-warming emissions. The Power Authority is sure to have a major role in these efforts, with John’s expertise and background certain to be a great asset to our organization and the state.”

Dyson served two New York governors as chairman of the Power Authority—Gov. Hugh L. Carey and Gov. Mario M. Cuomo—from 1979 to 1985.  The hallmarks of Dyson’s leadership at NYPA included the licensing of a 207-mile high-voltage transmission line from Marcy, near Utica, to East Fishkill in Dutchess County to carry diversified supplies of economical power, including hydropower from Canada; the retrofitting of an oil-fired power plant in Queens to burn natural gas, for environmental, economic and energy-security benefits; measures for licensing and building small-hydroelectric projects at various locations around the state; economic development initiatives for allocating lower cost electricity to businesses in return for job commitments; and the bolstering of the Authority’s already strong credit rating during a time when the state’s rating was declining.

Dyson served as chairman of the New York City Mayor’s Council of Economic Advisors from 1997 to 2001 during the mayoralty of Rudolph Giuliani.  He was deputy mayor for Economic Development and Finance from 1994 to 1996, also during the Giuliani administration, and was responsible for the city’s retention of dozens of major companies for the protection of more than 50,000 jobs. As deputy mayor, he negotiated spending cuts to the New York City budget that supported tax reductions to make the city’s economy more competitive. 

From 1975 to 1979, Dyson headed the New York State Department of Commerce, a period in which the agency launched the iconic “I Love New York” advertising campaign, which contributed to more than 100,000 new jobs in the state.  He served as commissioner of Agriculture and Markets of New York State from April to December 1975 before being named Commerce Commissioner by former Governor Carey.

Dyson served as a First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Military Intelligence, for two years, including one year in Vietnam, where he was awarded a Bronze Star Medal, which is bestowed for heroic or meritorious achievement or service. He later served six months in the Pentagon on the staff of the Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence (1968-1970).

Dyson holds a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University (1967), and a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University (1965), where he majored in Agricultural Economics.

Dyson was the New York State governor-appointed trustee to Cornell University’s Board of Trustees from 1981 to 2001 and was elected emeritus trustee in 2001.
He is a former chairman and board member of Historic Hudson Valley, a not-for-profit educational organization that owns, restores, preserves and promotes historic landmarks of national significance within the Hudson Valley.

He is the author of Our Historic Hudson, a book on the history of the Hudson River Valley.

About NYPA:

■ The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. ■ NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives. ■ It is the nation's largest state public power organization, with 17 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ Approximately 80 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower.  Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state. ■For more information, www.nypa.gov.


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