A spellbinding orator and rising political star, Andrew Cuomo is one of the most effective advocates to come out of government in many years. He is powered by a passion that is rare among our new generation of leaders and can discuss a variety of important political and social issues from economic development to race relations and diversity to his vision for America.
Serving as HUD Secretary from 1997-2001, he is the second youngest cabinet member in history (only his father-in-law, Robert F. Kennedy, was younger). He is credited with reinventing HUD from the ground up during his tenure. He implemented a Management Reform Plan in 1997, which cracked down on waste, fraud and abuse, and addressed decades-old management problems at the department. Other key reforms that he implemented include: creation of an Enforcement Center headed by an FBI agent; the first comprehensive inspection of all housing subsidized or insured by HUD; creation of more efficient "back office" processing centers, along with storefront offices to serve the public; major improvements in HUD's financial systems; and creation of Community Builder employees.
After receiving a bachelor's degree from Fordham University in 1979 and a law degree from Albany Law School in 1982, Cuomo became campaign manager for his father, Mario M. Cuomo, in the elder Cuomo's 1982 race for Governor of New York. Andrew Cuomo spent a year - and accepted an annual salary of just $1 - as a key aide to Governor Cuomo. He then practiced law - as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan in 1984-85, and as a partner in a New York City law firm in 1985-88.
Cuomo lives in New York with his wife, Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, and their three daughters. He is frequently mentioned as a candidate for governor of New York.
NOTE: Bio is as it appeared in the Forum program from February 16, 2002.
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