Dr. Lester W. Young, Jr. and Josephine Victoria Finn were unanimously re-elected to the posts of Chancellor and Vice Chancellor to the New York Board of Regents, announced Commissioner Betty A. Rosa.
The New York Board of Regents’ Chancellor and Vice Chancellor are the two elective officers of the University of the State of New York, each serving a three-year term. Under the leadership of Chancellor Young, Vice Chancellor Finn, and Commissioner Rosa, the Board and Department follow two guiding principles. The first is a commitment to creating equity for all students to prepare for college, careers, and civic engagement – regardless of background, zip code, first language, or ability. The second strategic priority is to fundamentally change how the Department approaches its mission, shifting focus to a service-oriented approach as part of the statewide teaching and learning community.
“I am humbled and honored to be re-elected to serve the children, educators, and communities of our state as the Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents,” said Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. “Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, we have made significant progress. With the leadership of Commissioner Rosa and our dedicated SED staff, together with district and school leaders, teachers, staff, school boards, parents, and our students, New York State schools were able to reopen safely. Additionally, we have advanced the values and beliefs necessary to create school and district environments where all NYS students have the opportunities to go as far as their hopes, dreams, and hard work will take them.”
During his 50-year career in public service, Chancellor Young has focused on creating opportunities “where every student can be successful.” Dr. Young received his doctorate in education from Fordham University and his masters from Brooklyn College. He has co-chaired the P-12 Education Committee and the Regents Workgroup on Early Learning and Early Childhood Education. He also chaired the Regents Workgroup to Improve Outcomes for Boys and Young Men of Color. His leadership led to the establishment of the New York State My Brother’s Keeper initiative. New York State is the only state to have the My Brother’s Keeper initiative enacted into a state law.
“The enduring trust that Chancellor Young and my fellow Board members have placed in me enables me to continue to serve New Yorkers as Vice Chancellor of the Board of Regents,” said Vice Chancellor Finn. “I am so grateful for this opportunity. Working with the Board, Commissioner Rosa, and Department staff, I believe we are better positioned than ever to support our schools and empower students from all backgrounds to be successful.”
Chancellor Finn was first elected as Vice Chancellor of the Board of Regents in 2021 and appointed to represent the Third Judicial District for a five-year term in 2014 and again in 2019. Practicing law for 35 years, she holds a B.A. in psychology and Black Studies from SUNY Oneonta and a law degree from the University of Buffalo. Trained in mediation, she has served as Assistant County Attorney for Sullivan County and Assistant Town Attorney and Town Attorney for Thompson. Chancellor Finn is a former Justice for the Village of Monticello.
Established in 1784, the New York Board of Regents is the oldest, continuous state education entity in the United States. The Regents, who serve without pay, are responsible for the general oversight of all educational activities within the state, presiding over the University of the State of New York and the State Education Department.