NYS & Assembly Seal

New York State Assembly

Speaker Carl E. Heastie

Phone: (518) 455-4704
Fax: (518) 455-4705

New York State Assembly Internships

The New York State Assembly, since 1971, has offered internships to undergraduate and graduate students. The Assembly Internship is a comprehensive academic program which gives qualified students the chance to work in the state government.

The Assembly Session Intern Program offers full-time, semester-long undergraduate internships. The Assembly Graduate Scholars Program runs from the spring semester into June. Each of these internship programs includes a stipend to assist in offsetting the cost of relocating to Albany. Students who participate in the New York State Assembly Programs are given the opportunity to get involved in state government and gain firsthand knowledge of the legislative process. Interns complete a mandatory week-long Orientation and are enrolled in a course taught by the Internship Professors-in-Residence. They are assigned research and administrative responsibilities in an Assemblymember’s office. Working full-time while completing an academic course provides a rigorous and valuable, practical educational experience. The Session Internship is a full-time, comprehensive program requiring specific academic and professional work hours.

The New York State Assembly established the Intern Committee directed by a bipartisan group of legislators with strong interests in higher education. The Assembly Intern Committee is provided for in the Assembly Rules and is composed of the following legislative leaders: Speaker Pro Tempore, Assistant Speaker, Majority Leader, Deputy Majority Leader, Chair of the Higher Education Committee, Minority Leader, Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee, and Ranking Minority Member of the Higher Education Committee.

The Committee has a permanent staff which carries on the day-to-day activities of the Session Internship. The Committee appoints two Professors-in-Residence from a college or university in New York State each year to teach the regular courses and supervise the educational aspects of the program.

The Session Internship is open to New York State residents matriculated in a college or university degree program as juniors or seniors. Out-of-State residents and international students, with the appropriate documentation, who are similarly matriculated in a college or university degree program in the United States, are also eligible to apply. Applicants may be from any major.

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 Carl E. Heastie


Carl E. Heastie is the first African American to serve as Speaker of the New York State Assembly, elected by his Assembly colleagues on February 3, 2015.

In his first budget as Speaker, he worked closely with members of the Assembly Majority to develop a financial plan that made an historic $1.8 billion investment in the education of our students, addressed the homelessness crisis facing our communities and gave working families the resources they need to achieve financial independence. Speaker Heastie is committed to fighting for the reforms and investments that will strengthen our families and uplift all New Yorkers.

Speaker Heastie represents the 83rd A.D. in the northeast Bronx and was first elected to the Assembly in 2000. As a member of the Assembly, he has been one of the leading advocates for the construction of new schools and his vigilance has led to the development of several new schools in his district. In addition, he has secured significant funding for housing, education, after school programming, health and human services, jobs readiness and computer training for constituents.

Amongst his many legislative achievements, Speaker Heastie was a principal negotiator in securing an increase in the minimum wage that took effect January 1, 2014. He was also successful in negotiating increases in unemployment insurance benefits, which had been stagnant since 1998. He was the prime sponsor of the Wage Theft Prevention Act which provided stiffer penalties for employers that steal wages from employees.

Speaker Heastie scored a victory for public health when he championed the passage of a law that prohibited the sale of water containing nicotine to children under 18 years old. He also authored a law to help victims of domestic violence by releasing them from lease obligations if it is found that remaining in the residence would keep the victim in a dangerous environment.

Prior to joining the Assembly, Speaker Heastie served as a budget analyst in the New York City Comptroller's office where he researched, prepared and authored reports on the City's spending patterns. He earned a master's degree in business administration with a concentration in Finance from Bernard M. Baruch College (CUNY) and a bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from Stony Brook University (SUNY).

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Patricia A. Fahy

The Honorable
Patricia A. Fahy
Intern Committee Chair

First elected in 2012, NYS Assemblymember Patricia Fahy represents the entire City of Albany, Town of New Scotland, and part of the Town of Guilderland. A leading advocate for job creation, environmental conservation, and quality education, Pat has been the prime sponsor of over 200 bills—more than 70 of which have been signed into law including: the nation’s first Gun Industry Liability Law to hold gun manufacturers accountable for their role in the gun violence crisis; the nation’s first Right to Repair legislation, establishing a 30x30 conservation goal in New York State to conserve 30% of land and water by 2030; and examining modification or replacement of part(s) of I-787 in downtown Albany to expand waterfront access and development.

Pat has also introduced legislation to help accelerate the state’s transition to clean and renewable energy; expand and modernize New York’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); and tackle the growing threat of plastic pollution and industry’s rising carbon emissions.

Pat serves as the Chair of the Higher Education Committee and serves on four additional committees, including Environmental Conservation, Codes, Economic Development, and Tourism. Pat was awarded Freshman Legislator of the Year by the New York State School Boards Association during her first term in office and the Advocate for Choice award by Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood. In 2017, she was awarded the “Promoting Excellence in Mandated Representation” Award by the New York State Bar Association for her ILS legislation funding and creating caseload standards. In 2019, I received the New York Library Association’s (NYLA) Senator Hugh Farley Award for help securing a $20 million restoration of capital funding, and the New York State Industries for the Disabled’s (NYSID) Legislative Champion Award for work on behalf of individuals living with developmental disabilities. In 2022, Pat was named the Environmental Champion of the Year by the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) and Legislative Champion by the Environmental Advocates of New York (EANY).

Prior to her election, Pat served as Associate Commissioner of Intergovernmental Affairs and Federal Policy in the NYS Department of Labor, where she advocated for federal economic stimulus funds, extended unemployment benefits, and youth training initiatives. Pat is a former elected member of the Albany School Board. She serves on the Board of Directors of the UAlbany Center for Women in Government & Civil Society, and previously served on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Albany.

Before moving to Albany, Pat served as the Executive Director to the Chicago Workforce Board. Prior to her work in Chicago, she spent nine years in Washington D.C., including: in the Clinton Administration as the Associate Director for Employment and Training in the Congressional Affair’s Office of the U.S. Department of Labor under Secretary Robert Reich; as a legislative analyst in the U.S. House and Senate; and as a Presidential Management Intern in the Department of the Treasury.

Pat is married to Wayne Bequette, a professor at RPI in Troy, NY. They have two children and live in the City of Albany. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Northern Illinois University.

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Kathleen McCarty


Dr. Donald J. Boyd
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Dr. Donald J. Boyd

Donald J. Boyd has over three decades of experience analyzing state and local government fiscal issues. Boyd is co-director of the State and Local Government Finance Project at the Center for Policy Research at UAlbany’s Rockefeller College, and consultant to several organizations that analyze or model aspects of state and local government finances, including the Pew Charitable Trusts and several governments and governmental associations. In addition, he is an affiliated expert at the Open Research Group.

Previously, Boyd was director of fiscal studies at the Rockefeller Institute of Government, where he led the Institute’s analysis of state and local government finances in the 50 states and developed and led its Pension Simulation Project, examining risks associated with public pension plans. Previous positions include executive director of the State Budget Crisis Task Force, which studied fiscal challenges and risks in the 50 states; director of economic and revenue staff for the New York State Division of the Budget; and director of the tax staff for the New York State Assembly Ways and Means Committee. Boyd holds a Ph.D. in managerial economics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. (https://www.linkedin.com/in/donald-boyd-2443276b)

View Dr. Donald J. Boyd 's Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Angela D. Ledford
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Dr. Angela D. Ledford

Angela D. Ledford received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of South Carolina. She specializes in contemporary political theory (particularly gender theory and transnational social movements and collective violence). She teaches courses primarily in democratic theory, feminist theory, modern political thought, and race and class in America. Dr. Ledford has published articles on topics such as the movement to relocate the Confederate flag in South Carolina and the relationship between political representation and social class. Her first book, Group Representation, Feminist Theory, and the Promise of Justice, was published in 2012 and makes the case for alternative electoral arrangements to increase the representation of women and minorities in America. Dr. Ledford is Professor of Political Science at The College of Saint Rose.

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Dr. Janet Penksa
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Dr. Janet Penksa

Dr. Penksa has held a number of senior level positions in academia and the public and private sectors. She launched her career in the New York State Legislature as a Graduate Scholar on the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. She rose to the appointed position of Secretary to the Ways and Means Committee in 1993, making her the first woman in the history of New York State to oversee one of the three key state fiscal offices in Albany. Dr. Penksa subsequently served as an Associate Vice President at the University at Buffalo from 1999-2005, overseeing the Office of Government Affairs.

From 2007 to 2012, Dr. Penksa served as Commissioner of Administration, Finance, Policy and Urban Affairs for the City of Buffalo. Among her accomplishments, Dr. Penksa directed the city’s fiscal management practices that resulted in the end of the NYS imposed financial control period and increases in the city’s Wall Street credit ratings to “A” grade, the highest in over 40 years.

Dr. Penksa received her doctorate from the University at Buffalo. She earned a master’s of public administration and an undergraduate degree at SUNY Binghamton. She has been a Visiting Lecturer at Cornell University’s Institute for Public Affairs and a Visiting Associate Professor at Buffalo State College, teaching public budgeting, metropolitan governance, and strategic planning for not-for-profit agencies and government in its MPA program.

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Supporting Staff

Nick Thony
Chief Coordinator


Chikaodi S. Adiele-Iroakazi
Communications Coordinator


Former Professors-in-Residence

  • Dr. Dennis R. DeLong, 1978-1981, Empire State College, SUNY
  • Dr. Michael E. Lynch, 1981-1982, SUNY College at Oneonta
  • Dr. Shirley E. Ostholm, 1982-1984, York College, CUNY
  • Dr. Andrew D. Virgilio, 1982-1984, The College at Brockport, SUNY
  • Dr. Jeffrey M. Stonecash, 1984-2005, Syracuse University, Maxwell School
  • Dr. Robert F. Pecorella, 1986-2005, St. John's University
  • Dr. Helen Desfosses, 2006-2011, University at Albany, Rockefeller College
  • Dr. Dennis C. Smith, 2006-2015, New York University, Wagner College
  • Dr. Anthony Maniscalco, 2016-2022, CUNY Graduate Center
  • Dr. Wesley Nishiyama, 2013-2023, University at Albany