After a 16-year career in the state Senate, Ruth Hassell-Thompson is joining the Cuomo Administration as special advisor for policy and community affairs for the New York State Homes and Community Renewal. Since 2000, Hassell-Thompson, D-Mount Vernon, has represented parts of the Bronx and Westchester County as senator. She will begin her new role this July. In addition to serving in the New York State Senate for 16 years, Sen. Hassel-Thompson is also a former City Council president and acting mayor of Mount Vernon. She is also a retired nurse for Mount Vernon Hospital, where she specialized in pediatrics and substance counseling. The senator has also worked extensively with individuals impacted by HIV/AIDS. She has received high praise as the founding president and CEO of “The Gathering.” a volunteer-based women’s center in Mount Vernon that provides counseling and support services. Prior to her work in politics, Sen. Hassell-Thompson was the president and CEO of Whart Development Company, Inc., a real estate development company that also provided consultant services to small and developing businesses. She also served as the executive director of the Westchester Minority Contractors Association, where she assisted in bringing opportunities for growth and economic development to minority and women owned businesses in the region. Earlier on, she led the Westchester Community Opportunity Program, which provided medical, social and related support services to local residents in need. “As a nurse, an advocate and a member of the New York State Legislature, Senator Hassell-Thompson has spent her entire career fighting to improve lives and build communities,” said Cuomo. “I am proud to have her continue this work as a member of my administration.” The New York State Homes and Community Renewal program consists of five agencies whose mission is providing financing for multifamily housing; administering programs to improve housing conditions, ensure accessibility, and save energy; providing bonding authority to facilitate local public improvements; and helping low- and moderate-income New Yorkers purchase a home. In New York City and adjacent counties, HCR enforces the state’s rent regulation laws and protects the rights of tenants facing landlord harassment or rent overcharges. The program also funds services for low- to middle-income households and for special needs populations including veterans, seniors, homeless families, individuals with HIV/AIDS and at-risk youth. Hassell-Thompson’s seat will likely be filled during the November general election.