New York State Department of State Announces New Executive Director of Committee on Open Government

Written By: Robert Cox

ALBANY, NY — Secretary of State Rossana Rosado today announced the appointment of Shoshanah Bewlay as Executive Director of the New York State Committee on Open Government. After an extensive search by the Committee on Open Government, Ms. Bewlay was selected for her wide range of experience and depth of knowledge regarding the Freedom of Information, Open Meetings and Personal Privacy Protection Laws.

“With more than 20 years of broad experience in both the public and private sectors, Ms. Bewlay will be an asset to the Committee on Open Government,” said Secretary of State Rosado. “We are fortunate that Ms. Bewlay is bringing her robust expertise to this role to continue to enhance and educate New Yorkers about transparency within our government. Thank you to Kristin O’Neill and the Committee for their exceptional work over the past several months during this transition period.”

Committee on Open Government Executive Director Shoshanah Bewlay said, “It is an honor to be selected by Governor Cuomo and the Committee on Open Government to serve as the next Executive Director. Open and transparent government is a priority of Governor Cuomo and I look forward to working with the Committee to continue to highlight the importance of the Freedom of Information, Open Meetings and Personal Privacy Protection Laws.”

Ms. Bewlay previously served as the General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer at the NYS Office of Information Technology Services, where she oversaw the agency’s legal department, providing advice and guidance on legal and regulatory compliance, information security and data breach response, legal and technical eDiscovery compliance for the New York State executive agencies, New York State IT policy and strategy alignment, IT procurement and contracting, and New York State public ethics. Prior to serving as the General Counsel, Ms. Bewlay served as the agency’s Records Access Officer and Personal Privacy Protection Officer.

Ms. Bewlay joined ITS in 2014 after seven years with the NYS Office of the Attorney General, where she managed that Office’s eDiscovery program. Prior to joining the Office of the Attorney General, Ms. Bewlay had more than 10 years of private practice experience in New York City and San Francisco, in which she specialized in the defense of large corporations in securities and tender offer litigation. Ms. Bewlay is a member of the New York, Connecticut and California State Bars and is a graduate of Vassar College and the University of Connecticut School of Law.

The Committee on Open Government, housed in the Department of State, oversees and advises the government, public, and news media on Freedom of Information, Open Meetings, and Personal Privacy Protection Laws. The Committee offers guidance in response to phone inquiries, prepares written legal advisory opinions, and provides training to government and other interested groups. Recommendations to improve open government laws are offered in an annual report to Governor and the State Legislature.

Committee on Open Government