View of Building 7A on the NY State Campus in Albany with flags flying at full mast

DHSES Executive Team

Commissioner Jackie Bray

Commissioner Jackie Bray stands between two flags against a grey background

Jackie Bray is the first female Commissioner of the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES).

Jackie most recently served as part of New York City’s COVID-19 response, by managing hospital surge capacity in early 2020 and serving as the Deputy Executive Director of the New York City Test and Trace Corps.

Prior to taking on a pandemic response role, Jackie was the inaugural Director of the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants where she built a new office focused on advocating for tenants’ rights and protecting the City’s two million renter households.  She served as the First Deputy Commissioner at the New York City Department of Homeless Services, an agency responsible for addressing the nation’s largest and most comprehensive homeless system, where she oversaw day-to-day operations, implementation of the City’s Turning the Tide on Homelessness Plan and all rehousing programs.

Jackie previously served as the Deputy Commissioner for Strategic Initiatives at the City’s Department of Social Services and as a policy adviser at City Hall where she worked primarily on mental health policy and programs.

Before joining New York City government, Jackie served as the Deputy Chief of Staff at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and as Chief of Staff at the National Weather Service (NWS). In these roles, she focused on stabilizing the nation's weather satellite programs, implementing the Weather Ready Nation vision, and developing climate adaptation policy.

Jackie is an alumna of the University of Michigan and holds a Master of Public Health degree from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Executive Deputy Commissioner

Terence O'Leary

Terence O'Leary Exec Dep

Terence (Terry) O’Leary currently serves as the Executive Deputy Commissioner of DHSES, where he oversees the day-to-day operations of the agency.

From 2014 to 2016, Terry served as the Deputy Secretary for Public Safety for the New York State Executive Chamber where he was responsible for overseeing the policy and operations of the State’s public safety agencies, including DHSES, the New York State Police, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, and the Division of Criminal Justice Services.

From 2011 to 2014, Terry served as the Director of Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement within the New York State Department of Health, where he was responsible for implementing and managing the State’s Prescription Monitoring Program Registry and overseeing the shift of the State’s Official Prescription Program to require all prescriptions be issued electronically, making New York the first in the nation to do so.

Terry previously served as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office between 2001 and 2011, where he was assigned to the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor. In 2006, Terry was assigned to the Special Investigation Bureau as the Senior Investigative Counsel where he handled long term investigations of major narcotics trafficking and money laundering organizations.

Terry earned a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University of Maryland, majoring in history, and his Juris Doctor from Seton Hall University’s School of Law.  

Chief of Staff

Robin Fitzgerald

Robin Fitzgerald Chief of Staff

Robin Fitzgerald currently serves as the Chief of Staff to the DHSES Commissioner. She works with the Commissioner and other members of the leadership team to execute key projects and initiatives across the agency.

Robin has been working for the State since 2016. Prior to joining the DHSES team, she worked for the New York State Executive Chamber for four years, most recently as the Assistant Secretary for Executive Operations. In this role she managed the daily logistics and execution of statewide and regional gubernatorial events. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Robin operationalized logistics and distribution of vaccines for community-based vaccination sites across the State.

Robin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications from Baruch College, where she also minored in music.

General Counsel

Elisha Tomko

Elisha Tomko General Counsel

Elisha Tomko is the General Counsel for DHSES.  Since 2017, Elisha has managed the Office of Counsel and provided guidance, consultation, and support to the Commissioner and Executive Staff on a wide range of issues necessary to carry out the mission of the agency.  Elisha joined DHSES in 2010 as Counsel to the Office of Fire Prevention and Control.

Prior to joining the DHSES, Elisha worked in Counsel’s Office for the New York State Department of State for more than nine years as a local government and emergency response attorney. 

Elisha is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany and Albany Law School. 

Deputy Commissioner, Administration & Finance

Elizabeth Snyder

Elizabeth Snyder Admin & Finance

Elizabeth (Beth) Snyder is the Deputy Commissioner for Administration and Finance at DHSES, where she oversees Grants Program Administration, the Federal Fiscal Unit, Budget and Finance units, Risk Management, Human Resources, and Fleet and Facilities.

Prior to joining DHSES, Beth worked at the Division of Budget as a Principal Budget Examiner in the Public Protection Unit. Her portfolio included DHSES, New York State Police, and the Division of Military and Naval Affairs. She also served as Assistant Budget Director for the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) in 2017 and began her State career in 2010 overseeing fiscal operations for OCFS, the Office of National and Community Services, and the Office of the Welfare Inspector General.

Beth earned her Bachelor of Arts from Syracuse University where she majored in Political Science. She also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. 

Deputy Commissioner, Community Preparedness

James Clancy

Jim Clancy DC Community Preparedness

James (Jim) Clancy currently serves as the Deputy Commissioner for Community Preparedness for DHSES.   

He works within the Executive Office to ensure DHSES leadership are informed and briefed on State and local government issues. Jim also helps coordinate the commissioner’s agenda and schedule in his role as the outward-facing liaison for the agency to public and private stakeholders.

Jim has more than twenty years of experience in State government and has held various management and leadership roles.

Prior to his return to State service when he started with DHSES in June 2022, Jim spent seven years working in the private sector: two years with the lobby firm Brown & Weinraub and five years with the Healthcare Association of New York State.

Jim spent seven years working for the New York State Department of Health as the Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Governmental and External Affairs and as the Director of the Center for Healthcare Facility Planning, Licensure and Finance. In both positions, Jim helped guide and implement important initiatives such as the I-STOP program, Rory’s Regulations (Sepsis), the creation of the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, and the Public Health Prevention Agenda.

Prior to joining the Department of Health, Jim served as the Director of Legislative Affairs for former Governors Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson. He was a staffer for both New York State Senator Neil Breslin and United States Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and worked multiple positions in the New York State Assembly and Senate.

Jim is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany.

Deputy Commissioner, External Affairs

Colin Brennan

Colin Brennan DC EA

Colin Brennan is the Deputy Commissioner for External Affairs for DHSES.

For more than a decade, Colin served in a number of external affairs roles throughout State government, including as DHSES Director of Communications.

Colin also served at the Executive Chamber as the Senior Deputy Communications Director and the Deputy Communications Director for the Public Safety and Health and Human Services portfolios. Before that, he served as a spokesman for the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Thruway Authority. He also spent time working in the New York State Senate and Assembly in various legislative and communications-based roles.

Colin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the State University of New York at Albany.

Director, Office of Counter Terrorism

Benjamin Voce-Gardner

Benjamin Voce-Gardner Director OCT

Benjamin (Ben) Voce-Gardner currently serves as the Director of the Office of Counter Terrorism for DHSES. In this role, he is responsible for coordinating counterterrorism training and outreach to public and private stakeholders. He oversees the agency’s Cyber Incident Response Team, Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit, Public Safety Unit and Domestic Terrorism Prevention Unit. Ben previously served as DHSES' Director of Cybersecurity Policy, where he oversaw its cybersecurity assets and developed policies to address cybersecurity threats to State and local entities.

Before joining DHSES, Ben worked at the Executive Chamber as the Assistant Deputy Secretary for Public Safety, where his portfolio included DHSES, New York State Police, Division of Military and Naval Affairs, Division of Criminal Justice Services, Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, and the Cyber Security Advisory Board.

Ben served for six years on active duty in the United States Navy and currently holds the rank of Commander in the Navy Reserves. He deployed to the Middle East twice in support of the Global War on Terror.

Ben received his Bachelor of Arts from Connecticut College, his Master of Science in Cybersecurity Risk and Strategy from New York University, and his Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School. 

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Disaster Recovery Programs

Rayana Gonzales

Rayana Gonzales DC Recovery
Rayana Gonzales currently serves as the Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Disaster Recovery at DHSES. In this role, she oversees multimillion dollar recovery grant programs for public infrastructure, debris removal operations and federal assistance to disaster survivors. Additionally, she oversees program strategic planning and resourcing for hazard mitigation assistance programs.

Rayana first joined DHSES in 2020 as the Deputy Director for the Office of Disaster Recovery overseeing Public Assistance, Hazard Mitigation and Individual Assistance programs.

Before joining DHSES, Rayana served in various leadership roles within the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), including as Director of Policy Analysis and Assistant Director of Budget. During her 19 years with OCFS, Rayana managed various State and federal initiatives such as State Child Welfare reform, the federal Strengthening Families Act, and expansion of the Kinship policy.

Rayana holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Administration from (Southwest) Texas State University. 

Director, Office of Emergency Management

Matt Franklin

Matt Franklin Director OEM

Matthew (Matt) Franklin is the Director for the Office of Emergency Management at DHSES.  In this role, he is responsible for coordinating the activities of all State agencies to protect New York's communities, economic well-being and environment from disasters and emergencies.

Under his portfolio, Matt oversees the State Watch Center, planning, training, exercise and operations, the Incident Management Team, as well as Transportation Security and Emergency Preparedness, Radiological Emergency Preparedness, and the State’s emergency stockpiles.

Matt has been in State service for more than 30 years and has spent his entire career in the emergency management field. He began his career with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Spill Response Unit in Schenectady and, prior to coming to DHSES, he served as the Director of Emergency Management for DEC.

Matt holds a Master of Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Environmental Engineering and is a New York State licensed professional engineer.

State Fire Administrator, Office of Fire Prevention and Control

James Cable

James Cable SFA

James (Jim) Cable currently serves as the State Fire Administrator for the Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) at DHSES, overseeing the OFPC’s training, response, inspection and fire investigation programs.

Jim joined OFPC as a Fire Protection Specialist Trainee in 1997 and served in various roles within hazardous materials, fire investigation, fire training and standards, and special operations programs before being appointed as a Deputy State Fire Administrator in 2018 and then State Fire Administrator in 2021.

Jim served as an active volunteer firefighter and fire officer for more than 30 years and is a graduate of Bates College.

Director, Office of Interoperable & Emergency Communications

Mark J. Balistreri

Mark Balistreri Director OIEC

Mark Balistreri currently serves as the Director of the Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications (OIEC) for DHSES. OIEC is the lead state agency for all interoperable and emergency communications, which entails managing and directing the development, coordination and implementation of policies, plans, standards, programs and services related to such public safety communications.

Mark oversees responsibilities related to the State Interoperable Communications and Public Safety Answering Pont Grant programs, public safety land mobile radio, 911 support, Next Generation 911 development and implementation, and other public safety communications functions. Under his direction, OIEC is also responsible for a statewide communications network and a fleet of deployable assets that support all levels of government in large-scale incidents.

Mark began State service as a Radio Engineer with OIEC in 2017 with the mission to coordinate the Communications Unit program, including all coordination and support of trainings, meetings, exercises and planned events. He also coordinated the Communication Assets Survey and Mapping program and the Technical Assistance program.

Mark served in the United States Coast Guard for four-and-a-half years with distinction and was honorably discharged in 1988 at the rank of E4, Yeoman Third Class. He entered emergency services and dispatching with the Troy Police Department as a part-time police, fire and EMS dispatcher. In 2005, Mark was promoted to Deputy Director of Public Safety for Rensselaer County where he was responsible for managing the 911 Center and coordinating county emergency management resources. Mark joined the New York State 911 Coordinators Association in 2005 where he served as Secretary for 11 years. He was recognized for his efforts by the Association when he was presented with an Achievement Award in 2018 and the Garth Hillier Award in 2022.

Deputy Commissioner, Special Projects

Barbara Lee Steigerwald

Barbara Lee Steigerwald DC
Barbara Lee Steigerwald has served as a member of the DHSES Executive team since December 2015. As Deputy Commissioner, Barbara Lee is responsible for the Citizen Preparedness Corps program and a variety of projects and initiatives that support the agency’s mission.

Barbara Lee began her career in government with the New York State Legislature. As Assistant Counsel, or Chief of Staff and Chief Counsel to members of the New York State Senate, she reviewed regulatory matters, drafted and negotiated legislation, and worked with many constituents and stakeholder groups to advance public policy interests. As a Senior Budget Analyst to the Senate Finance Committee, she was responsible for the fiscal analysis, development and negotiation of the Medicaid, Department of Health, Department of Law, and Insurance Department portions of the State’s budget. Barbara Lee continued her career as a government consultant at a law firm and a leading government relations firm advising clients and providing strategic guidance in the areas of higher education, the professions, transportation, health care, consumer protection and economic development.

Barbara Lee holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the State University of New York at Binghamton and is a graduate of St. John’s University School of Law.

Director, State Preparedness Training Center

Bob Stallman

Bob Stallman Director SPTC

Robert (Bob) Stallman currently serves as the Director of the State Preparedness Training Center (SPTC) in Oriskany where he manages and directs the overall SPTC training program and oversees the facility’s daily operations. Bob first joined DHSES in 2007, when it was known as the Office of Homeland Security, as one of two initial instructors at the newly created training center. During his tenure, Bob has served as trainer, training supervisor, and SPTC Assistant Director.

Bob began his public service career nearly 29 years ago as a police officer with the City of Little Falls Police Department and transferred to the City of Gloversville Police Department in 1999. During his time as a police officer, Bob delivered and directed training to countless officers throughout the State.

Bob holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from the State University of New York - College at Buffalo, and a Master of Public Administration from Marist College.