Governor Cuomo Names Government Relations Director Cara Berkowitz to NYS Task Force on Life and the Law

NEW YORK, NY: July 27, 2016 — Governor Andrew Cuomo has named Cara Berkowitz, Senior Director of Government Relations at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services (The Jewish Board) and an attorney with more than 15 years’ experience in government and nonprofit affairs, to the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law. Chaired by New York State Department of Health commissioner Howard Zucker, MD, JD, LLM, the Task Force assists the State in developing public policy on issues arising from the intersection of medicine, law, and ethics.

Since arriving at The Jewish Board in 2015, Ms. Berkowitz has raised more than $3 million dollars for the nonprofit’s diverse array of programs in the areas of mental and physical health, domestic violence, and supportive housing. In FY 2016 she raised more than $2,000,000 in New York City and New York State discretionary funding, almost ten times the amount raised in the previous 12 months. When The Jewish Board absorbed $75 million in FEGS programs following that organization’s closure in 2015, Ms. Berkowitz advised the Cuomo and de Blasio administrations on The Jewish Board’s proposed integration of the programs and successfully advocated for additional government support.

Before joining The Jewish Board, Ms. Berkowitz represented the government relations interests of more than 100 social services agencies as Director of City and Federal Affairs at UJA-Federation of New York. She helped amend New York City’s non-city capital funding eligibility rules, making it possible for nonprofit organizations to receive millions of additional dollars in capital funding. She also led UJA’s emergency response to Hurricane Sandy, working with FEMA, state agencies, City Hall and volunteers to provide services to displaced New Yorkers and affected institutions.

Ms. Berkowitz has written several articles on health care topics, including intellectual property rights connected to government-sponsored pharmaceutical research and Medicare regulations surrounding palliative care. She is a 2016 92nd Street Y Women in Power fellow and a 2012 recipient of City & State’s “40 under 40” award.  

Ms. Berkowitz holds a JD from the American University Washington College of Law and a BA in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis. She lives in New York City with her husband, David, and her daughter, Zella.

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About the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services: For more than 140 years, the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services (The Jewish Board) has been helping New Yorkers realize their potential and live as independently as possible. We promote resilience and recovery by addressing all aspects of an individual’s life, including mental and physical health, family, employment and education. Across the five boroughs and in Westchester, we serve more than 43,000 New Yorkers from all religious, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds each year. For more information, please visit www.jbfcs.org.

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