2016 Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life Award Recipient
Mr. Thomas P. DiNapoli
Comptroller of the State of New York
Recipient of the Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life Award

Thomas P. DiNapoli is the 54th Comptroller of the State of New York who’s known for his integrity, independence and steadfast leadership.

Since taking office in 2007, Tom DiNapoli has aggressively fought misuse of public resources, strengthened one of the nation’s top public pension funds, and consistently spoken out against fiscal gimmicks, imprudent actions and government inefficiency.

His life of public service started when he was elected as a trustee of the Mineola Board of Education, becoming the first 18-year-old in New York State to hold public office. He’s been making government more accountable and transparent to the people for more than 35 years.

The New York State Comptroller manages the State’s $178.6 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all State agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, critically reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

A diligent fiduciary of the State pension fund, Comptroller DiNapoli continues changing the way the fund operates to increase transparency and establish strong internal controls, ensuring the strongest investment performance and ethical operations. He instituted the most stringent reporting requirements on investments, fees and other information, he barred investment firms contributing to his campaign from doing business with the State pension fund and provided a leading voice in getting the Securities and Exchange Commission to impose tough new rules on “pay to play” to prevent improper influence on investment decisions.

Under the Comptroller’s leadership, the pension fund has increased opportunities for women and minority firms throughout its portfolio of investments by expanding the pension fund’s Emerging Manager program into each of the fund’s main asset classes and accelerating capital to new programs within these asset classes.

Tom DiNapoli also protects public funds from waste, fraud and abuse. Since 2007, he’s identified billions in misuse, waste and savings. He completed a five-year school accountability project that audited all 733 school districts and BOCES in the State. In 2012, he launched a series of audits that found widespread abuse of public funds by special education contractors, resulting in several criminal referrals, felony arrests and restitution. And as an Assemblyman, he helped draft and pass stronger school district accountability laws in response to the scandals that exposed the theft of millions of taxpayer dollars on Long Island.

Comptroller DiNapoli examines State, city and local finances and provides an independent, credible analysis of government finances. In January 2013, he launched a Fiscal Monitoring System to rate communities on their fiscal condition, sending an early warning to those in trouble. He also sheds light on the issues that cause communities to face fiscal stress in today’s tough economy. Tom also consistently advocates for budget and debt reform to give New York State a more secure fiscal future.

Prior to becoming Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli represented the 16th Assembly District in northwestern Nassau County for two decades. During his tenure, he chaired the Local Governments Committee, the Consumer Affairs Committee, the Ethics Committee, the Governmental Operations Committee and the Environmental Conservation Committee, he sponsored legislation that helped Nassau County to emerge from serious fiscal distress and restore fiscal responsibility and earned a reputation as one of the State’s leading voices on environmental issues.

Prior to his election to the Assembly, he was a manager in the telecommunications industry. He holds a master’s degree from The New School University’s Graduate School of Management and Urban Professions. A lifelong resident of Nassau County, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history magna cum laude from Hofstra University in Hempstead.

"Search and see if there is not some place where you may invest your humanity."
~Albert Schweitzer