On Sept. 1, 2020, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County (CCE Suffolk) welcomed Vanessa Pino Lockel, of Miller Place, as executive director. Ms. Lockel has worked with Suffolk County and New York State entities for over 20 years, most recently as director of government and community affairs at the MTA-Long Island Rail Road, as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s transition team supporting the consolidation of the MTA.
Ms. Lockel’s expertise in community engagement and government relations parallels CCE Suffolk’s mission. She believes in inclusive collaboration, public engagement, transparency and responsiveness in tending to the needs of Suffolk County.
Prior to her work at the MTA, Ms. Lockel worked for the Governor’s Office directly as a regional representative and for the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, during Tropical Storm Sandy, as the director of the region handling resiliency projects.
She has also served as deputy press secretary in the Office of State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and as director of community outreach at the former New York State Banking Department under Superintendent Diana Taylor.
In addition to her role in government, Ms. Lockel has been a registered lobbyist for the New York City Beverage component of the American Beverage Association; an international product manager for Merrill Lynch; a research specialist at JP Morgan; and a program director who trained transitional inmates at Ossining Correctional Facility for Community Capital Resources, a nonprofit in Westchester County.
“Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk safeguards the quality of life for Suffolk County residents, and, ultimately, stands for a healthy, sustainable Long Island,” said Ms. Lockel. “It’s my honor to lead this organization in helping the region’s farmers, fishermen, families and youth through the challenging times ahead.”
Ms. Lockel graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bates College and a Master of Public Administration degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
She has also completed doctoral coursework at Stony Brook University in Social Welfare.