Leecia R. Eve, a Buffalo resident who has served in top legal posts inside and outside government for many years, was named Monday as senior vice president and counsel to Empire State Development Corp. by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Eve, the daughter of former Deputy Assembly Speaker Arthur O. Eve and a one-time aide to then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, assumes a key economic-development post in the new administration.
"Ms. Eve's extensive expertise and knowledge of economic issues in New York, across the nation and abroad will be instrumental in reopening New York State to business," Cuomo said.
"Her decades of legal experience, combined with an intrinsic understanding of our state's diverse economic needs, will help businesses thrive and prosper. I thank her for her ongoing commitment to public service."
Eve, 46, most recently served as vice president for policy of the No Limits Foundation, a not-for-profit organization studying economic and foreign policy issues, including women's rights. She has spoken nationally about investing in infrastructure to improve economic competitiveness and create jobs.
In 2006, she conducted a high-profile campaign to become lieutenant governor on the Democratic ticket with Eliot L. Spitzer, who was elected governor, but lost out to then-Senate Minority Leader David A. Paterson of Manhattan, who became governor after Spitzer resigned in March 2008. State records show that she still has more than $71,000 in a campaign account.
A graduate of City Honors High School, Eve majored in government and Afro-American Studies at Smith College, earned a law degree from Harvard and a master's in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, specializing in urban economic development. After Harvard, she served as a judicial clerk for state Court of Appeals Judge Fritz W. Alexander II. She went on to practice law at the firm of Covington & Burling and then worked as counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee under then-Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., D-Del.
In 1996, Eve joined the Hodgson Russ law firm, where she worked for five years in litigation as the first black general partner in the firm's history. She left in 2001 to become counsel to Clinton, helping to craft legislation on homeland security, the judiciary and election reform.
Eve has served on the boards of the Community Service Society of New York, the Greater Buffalo Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens Society. She is a former vice president of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York and a member of the Buffalo chapter of Links Inc.