Gaurav Vasisht appointed to the New York State AAPI Commission

Gaurav Vasisht (Left), newly appointed to the AAPI Commission, receives a Certificate of Recognition from Governor Kathy Hochul (Center) as Assembly Member Jennifer Rajkumar (Right) looks on at the AAPI Heritage Month celebration May 28, 2024, in Albany, NY.
Photo: Provided by Harini Bangera

Governor Kathy Hochul announced six appointments to the AAPI Commission on May 28, 2024, at a reception to celebrate the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in Albany, NY.

“These new appointees to New York’s AAPI Commission are highly-qualified individuals with a deep commitment to public service, and will play a critical role in the Commission’s efforts,” Governor Hochul said.

NY AAPI Commission was formed by legislation in November 2023 to advise on policies and coordinate programs to bolster the welfare of New York’s AAPI community.

Among the six appointees is Gaurav Vasisht, Executive Director & CEO of New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF). Vasisht is the first Indian American and the first Asian American to hold the position at NYSIF since its formation. As the executive director, Vasisht oversees NYSIF’s overall strategic direction and operation, and also its 2000 employees.

NYSIF, a non-profit competitive enterprise, is one of the largest workers’ compensation, disability, and paid family leave insurers in the United States. Formed in 1914, it strives to achieve the best health outcomes for injured workers and aims to be an industry leader in price, quality and service for New York State employers, according to its mission statement.

A graduate of New York University and St. John’s Law School, Vasisht’s previous experience includes six years at the Volcker Alliance, a non-partisan think tank established by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker where Vasisht directed the financial regulation program, advised on financial system stability and regulatory matters and promoted the organization’s policy priorities before the federal government.

Vasisht also has past experience of more than ten years as the Executive Deputy Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services. He has also been the Senior Deputy Superintendent of Insurance, the First Assistant Counsel and the Assistant Counsel to three New York Governors, and the Assistant Attorney General in the Investor Protection Bureau of the New York Attorney General’s Office.

Vasisht has also been writing and speaking publicly on issues related to the financial services industry.

Speaking about the AAPI Commission, NYS Director of Asian American Affairs Shawn Ma said, “I am confident that the advice provided by the Commission will greatly benefit New York’s efforts towards fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for all.”

Thanking Hochul for joining the AAPI Heritage Month celebration, and for setting up the AAPI Commission, State Senator Jeremy Cooney, an Indian American, said, “This commission will be instrumental in making sure that AAPI voices are being heard and the needs of the community are being prioritized.”

Assembly member Grace Lee said she was thrilled to celebrate the announcement of Governor Hochul’s appointments to the AAPI Commission. “The APA Task Force was pleased to provide recommendations for the commission, and it has been a pleasure working with the Governor and her staff to assemble a robust and diverse group to represent the AAPI community from across the state,” Lee said.

Hochul said the AAPI Heritage Month celebration was to “ensure every New Yorker feels safe, supported and valued”. She added that it was an important milestone to recognize and celebrate New York’s vibrant AAPI community.

The six members of the AAPI Commission will give voice to issues of concern for the community, impact and spearhead policies, propose and coordinate new programs and bring about changes in New York State.

The other five members of the Commission are from the Asian American Federation, Korean American Community Foundation, Flushing Chinese Business Association, Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association Syracuse Chapter and Chinese American Social Services Center.



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