The Long Island Association, the region’s largest business group, named Matthew Cohen as its new president and CEO.
The organization had conducted an extensive search, which generated “many strong applicants,” the LIA said in a press release.
Many on Long Island already know Cohen, a 10-year veteran with the LIA, who for 10 years served as its vice president of government affairs and communications, with extensive experience in government and utilities.
In this role since 2011, Cohen served as chief lobbyist on the LIA’s legislative agenda, which included the enactment of a permanent state property tax cap and the receipt of more than $7.5 billion in economic development investments on Long Island for transportation, infrastructure, housing, and downtown development.
Over the past 15 months he coordinated the LIA’s response to COVID-19 providing critical assistance and real-time information to local businesses about aid packages and advocating Long Island’s need for additional federal and state resources.
Prior to joining the LIA, Cohen was executive director of government relations at the Long Island Power Authority, the nation’s second largest public electric utility, helping to secure millions of dollars in federal funding for smart grid, wind and solar projects and helped launch a ten-year, $1 billion energy efficiency program. He has also served as Long Island director for U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and as a Suffolk County executive assistant.
“When businesses on Long Island are successful, every Long Islander benefits,” Cohen said in a statement.
“The LIA will continue to be a tireless advocate for the region’s small, mid-sized and large businesses in this post-COVID climate, and I look forward to continuing my work with the staff and board of directors as president of the LIA,” he added.
As president and CEO, Cohen said that his immediate priorities include expanding outreach and support programs for small businesses, lobbying for Long Island on the proposed federal infrastructure package and enhancing the organization’s technological offerings.
“Matt Cohen’s vision to maintain the LIA’s leadership role, his broad background and experience, and his commitment to Long Island made him the clear choice for the position at this critical juncture,” Larry Waldman, LIA chairman, said in a statement.
“Over the last decade at the LIA, he has proven his commitment to growing our region’s economic health, assisting businesses of all sizes and advocating for the best interests of all Long Islanders,” Waldman added.
Cohen is a resident of Northport and lifelong Long Islander. He is a graduate of the Maurice A. Dean School of Law at Hofstra University and holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. An attorney, Cohen was admitted to the bar in New York State, and sits on the boards of Discover Long Island, Child Care Council of Suffolk County, and the Long Island chapter of the New York State League of Conservation Voters.
Kevin Law, who previously served as president and CEO for more than a decade, stepped down from the position earlier this year to serve in the private sector.