Linda Lacewell, the acting superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services, has named three attorneys as members of her leadership team, as well as a former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Wendy Erdly, named to serve as the agency’s chief of staff, worked most recently as special counsel for ethics risk, and compliance at the New York State Liquor Authority.
Erdly is one of three practicing attorneys joining Lacewell’s senior staff, according to the agency.
Sumit Sud, most recently deputy chief special counsel for ethics, risk, and compliance across dozens of state agencies, was appointed as Lacewell’s special counsel. Shaunik Panse, most recently an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell, was appointed special counsel for ethics, risk, and compliance at the agency.
Each has a legal background in regulation and compliance. Before working for the state, Erdly was counsel to several different companies, including Kraft, United Technologies, and Unilever, through Axiom Legal, a legal services provider. She was also a litigation associate at Bernstein, Litowitz Berger & Grossman and Dewey & LeBoeuf, both in Manhattan.
Sud previously worked for nearly a decade as senior counsel at the New York City Law Department, where he also served on the department’s diversity committee. During his most recent work as deputy chief counsel with the state, he directly covered the Department of Labor and the New York State Insurance Fund.
Panse, during his time at Sullivan & Cromwell, focused on internal investigations, criminal defense, complex civil litigation, and cross-border regulatory and enforcement matters. He previously clerked for U.S. Magistrate Judge James Cott of the Southern District of New York, and was also a foreign law clerk to a judge in South Africa. He’s a reserve attorney in the U.S. Air Force.
Also named to the agency’s executive staff on Wednesday was Gareth Rhodes, a former top aide to Cuomo who ran for Congress in the Hudson Valley last year. He has a law degree from Harvard Law School and recently served as a law clerk on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Rhodes, who will serve as special assistant to Lacewell, was previously deputy press secretary to Cuomo.
Raquel Gonzalez was named deputy chief of staff and chief diversity and inclusion officer for the agency. Gonzalez was most recently deputy commissioner for administration at the state Department of Civil Service and director of policy at the state Agriculture Department. She also worked at four federal agencies and in the White House during the Obama administration.
Cheyenne Aguayo will be Lacewell’s new director of scheduling after previously working as an assistant in Cuomo’s office and serving as deputy director of constituent services and director of scheduling for the New York City Council.
“We welcome these talented, dedicated, and diverse individuals, with their invaluable government and industry experience, to the Executive Team at DFS,” Lacewell said. “I am proud to work together with our new team members as we work to accomplish the mission and goals of the Department and continue to move New York forward.”