Honoree, Saturday, September 18
Congressman Paul D. Tonko represents New York’s 20th District in the U.S House of Representatives, including all of Albany and Schenectady Counties and parts of Montgomery, Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties in Upstate New York. Now in his sixth term, Tonko serves on the Committee on Energy and Commerce and was elected by his peers to chair the Subcommittee on the Environment and Climate Change where he oversees a wide range of issues including clean drinking water, regulation of toxic substances and national climate action. In addition, he was appointed this term to join the Committee on Natural Resources and to continue his service on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee where he has been a longtime advocate for scientific integrity and public research. In addition to his committee duties, Tonko co-chairs the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition. He is also a longtime honorary vice chair of the Alliance to Save Energy, a bipartisan, nonprofit coalition that promotes energy efficiency across all sectors of the global economy. Prior to serving in Congress, Tonko was the president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Before that, he served in the New York State Assembly for 25 years, 15 of which he was chair of the Committee on Energy. At the age of 26, he was the youngest person in the history of Montgomery County to be elected to the county’s Board of Supervisors, which he chaired until 1981. Tonko graduated from Clarkson University with a degree in mechanical and industrial engineering and is a former engineer for the New York State Public Service Commission. He is a lifelong resident of Amsterdam, New York.