Assistant, Research and Educational Services for Higher Education, Education Finance and Federal Programs, NYSUT
The budget crisis in New York’s public university system has been an ironic boon to Jacob Crawford’s career. As student president for the entire SUNY system, Crawford testified before the Senate Committee on Higher Education about the drastic budget cuts in 2009. His testimony got him noticed by State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky—to the tune of an immediate job offer. He worked as a policy analyst for the committee, which meant he had to resign from his SUNY position, but it paved the way for his career in public policy.
When the Democrats lost the majority, Crawford found a job at New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), where he’s putting to use his master’s in public administration from the University of Albany. At NYSUT Crawford does budget and policy analysis for higher education on the state level, and also tracks federal education policy that comes down from the Department of Education.
Twenty-five may seem young to have achieved so much, but for Crawford it’s all happening right on schedule. “I wanted to be in state politics ever since I was a teenager,” says Crawford. “For some reason, it was always enticing to me.”
How did your past jobs get you to where you are now?
“Before I was a student trustee I was also an intern for the New York State AFL-CIO with Suzy Ballantyne. That was the reason I decided I wanted to be in labor. Working for her was such a wonderful experience.”
If you were not working in politics, what would you be doing?
“I’d like to be a commentator on the evening news.”
Five years from now, what will it say on your business card?
“As long as it says ‘NYSUT’ on it, I’ll be happy.”
If you could have a superpower, what would it be, and why?
“Knowing what people are thinking. You would always have the edge on everyone. Information is always key.”
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