As Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s right hand, Melissa DeRosa is a key driver on state policy and a trusted deputy in carrying out the governor’s political agenda. DeRosa is also Cuomo’s top defender and chief taskmaster, often exhorting state agencies and allies to step up their problem-solving and calling out potential rivals – even those within the Democratic Party – who stir the pot.
DeRosa also chairs the state Council on Women and Girls, formed in order to increase educational and economic opportunities, leadership representation, access to health care and child care, improve safety and advance workforce equity for women across the state. By all accounts she is as fierce as she is smart, and she has a knack for turning her own experiences into legislative ideas for the administration. In June, she spoke to the Poughkeepsie Journal about how a personal medical appointment inspired a 2020 budget item and a bill requiring some insurance providers to cover the cost of in vitro fertilization as well as egg freezing services for women with certain medical conditions.