2013 New York City Rising Stars: Michael Simas

Written by Jon Lentz on . Posted in Features, Rising Stars.

Age: 32  |  Position: Executive Vice President, Partnership for New York City

One of the best parts about Michael Simas’ job is collaborating with top business leaders like Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein, News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch and BlackRock’s Larry Fink.

“We’re really lucky because we deal with the CEOs of the city’s largest employers, so at our meetings you’re always in the room with folks that are taking your thinking to another level, because you’re really with folks that are at the top of their game and the top of their careers,” Simas said.

Simas started doing government relations at the Partnership a decade ago and rose through the ranks, leaving in 2011 for a stint at General Electric before returning as executive vice president a year and a half ago.

He manages just about everything for the business advocacy group, from research and policy to government relations and public affairs. His top focus is the transition to a new mayor, including a series of goals laid out in the Partnership’s “NYC Jobs Blueprint” this year.

In past years Simas’ work at the Partnership included pushing the state to switch from the old Empire Zones to the Excelsior program and prodding the city to reform its tax laws in 2009.

“Big issues like those are the ones that stand out; trying to improve the city and state economy, focus resources in a more effective way, and really support job growth,” Simas said.

If you were not working in politics or government, what would you be doing? “I love cooking and barbequing, and I think I’d go to culinary school, take a shot at that.”

What is your favorite place in New York City? “Our offices are downtown. I grew up in Rhode Island, so I love being around the water. Being in Manhattan by Battery Park, being able to see the water and the cobblestone streets reminds me of New England, where I grew up.”

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