Speaker Carl Heastie Announces Senior Staff Appointments

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie today announced senior staff appointments.

"I am pleased to announce the appointment of new staff members to my leadership team," said Heastie. "As we head into a new session, it is critical that we continue to provide high quality services to the members of the Assembly Majority. This talented group of professionals have a demonstrated commitment to improving the quality of life for all New Yorkers, and I am excited to work with them in the coming session."

Jennifer Best has been appointed Secretary to the Speaker for Policy and Legislative Affairs. She most recently served as Deputy Secretary to the Speaker for Policy and Legislative Affairs. A proud Western New York native, Jen has worked at the Assembly for 17 years, beginning as a Committee Assistant. She later served as a Legislative Analyst for various committees, and as Assistant Secretary for Program and Policy for the Labor, Governmental Employees, Insurance, Racing and Wagering, and Health Committees as well as the Task Force on Women’s Issues. She earned a master’s degree in public policy from Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany and a bachelor’s degree from Buffalo State College.

Miguelina Camilo has been appointed Counsel to the Speaker. She most recently served as Associate Counsel to the New York City Board of Elections. Prior to that she was in private practice with the law office of Murray Richman and later the Camilo Law Firm where she represented clients in criminal and family courts. She currently serves as the President of the Bronx Chapter of the 100 Hispanic Women. She previously served as chapter President of the Bronx Women’s Bar Association and President of the Dominican Bar Association. She earned a juris doctorate from New York Law School and a bachelor’s degree from New York University.

Wendy Gallegos has been appointed Senior Advisor to the Speaker. She most recently served as Director of Government and Community Affairs at Maddd Equities. Prior to that, she served as Chief of Staff to New York City Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson, while volunteering as a Program Educator and Facilitator with the CUNY College Now Model City Council Program and the CUNY/SUNY Model New York State Senate Session Project. She earned a master’s degree from The Graduate Center and a bachelor’s degree from Medgar Evers College.

Josiel Estrella has been appointed Secretary for Intergovernmental and External Affairs. She has served in the administration of the last three New York City Comptrollers, most recently as Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications and Labor Law Public Affairs. The focus of much of her work during this time has been on economic justice for workers. Prior to that, she worked with former New York City Deputy Mayor Bill Lynch at Bill Lynch Associates and in the Community Affairs and Educational Resources Department at WNET, Channel 13. She has served on the advisory board of Rainbow Push Coalition and the National Action Network Conference. As a youth, she served in the Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, and Youth Cadet Program. Ms. Estrella earned a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and certificates from Harvard Law School on Negotiation and Leadership as well as Mediation and Conflict Management.