Jennifer Cunningham to Knickerbocker

Jennifer Cunningham, the influential executive vice president from 1199 SEIU who was an integral part of Andrew Cuomo’s attorney general campaign, has just joined the Knickerbocker SKD consulting firm.

Cunningham will be working alongside Josh Isay, who worked on Cuomo’s 2002 gubernatorial race, as well as Micah Lasher and Stefan Friedman, among others.

The firm doesn’t include lobbying among the services it offers, which may limit the extent to which Cunningham can deal directly with state officials to affect the upcoming cuts in health care spending. In a press release, she said she was thrilled to “be able to continue to assist 1199 in a strategic consulting capacity.”

The full statement from Knickerbocker is after the jump.

UPDATE: Cunningham will still be lobbying lawmakers on 1199’s behalf, since she’ll also be working with another firm, Featherstonhaugh, Wiley, Clyne & Cordo.

— Azi Paybarah


“Jennifer is one of the most talented, creative and successful people in politics, in New York and around the country,” Josh Isay said. “Her addition will make our firm stronger and we are thrilled that Jennifer is joining our team.”

“We are pleased for Jennifer and our friends at KnickerbockerSKD and very happy that her new position will enable her to play a focused and key strategic role with 1199 as our Union faces the many challenges ahead,” said Dennis Rivera, President of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. “We look forward to working with her for many years to come.”

“My time at 1199 SEIU has been the greatest professional experience that I could ever have imagined. I am honored that I could play a role in helping so many working people across New York and across the Northeast. While I am sorry to be leaving the union, I am very excited by this new challenge and am thrilled that I will be able to continue to assist 1199 in a strategic consulting capacity,” said Jennifer Cunningham.

As Executive Vice President of 1199 SEIU, Ms. Cunningham directed the union’s extensive political and communications program, with a staff of more than 50 professionals, a 100-station telecommunications center and a member-driven political action fund with annual revenues of more than $5 million. She oversaw all paid and earned media and coordinated the union’s legislative and public affairs battles, including stopping billions of cuts to Medicaid, organizing tens of thousands of workers and coordinating its expansion into Massachusetts, Maryland and the District of Columbia. In 2006, she also served as a top advisor to Andrew Cuomo’s successful campaign for New York State Attorney General.

Prior to her work at SEIU, Jennifer served as Deputy Counsel to NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and practiced law for several years with the firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkin, Wharton & Garrison. She also served as Director of the New York State Assembly Majority’s Regional Offices Program and as the Assistant Director for Politics and Legislation at District Council 37 AFSCME.

Jennifer Cunningham to Knickerbocker