Adirondack Park Agency

Adirondack Park Agency Executive Team

Executive Director

Barbara Rice has served as the Adirondack Park Agency's Executive Director since March 2022. She is responsible for the administration of the Adirondack Park Agency Act and the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. Executive Director Rice oversees a staff of 44 employees and works closely with the Agency Board on regional land use planning policy.

A native Adirondacker, Barbara Rice has extensive background in local government administration, land use planning and community development. She served in Governor Hochul's Executive Chamber as Assistant Secretary for Economic Development where she oversaw expansion of broadband internet in unserved and underserved areas of New York State through the implementation of the $500 million dollar New York Broadband Program, supervised $265 million in capital projects through the Olympic Regional Development Authority in preparation for the 2023 World University Games, and helped launch the Upstate Cellular Task Force which identified solutions and policies to improve cellular communication in upstate New York.

Executive Director Rice gained invaluable local government experience in her roles as a Franklin County Legislator/Chair and as a Saranac Lake Village Trustee. She has also served as: Adirondack Park Agency Board Member; North Country Regional Economic Development Council Member; Adirondack Health Foundation Trustee; and Saranac Lake Local Development Corporation Director.

Executive Director Rice earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Magna Cum Laude, from SUNY Plattsburgh; an Associates of Science, Physician Assistant Program from Albany Medical College; and a Post Baccalaureate Premedical Program from Bennington College. 

 

Deputy Director for Administration

Deputy Director for Administration Elaine Caldwell has worked at the Adirondack Park Agency since April 2007.  In this role she is responsible for all Agency fiscal management, contract administration, human resources, facility management, and office support. This includes determination of division fiscal allocations, fiscal record keeping, determination of the availability of funds for division programs and computerization of fiscal records. In addition, the Deputy Director has oversight of agency contracts, grant administration and works in coordination with the Executive Director on staffing needs.

Deputy Director Caldwell brings her 20 plus years of Human Resource and Administrative experience to her position at the Agency.  Prior to her time at the Agency, Deputy Director Caldwell was a Chief Clerk 1 in the New York State Unified Court System (Essex County Surrogate’s Court) and an Administrative Director/Legal Administrator at the Albany Law School of Union University, Justice and Law Center.

Deputy Director Caldwell earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from SUNY Plattsburgh; Associate in Applied Science from North Country Community College; and an Advanced Strategic Human Resource Management Certificate from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University.

Agency Counsel

Agency Counsel Christopher E. Cooper oversees the Agency’s Legal Division which consists of the Office of Counsel, Legal Services Unit, and the Jurisdictional Inquiry Unit. He has served in this role since March 2019.

Agency Counsel advises all staff and the Board on legal matters related to the Adirondack Park Agency Act, Freshwater Wetlands Act, and the Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers System Act. This involves providing legal advice on permit compliance, private and public land use planning, and enforcement actions. He also assists the Attorney General with Agency litigation and manages adjudicatory hearings.

Counsel Cooper has extensive public and private legal experience. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Marine Systems Engineering from the Unites States Merchant Marine Academy, served as a Lieutenant in the US Navy Reserve, Merchant Marine Reserve, and earned his Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law.

Associate Counsel

Associate Counsel Sarah Reynolds has worked for the Adirondack Park Agency since 2005. In this role she is responsible for providing legal guidance and advice to Agency staff, Board members, and members of the public regarding the New York State Adirondack Park Agency Act, the Freshwater Wetlands Act, the Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers System Act, and other state and federal environmental and land use requirements. 

Associate Counsel Reynolds also drafts legislative proposals, regulations, and legal guidance; conducts research and drafts permits, settlement agreements, and other Agency documents; assists the Attorney General’s office in preparing litigation briefs and arguments; and provides trainings on administrative, environmental, and land use laws to businesses, government officials, and professional societies.

Associate Counsel Reynolds has a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, and Master of Arts from UC Santa Barbara, and a Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Deputy Director for Planning

Deputy Director for Planning Megan Phillips has worked for the Adirondack Park Agency since January 2022. In this role she is responsible for overseeing the Agency’s administration of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan; coordinating with the Department of Environmental Conservation in the preparation and review of unit management plans; supervising the state land team in their work to provide guidance and interpretation of the Master Plan to the Agency Board, other state agencies, and park stakeholders; reviewing proposed state agency projects on state lands; and for the classification or reclassification of state lands. She also works with Local Government Services and GIS staff to evaluate proposals for amendments to the private land use and development plan and works on long-range strategic planning initiatives in collaboration with other Division leaders.

She brings over a decade of professional experience centered on the nexus between people and the environment to the role. Her prior work experience includes more than seven years in New York State government (including in the Executive Chamber and at the Department of Environmental Conservation) as well as holding leadership roles in the non-profit sector.

A native Midwesterner, Deputy Director Phillips earned both an undergraduate degree in Conservation Biology and a master’s degree in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Deputy Director for Regulatory Programs

Deputy Director for Regulatory Program Robert Lore is responsible for the Agency’s Regulatory Programs Division which implements the statutory and regulatory provisions of the Adirondack Park Agency Act, Freshwater Wetlands Act and the Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers Act. He has served in this role since August of 2019.

His responsibilities include supervising project review staff and overseeing coordination with other involved federal, state, and local agencies to ensure all projects application are complete and permit reviews are conducted thoroughly and in accordance with all regulations and design standards. 

Deputy Director Lore's background includes management positions with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and oversight of cultural resource surveys in the Northeast. He earned a Master of Science in Climate Studies from the University of Maine.     

Special Assistant for Economic Affairs

Special Assistant for Economic Affairs Daniel F. Kelleher has worked at the Adirondack Park Agency since December 2011. In this role, he manages a diverse portfolio of Agency service lines including Local Government Services, Private Land Planning, Engineering, Scientific Services, and Economic Services. As the Agency’s economic advisor, he also provides guidance to the Agency and local stakeholders on economic development strategies and impacts.

Special Assistant Kelleher previously served as the Business Development Manager of the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District where he managed business recruitment and retention programs. He currently serves as the Chairman for the Adirondack Health Foundation, as a Trustee of North Country Community College, and as a Trustee of Adirondack Health.

Special Assistant Kelleher earned a Master of Regional Planning from Cornell University with a minor in Real Estate Development and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Plattsburgh State University.

Public Information Officer

Public Information Officer Keith McKeever has worked at the Adirondack Park Agency since October 2003. In this role he is responsible for media and public relations and serves as Public Hearing Officer for private and public land actions including state land classifications; private land amendments; variance hearings; and public informational meetings.

Prior to his appointment to the Agency, Public Information Officer McKeever was a Program Administer in the Governor’s Office for Small Cities. This New York State agency was responsible for administering the U.S. Housing and Urban Renewal’s Community Development Block Grant Program. He began his career as a Planner in the Rensselaer County Planning Office and was promoted to Geographic Information System Team Leader.

Public Information Officer McKeever earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a Minor in Communication from SUNY Plattsburgh.