New York State Legislature, Assembly Graduate Scholars Internship Program
Dr. Penksa is presently the Professor-In-Residence for the New York State Legislature's Graduate Scholars Program in the State Assembly, the legislature's lower house.
Prior to her appointment to the Assembly Graduate Scholars Program, Dr. Penksa held the positions of Associate Professor at Buffalo State College's Masters of Public Administrations Program, Visiting Lecturer and Executive at Cornell University's graduate program in public affairs, and Executive Director at the Jacobs Institute, responsible for start-up operations for this newly established University-based innovation center. Dr. Penksa continues to hold professional workshops for Cornell University's graduate program in public affairs.
In addition to her academic career, Dr. Penksa has held a number of senior level positions in the public and private sectors. She launched her career in the New York State Legislature as a graduate scholar for the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. She rose to the appointed position of Secretary to the Ways and Means Committee in 1993, making her the first woman in the history of New York State to oversee one of the three key state fiscal departments in New York State. Dr. Penksa subsequently served as an Associate Vice-President at the University at Buffalo from 1999 until 2005, overseeing the University's Office of Government Affairs.
From 2007 to 2012, Dr. Penksa served as Commissioner of Administration, Finance, Policy and Urban Affairs for the City of Buffalo, a cabinet level position reporting directly to the Mayor. Among her accomplishments here, Dr. Penksa directed and reformed the City's fiscal management practices, which contributed to the end of the New York State imposed financial control period and increases in the City's Wall Street credit ratings to “A” grade, the highest in over 40 years.
Dr. Penksa received her doctorate from the State University of New York at the University at Buffalo. She earned an M.P.A. and a B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton University.