Alumni Spotlight

Acquario '98 Receives Jefferson B. Fordham Award

Stephen J. Acquario '98

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Stephen J. Acquario '98 was recently recognized by the American Bar Association for his steadfast advocacy on behalf of New York state’s 62 counties.

Acquario, executive director of the New York State Association of Counties, received the Jefferson B. Fordham Award for State and Local Government Advocacy. The award recognizes outstanding excellence in the area of state and local government law. He was nominated for the award by Patricia Salkin, former director of the Government Law Center.

Acquario was appointed executive director and general counsel of the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) in December 2004. In this capacity, he is responsible for the overall direction of the organization, including coordinating and prioritizing agendas to assure a cohesive, coherent legal and legislative strategy on behalf of New York state’s 62 county governments. 

Acquario represents elected and appointed county officials before all branches of federal, state and local government, and interacts on a regular basis with the executive and legislative branches of state government.

NYSAC’s mission is to educate, represent and advocate in a bi-partisan political manner for New York’s counties. NYSAC is the only statewide association representing the elected and appointed county officials.

Prior to this appointment, Acquario served as the association’s legislative director and general counsel. Since 1989, he has dedicated his professional life to educate state policy makers and the general public of the benefits of having a modern and efficient form of county government in the state of New York.

Acquario graduated from Albany Law School, magna cum laude, and has received a graduate certificate in industrial labor relations from Cornell University. He is also a graduate of the State University of New York College at Potsdam.

Stephen J. Acquario '98