Sarah Paden '04: A Hectic Job Gets Even More So

As Deputy Director for Federal Affairs in New York State’s Washington, D.C., office, Sarah Paden ’04 has been in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In typical times, she “works directly with the New York Congressional Delegation advocating for the state’s needs. We are the voice of the governor [Andrew M. Cuomo] here in D.C., representing all New Yorkers,” she explained. “We interact with the Trump administration and all federal agencies. In addition to our work on the Hill, we also work with other states.” Her office will get even busier in August when Cuomo, currently the vice chair of the bi-partisan National Governors Association, takes over as chair this August.

In January, COVID-19 added a new dynamic to Paden’s work. “States need financial assistance to offset lost revenue. All states need to keep essential workers employed to combat this national health crisis.” In addition to procuring financial assistance, Paden pent many nights on the phone seeking ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE). “As a mother, I worry for my own family. I push for every dollar to go to needed resources. This is about protecting people.”

Paden previously worked in political consulting and on high profile national campaigns, including Hillary for America. In 2017 she was hired by Cuomo as Deputy Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs and then was called upon to lead his 2018 re-election campaign as Political Director and Deputy Campaign Manager. Paden directed Cuomo’s 2018 re-election campaign while pregnant, giving birth to her first child, Juliet, only five days after Cuomo’s successful election. Cuomo is known to have extremely high expectations of his staff. “I like to work hard,” said Paden. “I learned discipline from Baylor. My teachers and coaches helped me learn who I should be in the world.”

(Sarah is shown with Gov. Cuomo in Puerto Rico after a series of earthques that began in late Dec.)