Friedman Named Institute's Deputy Director

By Rachel M. Teaman

Release Date: January 27, 2006

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Kathryn Bryk Friedman, Ph.D., an attorney with a background in public policy and international law and governance, is the new deputy director of the UB Institute for Local Governance and Regional Growth effective Jan. 5.

Friedman, who earned both her doctorate in political science from the University at Buffalo and law degree from the UB Law School, most recently served as special counsel to the law firm of Magavern, Magavern & Grimm. Her prior legal experience includes positions as confidential law clerk to an associate judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, the state's highest court; confidential law clerk to the presiding justice of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department; an attorney with the Buffalo-based law firm of Hodgson Russ, and editor-in-chief of the Buffalo Law Review.

She brings to the institute extensive qualifications and background in law and policy, with special expertise in regional governance, policy analysis and cross-border issues such as immigration, international law and trade.

According to institute director Kathryn A. Foster, Friedman is the right partner for the institute as it pursues new directions. "Dr. Friedman's dual perspective from both the academic world and the policy realm is a perfect fit with the institute's mission to apply regional intelligence to Buffalo Niagara's most urgent challenges," Foster said.

"She has the experience, leadership skills and strong base of professional relationships required to expand the institute's reach," she added.

As deputy director, Friedman will coordinate institute program development, undertake policy research and work with the director on institute outreach, strategic planning and development.

The institute plays a vital role in addressing key governance and quality-of-life issues in the Buffalo Niagara region. A major research institution and public service of the University at Buffalo, it leverages the resources of the university and binational community to pursue a wide range of scholarship, projects and initiatives that inform regional challenges.

Friedman's experience with regional governance and policy includes assisting in the drafting of legislation regarding the first shared-services pilot program in New York State and management of the Municipal-School District Shared Services Collaboration Program in partnership with the University at Buffalo. Friedman also has drafted several policy papers and presentations on regionalism, city charter revision and brownfields law. As a participant in the Erie County Bar Association's Volunteer Lawyers Project in Buffalo, she has provided legal assistance to the region's immigrant population.

"Dr. Friedman is an excellent lawyer whose broad experience with New York State law, policy and cross-border issues makes her a strong addition to the institute," said the Honorable Richard C. Wesley, judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, for whom Friedman served as confidential law clerk.

Since 2002, Friedman has served as a member of the Judicial Conference, the chief policymaking body for the New York State Judiciary, advising the chief judge of the State of New York on revisions to legislation regarding local courts, family law and criminal law. A vice chair of the New York State Bar Association International Law and Practice Section, she also is a member of Women in International Security and the Small Business Administration International Task Force. She is a UB Law School adjunct professor.

"I worked very closely with Dr. Friedman as a student in the Environmental Policy Clinic that I taught," said Nils Olsen, dean of the UB Law School. "Her grasp of the complexities of interdisciplinary public policy was exemplary. She is a superior scholar and leader and will make a significant contribution to the institute." Prior to assuming the deanship in 1998, Olsen was director of the Law School's Clinical Education Program from 1984-96.

Friedman's experience with international issues especially will be valuable to the institute as it pursues more engagement on cross-border issues in the binational region, such as trade, economic development and security.

She currently is working on a 10-year assessment of NAFTA. In 2004 she organized and moderated a forum on "Reflections on International Security and the War on Terrorism: The Expansion of U.S. Governmental Powers in the Post-9-11 World" for the International Law & Practice Section of the New York State Bar Association. Other publications include "100 Years of Women at the University at Buffalo" (1999, Buffalo Law Review).

In addition to earning her law degree and doctorate from UB, Friedman completed dissertation research and Polish language studies at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.

She resides in Buffalo.