You may recall back in April, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo telling the audience of journalists gathered at his daily press briefing the following: “You can’t open an attraction that could bring people from across the state to that attraction and overwhelm a region. The State Fair in Syracuse, Saratoga racetrack…I don’t think we have time, first of all, but today, I don’t think you can open those unless we do it statewide.” (As a reminder, that’s the day all of our collective hearts sank here in Saratoga Springs; it was the day we learned that Saratoga Race Course would likely not see any spectators this summer.)
It would be a stretch to say that Governor Cuomo made those remarks off the cuff; he was likely riffing on talking points that he had been handed minutes or even hours before the briefing. Or, maybe he was actually repeating words that someone else wrote for him. Yes, even Governor Cuomo has a team of speechwriters. And guess what? There’s an opening on it.
If you search for “Albany, New York Metropolitan Area” jobs on LinkedIn right now, you’ll find a description for “Speechwriter.” It reads: “The State of New York’s Executive Chamber [i.e. Governor Cuomo’s office] has an immediate opening for an accomplished wordsmith to join our speechwriting team. The qualified candidate will be able to write content for a wide range of innovative and groundbreaking public policies. The ability to work in a fast-paced environment under tight deadlines is essential. An understanding of government and politics is a plus, but not a requisite for the right candidate who is willing to learn as they go. Most importantly, s/he must have a demonstrated record of excellent writing skills.” Candidates will also have to “actively collaborate with policy makers and senior government officials” and “conduct research to support and strengthen prepared remarks,” so that likely means you’ll be getting some face time with the man himself.
Interested in applying? You’ll need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college and at least five years of relevant experience. It’s an associate-level position, and as Glassdoor notes, the average starting salary for a speechwriter in Albany is about $45,000/year (but you’d be getting some sweet New York State benefits, too). It looks like, besides the governor, your immediate direct-report would be Philip Lentz, director of speechwriting for Governor Cuomo, whose LinkedIn profile says that he “[manages] a five-person team that provides speeches, remarks, talking points, op-eds and other writing material for the 56th governor of New York State.” (Lentz has been on the job since January 2019.)
Apply for the role here.