Siena College is honored to have the opportunity to recognize Mr. Walter T. Kicinski, Siena College Class of 1962.
A native of Albany, New York, Mr. Kicinski was awarded his Bachelor of Science in Finance, cum laude, from Siena College in 1962. At graduation, Mr. Kicinski was inducted into the National Scholastic Honor Society for Student in Catholic Colleges and Universities, Delta Epsilon Sigma, as well as honored with the Academic Excellence Award for Finance and The Student Achievement Award of The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Kicinski also completed minors in Economics and History.
Mr. Kicinski has had significant careers, in both the public and private sectors, as well as extensive not-for-profit institutional experience, focused on collaborative leadership and program change. Most recently, he retired in 2007 from UBS Investment Bank in New York City, after serving seven years as a Managing Director. Since 2009, he serves as a Board Member and currently, Acting Chair, of the New York State Public Asset Fund.
Upon graduation from Siena College, Mr. Kicinski initially pursued a Doctoral Fellowship in Political Science at the University at Albany, but left academe to work as an Economist and primary author of the monthly publication, New York City Labor Market Report, during 1963-1964. Subsequently, during the remainder of the 1960's Mr. Kicinski worked in the Administration of New York State Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, as a Special Assistant to the New York State Budget Director, with particular focus on the fiscal relations between New York State and New York City. Additionally, during this period, he participated in various initiatives and activities related to the Civil Rights Movement, as well as opposition to the Vietnam War. Both of these areas of interest led him to be personally involved in the Presidential Campaign of Senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.
In 1970-1971, he completed the Mid-Career Fellowship Program of The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Mr. Kicinski then returned to public service, as Deputy Director of theCommission on the Fiscal Future of New York City, 1971-1972. Following the completion of the Commission's work, Mr. Kicinski rejoined New York State government as Director, Program Analysis and Review, New York State Division of the Budget from 1973-1974. In 1975, Mr. Kicinski was appointed as Deputy Secretary to New York State Governor Hugh L. Carey, and was responsible for assisting in the resolution of the New York City fiscal crisis, as well as advising and implementing various policy and program initiatives, with focus on public finance, energy, and regional economic development. During this assignment, he also was responsible for the development of the Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG), with Governor Carey as its first Chair, and Mr. Kicinski directing the CONEG Policy Center. Finally, Mr. Kicinski acted as Governor Carey's Liaison to President Jimmy Carter's Senior White House Staff, 1976-1978, and served in Governor Carey's 1978 reelection campaign.
From 1980--1985, Mr. Kicinski served as Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the New York Power Authority (NYPA). During his tenure he led the efforts at introducing strategic planning, capital budgeting, and policy and program innovation at NYPA, including pursuing energy alternatives for reduced oil dependence; New York State electric grid upgrade; hydropower expansion; Canadian hydropower initiatives (HydroQuebec Energy Agreement); enhancement of the Niagara Project; energy conservation; and research and development in wind and solar energy.
From 1986 until his retirement in 2007, Mr. Kicinski then worked in the private sector in municipal investment banking at UBS and Paine Webber, leading both firms' New York Public Finance Groups. In this senior management role as an experienced Managing Director, responsible for public policy and political oversight, he was instrumental in moving both firms into the top ranks of the municipal finance industry.
Mr. Kicinski has been most active in support and leadership of various non-profit organizations throughout his career. A Trustee Emeritus of the Siena College Board of Trustees, he served for fifteen years, and as Chair for seven of those years, during a period of dynamic growth and increasing academic excellence at the College. Additionally, he had previously served as a member of the Siena College Board of Associate Trustees. Finally, Mr. Kicinski has served as a member of the Citizen's Budget Commission (Trustee and Executive Committee); Municipal Forum of New York (Board of Governors and President); New York Transit Museum; Yonkers Public Library Board; and Class Agent, Princeton Graduate Alumni Annual Fund.
In 1979, Mr. Kicinski was honored by the Siena College Alumni Association with The Father Benjamin Kuhn, O.F.M. Distinguished Alumnus Award.
In recognition of his lifetime of exemplary achievement, leadership, and service in the public, private, and non-profit sectors or our society, Siena College awards Mr. Walter T. Kicinski, the honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters.