Notable Alumni

Notable Alumni

We are proud of the accomplishments of our notable alumni, and we're proud their success stories began at Binghamton University. This page features some of our most well-known graduates; you can also view a longer listing of notable Binghamton alumni.

Jenna Wolfe '96

Jenna Wolf photo

Wolfe is a TV journalist and lifestyle and fitness expert. She has been sharing her passion for fitness (and fun) with America for two decades, most recently at NBC's TODAY Show, where she was the first ever lifestyle and fitness correspondent. She spent 12 years as a sportscaster before joining TODAY in 2007.


Aaron Mair '84

Picture of Aaron Mair

Mair was elected president of the Sierra Club in 2015. An epidemiological-spatial analyst with the New York State Department of Health, Mair brings more than three decades of environmental activism and over 25 years as a Sierra Club volunteer leader to his position as the club's first African-American president.


Monica Martinez '99

Portrait of Monica Martinez

In 2018, Martinez made history by being the first Latina and woman elected to represent New York state's third senatorial district. She had previously served as assistant principal of Brentwood’s East Middle School where she dedicated much of her time to enriching the lives of her students. She successfully campaigned for the office of Suffolk County Legislator in 2013 and was elected to represent the ninth legislative district.


Eric Schwartz '79

Portrait of Eric Schwartz

Schwartz is dean of the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota following a 25-year career in senior public service positions in government, at the United Nations and in the philanthropic and non-governmental communities. He was U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration, nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2009.


Marjorie Cohn '78

Portrait of Marjorie Cohn

Cohn is head of television for the combined DreamWorks Animation Television and Universal television animation business, overseeing all television development and production, including the content for DWA TV's groundbreaking multi-year deal with Netflix.


Vincent Daniel '94

Portrait of Vincent Daniel

Daniel's contrarian approach to investing is highlighted in the motion picture The Big Short. Considered one of the heroes in the movie, Vincent understood the shaky underpinnings of the real-estate bubble and invested millions on the assumption that the mortgage market would collapse.


Deborah Tannen '66

Portrait of Deborah Tannen

Tannen is University Professor and professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University and author of many books and articles about how the language of everyday conversation affects relationships. She wrote You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, which was on the New York Times best seller list for nearly four years.


Gary Kunis '73

Portrait of Gary Kunis

In December 2002, Kunis retired from his role as vice president and chief science officer at Cisco Systems, Inc. and executive sponsor of Cisco Japan. He has overseen the design and development, sales and marketing, global deployment and services of Cisco products. He now spends his time pursuing private entrepreneurial and philanthropic interests.


Hakeem Jeffries '92

Portrait of Hakeem Jeffries

In 2012, Jeffries became the first Binghamton University graduate elected to United States Congress. He represents portions of the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens in the House of Representatives. He had previously served as a member of the New York State Assembly from 2007 to 2012, following a career as a corporate attorney.


Bill T. Jones

Portrait of Bill T. Jones

Jones is a Tony Award-winning choreographer, Kennedy Center Honor recipient and MacArthur Fellowship "Genius Award" recipient. While attending Binghamton University, Bill T. studied classical ballet and modern dance. Binghamton is also where he started his first dance company in 1973.


Jay Benet

Portrait of Jay Benet

Benet, a member of the Class of 1974, is vice chairman and chief financial officer of Travelers. Previously, he served as worldwide head of financial planning, analysis and reporting for Citigroup. Prior to that, he was CFO for Citibank's global consumer business in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.


Neil Berg '86

Portrait of Neil Berg

Berg is the composer for the musical version of Grumpy Old Men: The Musical, based on the Warner Brothers movie classic. He's the creator and co-producer of Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway, which is now the No. 1 Broadway touring concert in the U.S. He owns Leftfield Productions, Inc., an entertainment company which has produced more than 1,000 Broadway concerts worldwide.


Michael Berman '79

Portrait of Michael Berman

Berman is chief financial officer and executive vice president of GGP, overseeing the company's capital markets, finance, accounting, tax and external communications functions. GGP is a member of Standard & Poor's 500 stock index (S&P 500) and one of the world's ten largest real estate companies with a total market capitalization of over $45 billion.


Ron Klempner '84

Portrait of Ron Klempner

Klempner is senior counsel for collective bargaining at the National Basketball Players Association, the union for current professional basketball players in the NBA. He has been with the organization since 1993, following five years as an associate with Weil, Gotshal & Manges.


Yang Chen '87

Portrait of Yang Chen

Chen is executive director of the Asian American Bar Association of New York, a position he has held since 2009. He is the organization's first executive director. Chen was previously a partner at Constantine Cannon, a firm specializing in antitrust and complex commercial litigation.


Robert W. Ostrow '76, MS '79

Portrait of Robert Ostrow

Ostrow was involved in the manufacture and testing of the Hubble Space Telescope. Most of his career has been at Bloomberg LP where he is still employed. At Bloomberg, he has been instrumental in the design and coding of the system and application software used daily by more than 325,000 financial professionals worldwide.


Sunny Hostin '90

Portrait of Sunny Hostin

Hostin is a former federal prosecutor who now shares her expertise as a legal analyst and anchor on CNN. She has previously appeared on ABC News and the FOX News Channel.


Shareema Abel '96

Portrait of Shareema Abel

Abel was appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as Special Counsel to the Commissioner for Ethics, Risk and Compliance for Homes and Community Renewal. She serves as litigation attorney in the Teacher Performance Unit of the New York City Department of Education, where she was lead counsel on disciplinary hearings of tenured pedagogues.


Rob Goldstein '94

Portrait of Rob Goldstein

Goldstein is BlackRock's chief operating officer and global head of BlackRock Solutions. He is a member of the Global Executive Committee and the Global Operating Committee. Goldstein helps oversees the day-to-day global business of the firm and ensure that the organization, including its investments, client, risk and technology functions, have the necessary connectivity, coordination and operating processes.


Jay Walder '80

Portrait of Jay Walder

Walder is CEO of Virgin One Hyperloop, a firm working to develop high-speed, frictionless, air-free tube transport systems for people or goods. The company was founded as Hyperloop Te. He was previously CEO of Motivate, a global bike sharing company that operates systems in 10 cities around the globe including Citi Bike in New York City, as well as head of the MTA in New York City and the MTR railway system in Hong Kong.


Amy J. Hyatt '78

Portrait of Amy Hyatt

Hyatt is U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Palau. She is a career Foreign Service Officer of more than 30 years, with the personal rank of Minister Counselor. She has had eight previous overseas postings, serving as Deputy Chief of Mission in Helsinki, Consul General in Melbourne, and Management Counselor in Cairo. Her other overseas postings were in Seoul, Bangkok, Manila, Prague and Oslo.


Scott Mautz '91

Portrait of Scott Mautz

Mautz is an award-winning, inspirational keynote speaker and 20+ year executive at Procter & Gamble (where he currently runs a multi-billion dollar business). He has also been named an Inc. "Top 50 Leadership Innovator" and is the author of Make it Matter: How Managers Can Motivate by Creating Meaning, a book named to the "Best of 2015" list by Soundview Business Books.


David M. Zaslav '82

Portrait of David Zaslav

Zaslav has been the Chief Executive Officer and President of Discovery Communications, Inc. and Discovery Communications Holding, LLC since January 2007. At Discovery, Zaslav sets the strategy and oversees all operations for the No. 1 pay-TV programmer in the world. Prior to joining Discovery, Zaslav served as president of NBC Universal Cable of NBCUniversal Media, LLC from May to November 2006.


Michael Kerner '86

Portrait of Michael Kerner

Kerner is a senior advisor and former CEO of Zurich Insurance, which he joined in 1992 from the Continental Insurance Company. He has held a number of senior executive positions, including chief operations officer for Zurich North America Specialties and head of ceded reinsurance for Zurich North America from 2002 to 2005.


Paul Aversano '93

Portrait of Paul Aversano

Aversano is managing director in Alvarez & Marsal's Private Equity Services practice and the global practice leader of the firm's Transaction Advisory Group. For almost 20 years, he has specialized in leading both buy-side and sell-side financial accounting due diligence projects for complex public and private company transactions, as well as transactions in the capital markets.


Peter Ungar '85

Picture of Peter Ungar

Ungar is Distinguished Professor and chair of anthropology at the University of Arkansas. He has written or coauthored more than 150 scientific works on ecology and evolution for books and journals including Science, Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. These have focused mostly on diet in living primates, feeding adaptations, and food choice in human ancestors and other fossil species.


Fatima Shama '95

Picture of Fatima Shama

Shama is executive director of The Fresh Air Fund, a nonprofit organization that allows children living in low-income communities to get away from hot, noisy city streets and enjoy free summer experiences in the country. She was previously commissioner of the NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, where she created Blueprints for Immigrant Integration, a guide to help other cities enhance immigrant integration efforts.


Stuart Douglas Hirsch '95, '10

Portrait of Stuart Hirsch

Hirsch is the founder and chief mission officer in command of ARCHANGEL AIRBORNE - 1st Humanitarian Special Operations Group/AIR LAND SEA – Expeditionary Mission Team. This nonprofit organization utilizes a proven military special operations model to insert rescue teams into areas of great disaster.


Frances Mazze Hurwitz '66

Portrait of Frances Mazze Hurwitz

Hurwitz is senior materials research engineer at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, where she leads the development of high-temperature thermal materials. Over the course of her career with NASA, she has worked at the frontier of materials problems associated with aerospace technologies. Since 2007, she has spearheaded NASA's development of aerogels for use at temperatures above 700 degrees Celsius.


Steve Koren '88

Portrait of Steve Koren pic

Koren started his writing career by handing jokes to Dennis Miller, Kevin Nealon and David Letterman in the halls of Rockefeller Center, where he was a tour guide. This led to a writing position with Saturday Night Live, where he earned several Emmy nominations. Koren eventually became a writer/producer on Seinfeld. Among his well-known episodes are "Serenity Now" and "The English Patient."


Blenda Smith, MS, FNP '83

Portrait of Blenda Smith

Smith is professor emeritus in Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences and a nurse practitioner in STD clinics at the Broome County Health Department. She has served Decker in many capacities over the years, including leading a committee of alumni and former faculty to honor Elizabeth (Lisa) Reese through an endowed scholarship that supports nursing students in their final year of the program.


Faisal Farooqui '99

Picture of Faisal Farooqui

Farooqui is founder and CEO of Mouthshut.com, a product and service review and discovery platform. The Mumbai, India native credits his magazine writing course at Binghamton with the inspiration for MouthShut.com.


Fred Stapleton '02

Portrait of Fred Stapleton

Stapleton is director of category and shopper development for Nestle USA. He has been with Nestle since 2002, and has held six different positions and moved four times as his career advanced. At age 27, he was the youngest field director in the corporation's history. In his current role, he works with brand teams to craft retail strategies that determine how products are priced, promoted and shelved at retailers.


Jake Thomas '15

Picture of Jake Thomas playing baseball

Thomas was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft. He is the fourth Bearcat drafted in the last four years and the tenth in program history.


Todd Lituchy '89

Portrait of Todd Lituchy

Lituchy is executive producer of the NBC television series The Mysteries of Laura, starring Debra Messing, Josh Lucas, Laz Alonso, Janina Gavankar and Max Jenkins. The show is based on a Spanish format that Lituchy's company, New Media Vision, sold to Warner Bros.