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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Chancellor Johnson Appoints Joseph Rufo as ESF Officer in Charge


Albany - State University of New York Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson appointed Joseph L. Rufo as the officer in charge of SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) as Interim President David C. Amberg returns to Upstate Medical University. Rufo will continue his responsibilities as chief financial officer and vice president for administration, while the search for ESF's next president progresses.

"Dr. Amberg was an outstanding Interim President at SUNY ESF for the past two years. He built on the College's reputation for research and scholarship through the addition of new academic programs, statewide partnerships, and putting student needs first," said SUNY Chancellor Johnson. "I am deeply appreciative of his steady and thoughtful leadership of this storied institution."

As interim president, Amberg implemented the "ESF Discovery Challenge," an effort that brought together faculty, staff and students to provide recommendations to support the College's human resources, secure a sustainable financial future and build upon the campus's strengths as related to global issues in environmental science and sustainability.

His leadership also helped the college throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that students, faculty and staff were made aware of the College's decisions to keep the campus community safe. He also played an integral role in supporting the creation of a food pantry, which was of importance to students in need during the crisis.

Amberg returns to Upstate Medical University to his position as vice president for research overseeing the clinical, translational, and basic research portfolios of the campus. During his tenure, which began in December 2014, Upstate Medical saw several years of continuous growth in research expenditures.

"It has been a tremendous honor and pleasure to work on behalf of the great students, faculty, staff and alumni of ESF," said Amberg. "I thank Chancellor Johnson for giving me the opportunity and her strong support during my tenure, it has been a wonderful experience and a high-growth time for me personally. Through this experience, I have gained a deep appreciation for how valuable an asset ESF is to Central New York, the state and the world. I wish the College all the best during these challenging times."

Rufo is the chief financial officer and vice president for administration at ESF responsible for providing leadership, management and oversight of the College's business and financial affairs, human resources, legal, information technology, university police, and environmental health and safety. He has been with the College since November 2008.

Prior to coming to ESF Rufo held the position of vice president and chief financial officer at Onondaga Community College, chief financial officer at the Syracuse City School District, manager of Electric Pricing Evaluation and Design and director of Business Growth at Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation and assistant professor, economics at SUNY Cortland.

Rufo has a B.A. in economics from SUNY Cortland and an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance from Binghamton University.