Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko has been selected to spearhead an effort to transform the region into a launchpad for technology companies.
Lesko, a former federal prosecutor who lives in East Setauket, was a key player in founding the project, called Accelerate Long Island. He plans to resign as supervisor after Labor Day to become its full-time executive director, according to Kevin Law, president of the Long Island Association, which helped launch the project.
“He brings a passion for the initiative. He has been involved with everything that Accelerate Long Island has done for the last year and a half,” Law said.
Accelerate Long Island debuted last year to nurture startup companies based on discoveries made at Long Island Island's major research institutions, including Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, and Stony Brook University.
“This is the future of Long Island," Lesko said in an interview Wednesday afternoon. “If we pull this off, it could be a game changer.”
The project is the latest in a long line of efforts to jump-start Long Island’s economy by creating a hub of tech and bioscience companies.
Lesko replaces Resi Cooper, who has been the project’s acting executive director. Cooper, a business consultant, once headed Hillary Rodham Clinton's Long Island Senate office.