Erin Sweeney during a Town of Hempstead council meeting in 2017.

Erin Sweeney during a Town of Hempstead council meeting in 2017. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa

Former Hempstead Town Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney has joined Cornell University’s Institute of Politics and Global Affairs.

King Sweeney, who served on the town council from 2015 to 2019 before moving out of state, will serve as senior associate director of the academic institute that is currently led by former Rep. Steve Israel .

In a phone interview, King Sweeney, daughter of former Rep. Pete King, said she is looking forward to playing a role in the events hosted by the institute that "bring people together who might not normally."

"I believe that there’s still much more that unites us than divides us, but we’ve got to talk," King Sweeney said. "Everyone staying in their own little corner isn’t going to help anything."

In 2019, King Sweeney announced she and her family were moving to North Carolina after her husband’s job was relocated, and she would not seek reelection. The move surprised Nassau Republican leaders and political observers who viewed the former Wantagh resident as an up-and-coming figure in the party who could potentially run to fill the congressional seat long held by her father or for a countywide position.

King Sweeney lives outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, but has preserved her ties to Long Island. She serves on the board of directors of the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, and is also employed as an attorney by the Uniondale based law firm Ruskin Moscou Faltischek P.C.

King Sweeney said she’ll be traveling to New York and Washington as needed for her new position, but laughed when asked if she had any thoughts of running for office again, noting that she was "dipping my toe a little bit in North Carolina," by recently becoming vice chairwoman of the Union County Republican Party.

Israel, in a statement, said King Sweeney "brings a strong reputation and wide respect from both sides of the aisle."

The Institute frequently holds seminars and forums featuring elected officials, including former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)

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