Ruth Hassell-Thompson  -  (D) New York
State Exec Office Staff
Executive Chambers
Albany, NY 12224
  • Phone: (518) 474-8390
  • Fax: (518) 474-1513
First elected to the New York State Senate in 2000, Ms. Ruth Hassell-Thompson brings years of public service and community involvement to her post as the Senator of the 36th Senatorial District. She currently represents parts of the Bronx and Westchester Counties.
In 1993, Ms. Hassell-Thompson was elected to the Mount Vernon City Council, serving as Council President and Acting Mayor. In this position, she was Vice chairperson of the Urban Renewal Board; a voting member of the Board of Estimate; Vice chairperson of the Real Estate Board and Chairperson of the Capital Projects Board. Among her other committee responsibilities was oversight of all Council committees, which included Legislation and Public Works; Human Resources; Finance and Planning; Public Safety and Codes.
Ms. Hassell-Thompson continues to balance her public responsibilities with other important community and business-related endeavors in the district. A retired nurse/counselor for Mount Vernon Hospital (1963-1998) specializing in pediatrics and helping women with substance abuse issues, she is the Founding-President/CEO of 'The Gathering' a volunteer-staffed women's center in Mt. Vernon that provides counseling and support services. In addition, Ms. Hassell-Thompson was a health educator for the Mt. Vernon Neighborhood Health Center's initiative, which entailed working with persons infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS. She was honored with the 'Unsung Heroes' award, presented by the AIDS Related Community Services (ARCS) organization.
Ms. Hassell-Thompson served as a consultant to the Automotive Consultant, Inc. (ACI), an automobile dealership/industry organization responsible for promoting the interests of minority automobile dealers.
Prior to holding an elected office, she was President/CEO of Whart Development Company, Inc., a real estate development company that also provided consultant services to small and developing businesses. Senator Thompson's firm researched and published 'The African American in Westchester' in 1990. She is well known for her expertise on minority business needs and has initiated numerous workshops and seminars on business development.
From January 1980 to June 1987, Ms. Hassell-Thompson was the Executive Director of the Westchester Minority Contractors Association (WMCA). In this position, she became well-versed in economic development issues which impact women and people of color. She became one of their most ardent advocates and successfully persuaded members of both the public and private sectors to increase economic participation with minority and women-owned businesses. She served on numerous boards and committees that focused on issues related to minority and women business ownership. Among her many achievements was her ability to spearhead bank loans for financing minority and women-owned business activities. She continues to serve as an advocate for these concerns.
Prior to leading the WMCA, Ms. Hassell-Thompson worked for the Westchester Community Opportunity Program (Westchester Co-Op) for 10 years in a number of management positions, ranging from director of an infant day care center to executive assistant to the executive director of the Co-Op and coordinator of community based programs in Westchester and Putnam counties. During her tenure there, she was awarded the Joseph P. Gavrin Memorial Award for Personal Achievement and Contributions to the community by the Westchester Co-Op.
As a testament to Ms. Hassell-Thompson's achievements in helping women and minorities excel in business ventures and in life, she has received several awards. Chief among them are- the 'Sojourner Truth Racial Justice Award' the 'Harriet Tubman Humanitarian Achievement Award' the 'Minority and Women Business Development Award' from the state of New York Department of Commerce; the Professional Women in Construction Award for 'Dedicated Services and Action on Behalf of Equal Opportunity for Women and Minorities'; Westchester Black Women's Health Project for 'Outstanding Contributions to Business; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Scroll of Honor in recognition of Outstanding Achievement in Outreach; African-American Civic and Legal Hall of Fame, Inc., Dr. Martin Luther King, Keeping the Dream Alive Award 'In Recognition and Appreciation of Service in the Dr. King Tradition' and the Mount Vernon Hospital Community Service Award.
Senator Hassell-Thompson was enstooled by the Akwamu Traditional Council in the Eastern Region of Ghana, as their Mpuntuhemaa (Queenmother for Development). Her enstoolment as Mpuntuhemaa was to bring about development for the people of Akwamu, taking into high consideration. Education and the needs of the area at large. Ms Hassell-Thompson was given the stool name Nana Addobea I of the the 17 provences & villages that make up the Eastern Region.
Ms. Hassell-Thompson is the recipient of two Honorary Doctorate degrees; Mercy College, Doctor of Humane Letters; and Eastern Theological Consortium, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Christ Theological Seminary, Doctor of Humanities. She is an alumna of Bronx Community College.
Ms. Hassell-Thompson is widowed with two daughters and is an adoring grandmother of two.