In memoriam: David Shaffer

David Shaffer, a dedicated supporter and long-time PTNY board member, passed away suddenly on January 24th after a brief illness. His loss will be felt by us here at PTNY, as well as by the countless institutions and organizations that he impacted throughout his years.

A native of Richmond, Virginia, David came to Albany for graduate school, also working as a reporter for the Associated Press. After graduation he rose rapidly through the AP ranks, becoming the chief Capitol correspondent in Albany. He distinguished himself with dedicated reporting and insightful commentary on important stories such as the New York City fiscal crisis.

While not a New Yorker by birth, family and a genuine love for the State saw him become an adopted son. After ending his reporting career, David would make important contributions to public policy in New York through his work at the Business Council of New York State, by serving on several governor's advisory panels, and later at the Rockefeller Institute of Government. All the while, a love of the nature and frequent outdoor excursions offered fulfillment and a source of enjoyment for David and his family.


David’s vast experience in strategic communications, public policy, leadership, and management, taken together with his passion for the outdoors, made him an ideal board member for PTNY. His gifts contributed immensely to the organization's ability to fulfill its founding mission of enhancing and protecting New York's treasured outdoor spaces.

Laura DiBetta, former Director of Parks Programs for PTNY remembers his contributions to our mission: “David was the driving force behind the Parks at a Turning Point report that laid the foundation for the amazing revitalization of the NY State Park system. He was a tremendous asset to PTNY and to the community.”

Our thoughts are with David's family as we continue to cope with the loss of this wonderful contributor, not only for the PTNY board, or parks and trails throughout New York, but for the state as a whole. David will surely be missed.

View David’s obituary

Tags: PTNY