Sen. James Skoufis Elevates Longtime Staffers

Senator James Skoufis (D-Orange County) is proud to announce the promotion of longtime senior staffer Emma Fuentes to Chief of Staff, and welcomes new Director of Communications Karina Liriano. Fuentes was first hired to spearhead the Senator’s press and external communications, and now progresses to oversee a sturdy staff of twelve other colleagues who handle constituent services, community engagement, investigations, communications, and policy.

”Emma’s steadfast commitment to our community has been unwavering, and in her role as Chief of Staff, I have no doubt she will remain a formidable asset to our efforts” said Skoufis. “Both colleagues share a profound dedication to acknowledging and addressing the needs of Orange County’s local communities. I enthusiastically anticipate our collaboration in propelling forward our districts’ priorities.”

Emma Fuentes
Emma Fuentes

“Representing the needs of our Orange County neighbors, and helping folks access and understand the work of their state government, have been the privilege of my career,” said Fuentes. “I’m thrilled to continue deepening my commitment to the Hudson Valley and advising Senator Skoufis in this new capacity.”

“Nurturing a genuine passion for uplifting others since childhood, my commitment to service runs deep.” said Liriano. “Assuming the role of Director of Communications is an honor, and I look forward to leveraging my experience and skills under Senator Skoufis’ leadership to drive forward the priorities of Orange County.”

About Chief Of Staff Emma Fuentes
Prior to joining the Skoufis team, Emma served as a strategic communications consultant for arts organizations across the country, helping them tell better stories to drive audience and donor engagement.

As the first full-time Director of Marketing and Communications for the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in Putnam County, she led institutional brand strategy, reimagined the virtual and on-site audience experience, and overhauled internal and external communications. By harnessing vibrant content and digital tools while nurturing long-term local relationships, she grew the Festival’s profile regionally and nationally, hitting annual revenue targets of $1.3M, welcoming 35,000 visitors each year, and helping the organization position itself for its eventual 2022 campus expansion. She previously served in administrative and marketing roles with Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Westchester.

Emma received a B.S. in visual art from the State University of New York at New Paltz and participated in the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s ‘Design Discovery’ program, concentrating in urban design and planning. She served as a founding member of the City of Newburgh’s Strategic Economic Development Advisory Council from 2019 to 2021 and continues to seek out improved economic outcomes for all of our vibrant Hudson Valley communities. Now local to Goshen, she grew up in the Adirondacks, where she developed an early passion for small town politics and public service.

About Director Of Communications Karina Liriano
Karina Liriano serves through her combined skills in communications and hospitality. Her journey began at the early age of 12, ignited by a desire to connect with her community in Washington Heights, New York CIty. She crafted and delivered weekly newsletters, held English tutoring sessions for first-generation elementary students, and gathered local kids to orchestrate fun events like game nights and neighborhood potlucks.

Her pursuit led her to The City College of New York, where she studied International Culture & Communications. It was here that her fervent dedication to nurturing resilience and harmony within communities took root. In 2019, she established a non-profit aimed at dismantling the barriers posed by exclusivity and surging costs in integrative healthcare within Manhattan.

In the wake of a global pandemic, she moved on to forge partnerships with organizations across the nation, to connect over 4,000 small businesses to educational and financial resources in search of post-pandemic relief.

Now a proud resident of the enchanting Hudson Valley, Liriano is exhilarated to serve alongside Senator Skoufis’ devoted team, channeling her energy and expertise into serving the 42nd District.

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