Suited for success—and finding balance between a demanding career and family life.
Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program.
General Counsel, Chief Operating Officer, and Corporate Secretary, New York Bankers Association (NYBA)Favorite Professor: Dr. Patrick Mulene
Favorite tradition while at Adelphi: Meeting friends for a morning chat at the U.C.
Member of Honor Societies: Delta Tau Alpha for “Distinguished Academic Achievement” and Delta Mu Delta, the National Honor Society for Business Administration
Suited for Success
Roberta Kotkin serves as chief of staff and chief counsel to nearly 30 employees, for an association that represents banks with over $4 trillion in assets and over 300,000 New York employees.
Among her many successes, her proudest achievement is finding harmony between a demanding career and a wonderful family.
As COO and general counsel for the New York Bankers Association, Ms. Kotkin represents the interests of the entire banking industry within the State of New York. As an advocate and lobbyist, she helps realize the association’s mission to promote the enactment of legislation and the promulgation of regulations that foster both the interests of the public and of the banking industry.
Her days, never typical, include meetings with federal and state legislators and regulators, in New York, Washington, D.C., and Albany, on topics as diverse as home lending, ATM fee regulation, bank security, and consumer privacy. She also edits the New York Banking Law Digest and oversees the legal aspects of the NYBA and its political action committee, for-profit subsidiaries, and retirement and insurance trusts. Every day brings new challenges and new satisfactions, and Ms. Kotkin could not be more certain that she has found the perfect job.
In 1970, when she enrolled at Adelphi at age 16, Ms. Kotkin planned on a career in teaching, one of the career fields more receptive to women at the time. Fortunately, she also listened to her mother, an accountant, who encouraged her to try at least one business class. To her surprise, she loved the discipline. As she completed her teaching degree, she added as many business courses as she could, several of them on business law.
Ms. Kotkin was working as an assistant in a law firm when she realized that an M.B.A. could accelerate her career. She again chose Adelphi and enjoyed the academic side of business. She quickly saw that a law degree, coupled with her M.B.A., would truly propel her career in the right direction. She earned a J.D. from Hofstra Law School in 1985.
The same year that Ms. Kotkin started law school, her oldest son Eric began nursery school. Equally devoted to her family and her career, Ms. Kotkin met the challenge of balancing their needs, even finding time to serve as an editor of the Law Review. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable David F. Jordan at the United States Courthouse in Uniondale, New York.
Following several years as associate general counsel for Citicorp Establishment Services, and as general counsel for Card Establishment Services, two of the nation’s largest financial transaction processing entities, Ms. Kotkin joined the NYBA in 1998.
In addition to her professional responsibilities, Ms. Kotkin serves as legislative chair of the Banking Committee of the New York Bar Association, and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Business Section of the New York State Bar Association. In 2004, she was honored to be named an Outstanding Woman of the Bar by the New York County Bar Association.
Ms. Kotkin lives in Melville, New York, with her husband Lawrence, a clinical psychologist whom she met at Adelphi. She credits her husband’s patience, support, and flexibility for making her success possible. Her seventeen-year-old twins, Ashley and Brian, are also still at home, and preparing for the excitement and challenges of their senior year in high school.
Her advice to Adelphi students: “You can have a successful and fulfilling career if you understand your talents and interests, accept life’s limitations, and set high but realistic goals.”