Dierdre "Dede" Scozzafava is a lifelong North Country resident. She graduated from Gouverneur High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the Boston University School of Management and a Masters in Business Administration from the Clarkson Graduate School of Management.
Prior to being elected to the New York State Assembly in 1998, Dede dedicated much of her life to public service. She served for four years as a Village of Gouverneur Trustee and was Mayor of the Village of Gouverneur from 1993 through 1998.
As a Member of the Assembly, Dede was appointed to the position of Minority Leader Pro Tempore for the Assembly Republican Conference. She is the first woman to ever hold such a prestigious leadership position. More commonly referred to as the 'floor leader,' the Minority Leader Pro Tempore is responsible for leading debates and driving forward the agenda of the conference.
Dede also serves on the Ways and Means, Rules, and Ethics and Guidance committees. Widely known for her bipartisan approach to governance, she frequently challenges her assembly colleagues to rise above politics so that the needs and concerns of New York State residents are fully addressed in the Legislature.
Dede has been a vocal advocate for Northern New York, holding forums and serving on a number of task forces to address the diverse needs of the North Country’s citizens. She has served as a member of the Manufacturing Task Force, the Hunting and Fishing Task Force, and has held hearings for the Task Force on Agriculture.
As chairwoman of the SAVE NY Task Force, Dede traveled throughout New York State to meet with various constituencies to develop and improve ways to protect New York’s women and children from domestic abuse and sexual violence. The task force played an integral role in raising awareness of these issues. A number of its proposals, including civil confinement of sex offenders and stiffer penalties under Megan’s Law, were adopted as legislation.
Dede is Vice President of SC Partners, LLC. She is a member of the First United Methodist Church in Gouverneur, Gouverneur Business Women, the Gouverneur Arts Club, the Thousand Island Girl Scouts Council, and the St. Lawrence County Farm Bureau.
Dede and her husband Ron reside in Gouverneur. They have four children, a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren.