Joseph H. Holland

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Joseph H. Holland
Commissioner of the New York State Department of Housing and
Community Renewal
In office
January 1995 – October 1996
GovernorGeorge Pataki
Preceded byAngelo Aponte
Succeeded byJoseph Lynch
Personal details
BornNew York City
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Alisa White
RelationsJerome H. Holland (father)
ResidenceYonkers, New York
Alma materHarvard Law School
Cornell University
OccupationLawyer, author, businessman, public servant

Joseph H. Holland is an American businessman, real estate developer, attorney, public servant, author, and civic leader. Holland was selected by Governor George Pataki to serve as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Housing and Community Renewal, a position he held from 1995 until his resignation in October 1996. Holland ran for Attorney General of New York in 1994 and 2018 and ran for Governor of New York in 2018; he has also run for New York State Senate.

Early life and education[edit]

One of ten children, Holland is the son of Laura Mitchell Holland and Jerome H. Holland, who served as the United States Ambassador to Sweden[1] under President Richard Nixon.[2] Holland received a B.A. and an M.A. from Cornell University.[3] He was on the Cornell Big Red football squad. In 1991, he became a member of the Academic Hall of Fame,[4] and was president of the Quill and Dagger Society.[5] He attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1983.[1]

Political career[edit]

A Republican, Holland served as co-chair of George Pataki's successful 1994 gubernatorial campaign.[6] Following his 1994 victory, Gov. Pataki appointed Holland Commissioner of the New York State Department of Housing and Community Renewal. Holland held this position from 1995 until October 1996, when he resigned to "'focus on resolving outstanding personal business matters'" following "threats by creditors to [garnish] his state salary in a bid to enforce court judgments."[7][8] At the time, a spokesperson for Gov. Pataki stated that the Governor "accepted Holland's resignation 'regretfully'" and added that "'Commissioner Holland [had] served the state exceptionally well.'"[8]

Holland has run for New York State Senate;[7][9] he also ran for Attorney General of New York in the 1994 Republican primary, but "dropped out of the race under pressure from GOP leaders to clear the way for Dennis Vacco, who won in November."[8]

In early 2018, Holland announced that he was running for Governor of New York.[10] Holland withdrew from the race on May 22, 2018 to instead run for Attorney General of New York. At the 2018 New York State Republican Party Convention, Holland gained enough votes to force a primary for the Attorney General post; however, he threw his support to the first-place finisher, Keith Wofford.[11]

Career outside politics[edit]

According to The New York Times, Holland moved to Harlem in 1982; in the following decade, he opened a law office, "started and ran a 15-bed homeless shelter in a church basement, founded a drug rehabilitation program and acquired a travel agency. He also opened the first Ben & Jerry's store in Harlem and a soul food restaurant, staffing both with homeless-shelter residents".[7][12] During the mid-1980s, Holland worked in Albany as Counsel to the New York State Senate Housing Committee.[7]

Following his stint as Commissioner of the New York Department of Housing and Community Renewal, Holland was a partner at the law firm of Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker. Holland left that post to form Uptown Partners, a real estate development company that focused on housing in Harlem; he reportedly sought to "aid churches and nonprofit organizations by developing their underused properties, and encourage successful African-Americans to invest in blighted neighborhoods".[7] One of his projects, the Uptown Grand restaurant, enmeshed him in a flood of accusations and counter-accusations with regard to the financing of the enterprise and conflicts with his partner Thomas Lopez-Pierre.[13]

An author, Holland has published a spiritual memoir entitled From Harlem With Love: An Ivy Leaguer’s Inner-City Odyssey; he has also published two plays (Cast Me Down, an Off-Broadway play that received six AUDELCO nominations, and Homegrown, "which experienced two extended runs at Harlem’s landmark National Black Theatre")[14] and a self-help book entitled The Touchstone Tools: Building Your Way To An Inspired Life.[15][16]

Holland is an ordained minister.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Holland married American Journal correspondent Alisa White in 1995.[12] The couple have three children and reside in the City of Yonkers, New York.[13]


  1. ^ a b Rodgers, Teri (November 6, 2005). "Square Feet: Interview -- With Joseph H. Holland; A Developer's Rocky Quest To Revitalize Harlem". New York Times. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  2. ^ Cook, Joan (January 14, 1985). "Jerome Holland, Former U.S. Envoy". New York Times. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  3. ^ University, Office of Web Communications, Cornell. "Racial Justice, Revival, and the Refounding of America - Joseph Holland '78". Cornell. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  4. ^ Academic All American 1978, College Sports Information Directors of America.
  5. ^ The Cornell Daily Sun, 6 April 1979
  6. ^ Vielkind, Jimmy (January 8, 2018). "The impending GOP catastrophe in Trump's backyard". Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Rodgers, Teri (November 6, 2005). "SQUARE FEET: INTERVIEW -- WITH JOSEPH H. HOLLAND; A Developer's Rocky Quest To Revitalize Harlem". New York Times. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c Finnegan, Michael (October 11, 1996). "STATE HOUSING BOSS, DEEP IN DEBT, QUITS". New York Times. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  9. ^ Fisher, Ian (April 28, 1994). "The Attorney General Rushes to Build a Platform; Some Say Koppell's Aggressive and Effective. Others Say He's Politicizing His Office". New York Times. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  10. ^ Lovett, Ken (February 14, 2018). "Republican Joseph Holland who co-chaired Pataki's winning campaign announces he's running for governor". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  11. ^ Precious, Tom (May 24, 2018). "GOP delegates choose Buffalo native Keith Wofford as state attorney general candidate". Buffalo News. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Brady, Lois (November 6, 2005). "VOWS;Alisa White and Joseph Holland". New York Times. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  13. ^ a b Harlem Rumble, Amsterdam News, Cyril Josh Barker, January 17, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  14. ^ "Ormie King: The Hollands are true Auburn legends". July 28, 2013. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-07-20. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
  16. ^ results, search (27 October 2015). "The Touchstone Tools: Building Your Way to an Inspired Life". Grand Harbor Press. Retrieved 24 September 2018 – via Amazon.