Tara grew up on Byrdcliff in Woodstock, the first art colony in America, where she experienced a unique childhood surrounded by painters, sculptors, musicians, great craft artisans, and composers. Her first job was selling marzipan at the Turnau Opera House.
Much of Tara’s professional life has centered on working for New York State, translating its unique history to be relevant to those who live here.
In 2021, Tara retired as the Chief Operating and Executive Officer of the New York State Bridge Authority, the Hudson Valley-based public benefit transportation authority. She was the first woman to serve in that capacity.
Tara launched the Authority into the new era of all-electronic tolling. She initiated the largest capital project and financing plan in the Authority’s 88-year history and significantly increased the use of minority and women-owned enterprises. She created a workplace safety culture change, which drastically reduced workplace injuries.
Her additional project initiatives include Skywalk at the Rip Van Winkle Bridge–now a prominent New York tourism destination linking and interpreting the connection of the founders of the Hudson River School.
She began her public service on the Woodstock Town Board and the Ulster County Legislature, driven to bring her voice to her hometown through local government. She served as the Governor’s Regional Representative.
In 2009, she became the executive director of the New York State Quadricentennial, responsible for developing and implementing the statewide strategic plan for the historical commemoration of New York’s 400th anniversary. She coordinated all New York State Legacy Projects for the Quadricentennial, such as the Walkway Over the Hudson. As part of the Quadricentennial’s signature events, she oversaw River Day, the largest nautical event in Hudson Valley history.
Ms. Sullivan currently serves as chair of the Dutchess County Ethics Board, the board of trustees for Historic Bridges of the Hudson Valley, and the Thomas Cole National Historic Site board of directors.
Byrdcliff in Woodstock
New York State Bridge Authority
Skywalk at the Rip Van Winkle Bridge
Dutchess County Ethics Board
Historic Bridges of the Hudson Valley
Thomas Cole National Historic Site