Paul Tonna serves as Molloy College's Executive Director for The Energeia Partnership, a leadership academy dedicated to identifying and addressing the serious, complex and multi-dimensional issues challenging the Long Island region.
Mr. Tonna served from 1994 to 2005 as a Suffolk County Legislator and for three years, 2000, 2001, and 2002, his fellow legislators chose him to lead the Suffolk County Legislature as its Presiding Officer. During Legislator Tonna's 12 years of elected office, he had been a strong advocate for the poor, homeless and marginalized on Long Island, affordable housing, labor organizations and the environment. He sponsored, co-sponsored, and passed numerous laws and/or initiatives including: ground breaking non-smoking legislation; innovative programs focused on eliminating child poverty and homelessness; legislation designed to elevate the standard of living for all Suffolk County residents and innovative Greenways Funds to protect open space, farmlands and parklands.
Paul Tonna is a strong advocate of immigrants working and living on Long Island. The 2003 award-winning film documentary Farmingville chronicled some of those efforts. He has appeared on numerous radio and TV shows including: Lou Dobbs, CNN; The Oxygen Network; LI Telecare; The Rosie O'Donnell Show; News 12 Long Island; NBC News 4 and PBS WLIW 21.
Mr. Tonna is an Adjunct Professor in Theology & Religious Studies at St. John's University. He serves as Vice-Chairman of The Long Island Regional Planning Board; Trustee of the Long Island State Parks & Recreation Commission and Public Trustee of the Stationary Engineer's Industry Stabilization Fund. Mr. Tonna is a board member of: LI Medical Center Foundation, Advanced Energy Research & Technology Center, The Long Island Index and Erase Racism's College of Advisors. Mr. Tonna serves as a founding director of Empire National Bank and a Commissioner of the South Huntington Water District.
Paul Tonna has received many awards and honors including: Molloy College's Caritas Medal; St. John's University St. Vincent De Paul Medal; Suffolk County Human Rights Commission Legislator of the Year; National Association of Social Workers Public Citizen of the Year; Habitat for Humanity Man of the Year; The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Award Recipient; Networking Magazine's David Award and Long Island Business News 50 Around 50 Award.
Mr. Tonna earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy from New York University, a Masters of Arts degree in theology from Immaculate Conception Seminary and conducted doctoral studies in systematic theology at Fordham University.