Women of Influence

Elda Di Re, B.S.'83

Tax and Financial-Services Expert

By Stephen Shoemaker, B.A.’02

If you’ve watched any of the big cable news stations during tax season or prior to the enactment of new legislation with tax implications, you may have seen Elda Di Re answering financial questions. The Ernst & Young (EY) partner has done segments on Bloomberg TV, CNBC and Fox, among others.

One standout appearance for her was with CNBC’s Suze Orman after the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling in the United States v. Windsor same-sex marriage case. “It was a topic of such great import,” Di Re says. “It was certainly something she followed for years. It felt great when she was asking me very specific questions about what I thought.”

Di Re joined the audit practice at EY (then Ernst & Whinney) after graduation and eventually gained the experience to join the tax practice. She made partner in 1996, and in 2006 formed her own practice with EY. It specializes in working with clients in the financial-services industry.

She also serves on the board of The University at Albany Foundation; the accounting board for the School of Business; and the finance committee of the United Nations School in Manhattan, which her son attends.

Di Re was drawn to the structure an accounting major provides, in terms of both education and job prospects, and says the career provides constant training and growth. “It’s really a meritocracy. You’re not battling against other people for a promotion; you’re just continuing to grow each year, as long as you’re doing well.”

Di Re was the 2014 Commencement speaker for the School of Business. She likened her advice for graduates to a Venn diagram: “What do you like to do? What are you good at? And what does the marketplace need? It’s where those three circles intersect that you should focus your efforts in your career.”