"Good things come to the loyal"
-Alan Snyder, Season One
"You're willing to go to The Factory for a screwdriver?"
-Alan Snyder, Season Two
Definition: Proxy Governor. A figurehead, someone who appears to rule and govern, but in fact takes orders from someone else, who prefers to remain hidden.
Alan Snyder is the pragmatic, charismatic, arrogant, self serving, cowardly and cynically manipulative leader of the Transitional Authority in Los Angeles. After The Arrival, he was made leader of the Occupation in L.A. Armed with the Redhat army and drones backing him up, Snyder’s Transitional Authority is tasked with keeping order and stability in Los Angeles.
Snyder is an educated man and was apparently already very successful before The Arrival. He originally claimed to have a PhD in Economics and to have been the Provost of Stanford University, controlling a multi-billion dollar budget - and that The Hosts thought him the ideal candidate to run the L.A. colony. It is revealed in Season 2 that he was actually a purchasing manager for Western Community College and came to the attention of The Hosts because he was successful at accumulating wealth in a relatively low paying job. He was approached before The Arrival by two men claiming to be recruiters from the "Institute for Global Advancement".
He's stated that he was from Long Island originally but was living in Palo Alto at the time of The Arrival. It's confirmed that he was relocated when he accepted the role of Proxy Governor of the L.A. bloc. from The Hosts, just before The Arrival.
He tells Katie Bowman that the was recruited after The Arrival, though his manner when he does so seems to tell us that it's a lie. Later on in the same episode, "YOKNAPATAWPHA", he tells Will that The Hosts already had the information in the Rolodex database when they arrived. In the first episode of Season 2 it's revealed that Snyder was recruited just before The Arrival.
Snyder knows that he needs someone with Will Bowman's skills to combat the growing threat from The Resistance and recruits Will with the implied promise that he will get his son Charlie Bowman, back. Snyder knows how to make people do what he wants.