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Bob Kerrey

Bob Kerrey

Since 2001, Bob Kerrey has been president of The New School, a university founded on strong democratic ideals and daring educational practices, and well-suited for his leadership. Throughout his career in public service, while serving as a governor and U.S. senator from Nebraska during the 1980s and 1990s, Bob Kerrey advocated for increased education spending.  He continues to do so, recognizing that democratic life flourishes most when all citizens are properly educated and given every chance to participate in the political process.  In his view, the United States has an obligation to work with the rest of the world to expand opportunities for all people.  That is why he supports active diplomacy, foreign aid and free trade.  Such support led him to serve on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and to become an active member of the 9/11 Commission. As president of The New School, Bob Kerrey has implemented a powerful strategy for change and development consistent with the university’s historic academic mission and responsive to the needs of the twenty-first century.  Recognizing The New School’s strengths in design, liberal arts, the social sciences and the visual and performing arts, he is transforming the university. Under his leadership, The New School is undergoing an unprecedented period of growth.  Enrollment and full-time faculty have increased significantly, with the undergraduate population alone increasing by over 40 percent to 5,000 degree students. Since 2001, a record $198 million has been raised for scholarships, professorships, capital projects, major conferences and cutting-edge research.  Plans are now underway for the largest space expansion in the university’s history.  A new signature building at 65 Fifth Avenue will embody the ahead-of-the-curve vision of The New School. Also unprecedented is the current collaboration among deans and faculty across disciplines to develop university-wide undergraduate and graduate programs.  This “new” New School will respond to the demands of globalization and give students the tools to compete in an increasingly interconnected world. During President Kerrey’s tenure, the university has made great progress in its international efforts.  Its expanding graduate program in International Affairs matriculates nearly 300 students from 34 countries who work directly with high-profile practitioners and scholars.  Additionally, the university has launched the India China Institute, a think-tank with major outposts in New York, Mumbai and Beijing; and the Tishman Environment and Design Center, which is developing a forward-thinking environmental studies program.Along with his duties as president of The New School, Bob Kerrey leads a five-year writing challenge sponsored by The National Commission on Writing in America’s Schools and Colleges and is co-chair with Newt Gingrich of The National Commission for Quality Long-Term Care.  He is a recipient of the Robert L. Haig Award for Distinguished Public Service from the New York State Bar Association, an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from New York Law School, as well as the Distinguished Nebraskan Award and numerous other citations. In 2002, President Kerrey published a widely praised memoir, When I Was A Young Man. Bob Kerrey was educated in pharmacy at the University of Nebraska.  He served three years in the United States Navy.  After his military service and prior to entering political life, he started a chain of restaurants and health clubs in Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas.. He is married to Sarah Paley and lives in New York City.  The couple has a son, Henry, born September 10, 2001.  Mr. Kerrey’s children from his previous marriage are named Ben and Lindsey.