Higher Ed

Head of Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics to Step Down

Ruth B. Mandel, who has served as director of Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics for 24 years, will step down Aug. 31, according to Rutgers–New Brunswick Chancellor Christopher J. Molloy. She will take a one-year research leave before returning to her role as Board of Governors Professor of Politics and Senior Scholar at CAWP.

Mandel joined Eagleton in 1971 as a founder of its Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), which she built into a national center of research, education and public service. Following her appointment as Eagleton director in 1994, she transformed the institute’s education programs to blend classroom learning with direct experience in politics and government. She developed a faculty and staff community consisting of political educators, scholars and practitioners who explore themes, including women’s political participation, youth political participation, governors and state executives, immigration and democracy, science and politics, civic engagement and public service, and ethics and public leadership.

“Rutgers University will be forever indebted to Professor Mandel for bringing both CAWP and Eagleton to national prominence as valued venues for non-partisan research and engagement in the most important political issues of our time,” Molloy said. “I thank her for her distinguished service.”

“I approach this transition with wonderfully mixed feelings,” Mandel said. “I am proud of Eagleton’s long-standing, nationally respected centers and programs as well as the groundbreaking new ones that have been initiated and nurtured on my watch, the hundreds of students who have passed through our doors and the impressive and collegial faculty and staff who have been attracted to the institute and, in many cases, continued to work here almost as long as me.”

Mandel will be succeeded by John J. Farmer, Jr., a University Professor and Justice Alan B. Handler Scholar. Farmer, a former New Jersey attorney general and senior counsel for the 9/11 commission, also leads the Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience and has served as an Eagleton faculty associate since 2014.

“Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to witness first-hand the outstanding work of the Eagleton Institute under Ruth Mandel’s direction,” Farmer said. “I look forward to continuing to fulfill Florence Eagleton’s vision of promoting political participation as an essential attribute of American freedom. The need for an institution that brings people together rather than driving them apart has never been more urgent.”

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