Institute for Women's Leadership Welcomes New Director

Institute for Women's Leadership Welcomes New Director

Scholar and former Ford Foundation official leads Rutgers consortium

BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Alison R. Bernstein, a scholar in the field of history
and women’s studies and a former vice president of the Ford Foundation, is the
new director of Rutgers’ Institute for Women’s Leadership (IWL) as of July 1,
2011. The institute will mark this event
with a welcome reception on September 15 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Speakers at the
reception include President Richard L. McCormick and Alison R. Bernstein. 


Alison R. Bernstein

Founded in 1991,
the institute explores national and international leadership issues while
advancing women’s leadership in education, research, politics, science, the
arts and the workplace. 

IWL represents a
consortium of eight units at Rutgers: Douglass Residential College, the Department
of Women's and Gender Studies, the Center for American Women and Politics, the
Institute for Research on Women, the Center for Women's Global Leadership, the
Center for Women and Work, the Institute for Women and Art, and the Office for
the Promotion of Women in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics.

“Dr. Bernstein,
who earned her bachelor’s degree at Vassar College and her master’s and doctorate at Columbia University,
brings impressive credentials to this position,” said Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick.

Bernstein served
as a vice president for the Education, Creativity, and Free Expression Program
at the Ford Foundation from 1996 to 2010. Last year she was the William H. and
Camille Cosby Endowed Chair and professor of humanities and women’s studies at Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga..

An academic whose
interest in women’s studies runs both wide and deep, Bernstein coordinated the President’s
Standing Committee on the Status of Women while she was associate dean of the faculty at
Princeton, and has done extensive research into American Indian history, with
an emphasis on Native American women.

The new director
said Rutgers’ longstanding leadership and commitment to gender equality drew
her to her new post.

is second to none among great universities in this respect. The ground is very
fertile for making an even greater difference, building on the past and
creating a more inclusive   and effective
future,” Bernstein said.

A former member of
the Presidential Advisory Board on Tribal Colleges and Universities and the
Board of Advisors to the Smithsonian Institution – National Museum of American
History, Bernstein taught an undergraduate seminar at Spelman, “Walking in Two
Worlds: American Indian Women in the 20th Century.”

“In all of my
professional life, either in philanthropy or scholarship or both, I have worked
with others to achieve social justice goals for the most vulnerable,” she said.
“Women and girls still represent two-thirds of the world’s poor, so I intend to
use my networks and contacts in the United States and overseas, especially in South
Africa, Egypt and Brazil to help women [and men] scholars and activists learn
from each other, and to help them figure out how to adapt what works in one
situation to others.”

Bernstein is also
a scholar in the field of higher education, with a hand in both the academic
and the public sectors.  

In addition,
Bernstein, who formerly served as a program and planning officer at the Fund
for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) within the U.S.
Department of Education, is writing a book that examines the historical impact
of philanthropy on higher education in the United States.

A vice chair of
the Bates College Board of Trustees, Bernstein also
serves on the boards of the Samuel Rubin Foundation and Project Pericles, a
consortium of 28 universities committed to civic engagement and service

Change magazine chose her as an
Outstanding Leader in Higher Education in 2000, and the National Council for
Research on Women honored Bernstein with the “Women Who Make a Difference”
award in 2007.

Media Contact: Greg Trevor
732-932-7084, ext. 623