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Steve Israel Heads New Institute at Cornell

By Jada Butler


Steve Israel, director of the LIU Global Institute and former U.S. Congressman, will leave LIU to start a new chapter at Cornell University. Israel will assume the position of the inaugural director of the Cornell Institute of Politics and Global Affairs, in the 2019-20 academic year.

Congressman Steve Israel

Israel started the LIU Global Institute in fall 2016, with the goal to engage students with national leaders like Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and to discuss national affairs.

At Cornell, Israel will “build connections among stakeholders in domestic and global politics, including political leaders, policy think tanks, the business community, international civil society and academia,” Michael Kotlikoff, Cornell Provost, told the Cornell Chronicle, the Cornell student newspaper, in its Jan. 31 article “Institute of Politics and Global Affairs to Open at Cornell.”

The Cornell institute will have offices in metro New York, although Israel will teach one class in Ithaca in the fall, according to the Cornell Chronicle article. A faculty director will be appointed on the Ithaca campus to coordinate campus participation in programming, including a faculty and student fellows program, according to Wendy Wolford, vice provost for international affairs at Cornell, the article said.

In an email announcement on Feb. 1, university president Kimberly Cline wrote, “We are excited about our continued local partnership with Cornell University and Congressman Israel to expand on important dialogue and research about public affairs and the world.

President Bill Clinton and Steve Israel talking during the “Conversation with a Congressman” event in 2017

LIU will partner with the Cornell Institute of Politics and Global Affairs, including hosting and co-branding events on Long Island. This partnership will continue to engage our students and the broader community.”

While LIU will co-sponsor Long Island events, all events hosted at Cornell’s NYC and Ithaca campuses will be solely sponsored by Cornell, according to Israel.

“I loved my time at LIU, but it’s not coming to a definitive end,” Israel said. Israel will present a series of Hutton House Lectures on campus this spring, including “Inside Congress” on March 19, “Global Challenges” on April 23, and “Common Ground” on May 14. The Global Institute, like Hutton House, will become part of the new School of Professional Studies.

The Hutton House lectures are for retired members of neighboring communities wishing to further their education.

“Like many Hutton House lecturers, the former Congressman will inform and engage our students in subject matter in which he is considered a thought leader. His insights are informed by 16 years of experience in Congress,” said Rita Langdon, dean of the school of professional studies.

According to Langdon, the university’s chief talent officer, Denise Dick, will oversee the search for a new director of the Global Institute.

“The ideal candidate for directorship will be a thought leader and highly accomplished individual fluent in global affairs,” Langdon said.

A position announcement with candidate criteria will soon be available on the LIU website, according to Langdon, and members of the LIU community are encouraged to refer candidates.

Israel will continue as a member of the LIU board of trustees. His official papers from his 16 years in Congress will remain archived at Post. Israel said he will have an important role in sponsoring events for the Theodore Roosevelt Institute on Sagamore Hill as a board member of the association and a member of the Roosevelt Legacy group.

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