Northwestern University announces Rebecca Blank to become 1st female president

Blank will succeed Morton Shapiro in the summer of 2022
EVANSTON, Ill. (WLS) -- Northwestern University announced Monday that Rebecca Blank will become the university's first female president.

Blank currently serves as the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She will take over as Northwestern president in the summer of 2022, when the term of current President Morton Schapiro ends.

In a press release, the university said Blank is an internationally renowned economist who has done research on poverty and the low-income labor market. She has served as an expert in three presidential administrations.

Blank will be returning to Northwestern where she was the first tenured woman in the economics department.

I am honored and delighted to accept the job as Northwestern's next president," Blank said. "Northwestern is a school that I have known and admired for years. Its reputation as a top-rated educational and research institution has grown each decade. It will be my mission to make sure the institution's reputation and quality continues to accelerate."

"The Presidential Search Committee met with an incredibly competitive pool of candidates and unanimously recommended Rebecca Blank to the Board for election as our 17th president," said Peter Barris, chair of the Presidential Search Committee and a vice chair of the Board of Trustees. "As part of our process, we heard from all segments of the University community, and I believe Chancellor Blank's deep experience and talents will support our current needs and position us for a promising future.

"The committee found Chancellor Blank to be unparalleled and impressive in her power to articulate a comprehensive and unifying vision across Northwestern's constituencies and inspire as a proven collaborative and bold leader," Barris said.
Schapiro has served as president of Northwestern since 2009.

"Becky is an experienced administrator and a highly accomplished scholar," President Schapiro said. "I look forward to watching her take Northwestern to ever greater heights."
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