Jennifer Raab

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Jennifer Raab
Jennifer Raab Headshot.jpg
13th President of Hunter College
Assumed office
June 2001
Preceded byDavid A. Caputo
Personal details
Spouse(s)Michael Goodwin
ChildrenMiranda Goodwin-Raab
Scott Goodwin (stepson)
Alma materCornell University
Princeton University
Harvard Law School

Jennifer J. Raab is the 13th and current president of Hunter College of the City University of New York holding this position since June 2001. She is responsible for overseeing the functions of CUNY's college and its affiliates such as the Hunter College High School.


A graduate of Hunter College High School,[1] she was the first in her family to attend college. Raab is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Cornell University, where she was accepted on early admission.[2] She also holds a Master's in Public Affairs from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs where she was a member of the Dean's Advisory Council. Raab received her law degree cum laude from Harvard Law School. She is on Harvard's Law School Visiting Committee, which reports to the University Board of Overseers.


Raab served for seven years as chairwoman of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.[3] In a 1997 profile, The New York Times's David W. Dunlap said she had "developed some untraditional ideas about who belongs to the preservation community," adding that the changes – which could have been made "only by an outsider" – had greatly reduced the city's historic battling over preservation.[4] She was head of the Landmarks Preservation Commission when it unanimously approved Norman Foster's plans for Hearst Tower in fall 2001.[5] She also served on the Charter Revision Commission under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Previously, Raab worked for several years as a litigator at the law firms Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. She was also special projects manager for the South Bronx Development Organization and director of public affairs for the New York City Planning Commission.

She is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the board of directors of The After School Corporation and on the Steering Committee of the Association for a Better New York. Mayor Giuliani appointed her president of Hunter College in 2001 amid controversy and accusations of intimidation of the Board of Trustees. The resistance to her appointment in the CUNY community stemmed from Raab's lack of doctoral degree (other than a Juris Doctor) and fundraising experience.[6] The perceived "forcing through" of Raab prompted the Village Voice to declare CUNY "a patronage mill."[7] In 2010 Raab received an 8% pay raise, bringing her salary to $254,652. That same year CUNY approved substantial increases in tuition.[8]

Since assuming the presidency in 2001, she has led an effort to enlarge the Hunter College faculty and recruit distinguished professors and artists.[citation needed] Standards throughout the college have been raised, and fiscal management has been modernized and strengthened. Entering SAT scores increased by 89 points in seven years and are now 137 points above the national average. Hunter has won new levels of government awards, private grants and philanthropic contributions and launched the first capital campaign in its history.[9]

Raab has been credited with transforming Hunter College from an open-admissions institution to a selective, highly ranked college with a highly diverse student population that comprises one of America's largest cohorts of immigrant and first generation students, including the most selective Macaulay Honors program in the City University system. Since she assumed the presidency, Hunter has significantly increased its grants and awards, and modernized and strengthened its fiscal management. Pres. Raab has been responsible for securing an unprecedented $335 million in private philanthropic support for the college, the most successful fundraising in Hunter history,[10] including a record $25 million gift by Toby and Leon G. Cooperman in 2013.[11] Other notable gifts during her tenure have been a $10 million from the Caravan Institute, the parent organization of Parliamo Italiano, to continue the legacy of the school,[12] and $15 million from Klara and Larry Silverstein, president and chief executive of Silverstein Properties. The gift will fund the Klara and Larry Silverstein student success center on the seventh floor of Hunter's library[13] and the renovation of the Hunter College Auditorium, which will serve as the New York Philharmonic's temporary home for three years.[14] Other major changes include the renovation and reopening of the historic Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt House, which is now the Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, and the construction of a $131 million home in East Harlem for Hunter's renowned School of Social Work that also houses the new CUNY School of Public Health.[1]

During Raab's tenure as president [see external links below for articles on the controversy surrounding her appointment], Hunter College was included in The Princeton Review (2013) Best 378 Colleges and The Best 378 Colleges: 2014 Edition. Hunter ranked #1 in the category "Lots of Race/Class Interaction." [15] Hunter College was also included in The Princeton Review's 2012 Best 376 Colleges.[16] Hunter was ranked among The Princeton Review's Top 10 "Best Value" public colleges in the nation in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Hunter College was also ranked as #7 among Top Public Schools of North Regional Universities[17] as well as #34 among Best Regional Universities in the North (public and private) in the U.S. News & World Report 2012 Best Colleges rankings, moving up 18 positions in four years.[18]

Under Raab's leadership as president, Hunter College's Roosevelt House underwent a $24.5 million renovation, completed in 2010, and which is now the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute. Roosevelt House, a landmarked double-townhouse on East 65th Street on Manhattan's Upper East Side, was the historic New York City home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and Franklin's mother, Sara Delano Roosevelt.[19] After Sara's death in 1942, President Roosevelt was pleased to sell the House to Hunter College for use as a student center. An integral part of the College since 1943, the house has undergone an extensive renovation and re-opened in spring 2010 as the home of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. The transformation of Roosevelt House into a state-of-the-art facility for the College provides the first living memorial to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt in New York City and an exciting opportunity to build on their far-reaching contributions to the nation and the world. The Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute is dedicated to innovative approaches to teaching, research, and public programming. Located in the heart of New York City, the institute provides a platform from which high quality scholarship effectively informs and influences public debate and public life.[20] The building features two apartments, which Hunter offers to visiting scholars, as well as "great room" that can double as an auditorium. Raab was quoted as saying the renovation gave Hunter, a public university, "the kind of opportunity reserved for a private university."[21]

Raab presided over the 2011 completion of a $131 million eight-story facility in East Harlem, which is now home to the Hunter School of Social Work and the new CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College. The school was originally housed on East 79th Street, but was moved uptown in order to match the College's vision for the 21st century. The New York Times's Glenn Collins described the move as "a multiparty real estate deal of byzantine complexity."[22] The Council On Education For Public Health (CEPH) voted to accredit the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College.[23]

In January 2012, it was announced Hunter College's graduate art school program will be moving to 95,000 square feet at 205 Hudson St. Raab was quoted as saying, "We will be able to create a 21st century art school."[24]

At a news conference on September 10, 2012, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Hunter's new nursing, science, and health professions building to be built at 73rd Street and the East River in partnership with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center,[25] which is now under construction. Even with all Ms. Raab's successes, her management style was the subject of an article in The New York Times.[26] The piece commented on Raab's appearance and was partly based on anonymous quotes, a practice the Times usually frowns upon. The piece and its timing were later regretted by the Times' Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan,[10] who noted that Raab was being mentioned by supporters as a candidate for Chancellor of the City University system, a position that was opening up at the time. Sullivan suggested the article was unnecessarily "tough," "damaging," and sexist.

Raab is a supporter of the DREAM Act.[27][28]


Raab was honored in 2002 with Hunter College High School's Distinguished Alumni Award.

Crain's New York Business named Raab as one of the "Most Powerful Women in New York" in 2007,[29] 2009,[30] 2011,[31] and 2013.[32]

The Kennedy Child Study Center presented Jennifer Raab with the 2013 Humanitarian Award for her dedication to education.[33]

In March 2012, Raab received Albany Law School's Miriam M. Netter '72 Award at the School's 18th annual Kate Stoneman Day.[34] In the same month Our Town honored Raab with an "Our Town Thanks You" award.[35] That same year, Raab was a recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Leaders in Education Award by Education Update.[36]

In 2011, Raab was awarded the Bella Abzug Award in memory of Hunter alumna Bella Abzug, class of 1942, at the third annual Bella and Bella Fella Awards.[37] That same year, Raab was honored at the annual Martina Arroyo Foundation Gala.[38]

In 2009, the United Way of New York City, Women United in Philanthropy honored Raab as a "Woman of Excellence and Achievement" Honoree.[1]

Raab has also been honored by the League of Women Voters of New York, and she was the 2006 recipient of the Benjamin E. Mays Award from A Better Chance, awarded to "an educator whose principles of personal commitment, integrity, achievement and concern for others reflect those of Dr. Mays, the late President of Morehouse College."[1]

In 2016, Raab was elected as a fellow to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.[39]

In 2016, Crain's New York Business included Raab and her husband Michael Goodwin on its inaugural Power Couples list.[40]

Personal life[edit]

Raab lives in Riverdale, NY with her family.[41] She has been a resident of Fieldston in the Bronx.[42]


  1. ^ a b c d "Jennifer Raab Bio". Hunter College. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  2. ^ Saulnier, Beth (January–February 2014). "Far above the streets of New York, Jennifer Raab '77 is president of Hunter College". Cornell Alumni Magazine. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  3. ^ Finn, Robin "PUBLIC LIVES; She Stands Tall for Architectural Integrity", The New York Times, Retrieved September 5, 2012.
  4. ^ Dunlap, David W. "Enlarging the Preservation Band", The New York Times, Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  5. ^ "Treasures of New York: Hearst Tower" Archived 2012-07-17 at the Wayback Machine, WNET, Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  6. ^ [1] Arenson, Karen. "Mayor's Choice Picked to Run Hunter College" New York Times January 30, 2001
  7. ^ [2] Barrett, Wayne. "Academic Outrage." Village Voice
  8. ^ Kolodner, Meredith (January 6, 2010). "Cuny bigs get pay hike while tuition spikes". New York Daily News. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  9. ^ "One On 1 Profile: Hunter College President Jennifer Raab Builds A New York Institution". NY1. 2 July 2012. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  10. ^ a b Sullivan, Margaret (10 September 2013). "How Fair Was a Story on the President of Hunter College?". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  11. ^ Grayce West, Melanie (25 August 2013). "Hunter College Donation Is Record Gift". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  12. ^ Grayce West, Melanie (August 9, 2011). "Gift to Hunter Continues Legacy of Italian School". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  13. ^ "$5 Million Surprise from Silverstein". The Wall Street Journal. July 3, 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  14. ^ Cooper, Michael and Pogrebin, Robin (25 October 2015). "New York Philharmonic Discusses Temporary Home at Hunter College". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  15. ^ "The Best 378 Colleges". The Princeton Review. 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  16. ^ "The Best 376 Colleges". The Princeton Review. 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  17. ^ "Top Public Schools". U.S. News & World Report. 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  18. ^ "CUNY--Hunter College". U.S. News & World Report. 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  19. ^ David, Dunlap (18 March 2003). "Fixing Monument To Mother-in-Law; Sara Delano Roosevelt Ruled Home of Franklin and Eleanor". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  20. ^ "Roosevelt House Mission". Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  21. ^ Barron, James (7 July 2010). "A Home (Barely) Fit for Two Mrs. Roosevelts". The New York Times City Room Blog. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  22. ^ Collins, Glenn (27 October 2008). "Hunter College School of Social Work to Move". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  23. ^ "Schools of Public Health and Public Health Programs Accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health" (PDF). The Council On Education For Public Health. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 June 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  24. ^ Agovino, Theresa (2 January 2012). "Esteemed art school moving its NYC campus". Crain's New York Business. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  26. ^ Kaminer, Ariel (2 September 2013). "Amid Exits, President of Hunter College Is Assailed for Her Management Style". The New York Times.
  27. ^ Raab, Jennifer (30 September 2011). "Rick Perry's tuition policy, immigrants' dream: Why students need a path to citizenship". New York Daily News. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  28. ^ Raab, Jennifer (12 September 2010). "The DREAM Act's failure will hurt thousands of hardworking, talented young immigrants". New York Daily News. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  29. ^ Traster, Tina. "Most Powerful Women in New York 2007", Crain's New York Business, Retrieved August 17, 2011.
  30. ^ Cordova, Elisabeth Butler. "Most Powerful Women in New York 2009", Crain's New York Business, Retrieved August 17, 2011.
  31. ^ Shin, Laura and Jonas Altman-Kurosaki. "Most Powerful Women in New York 2011", Crain's New York Business, Retrieved August 17, 2011.
  32. ^ Laermer, Emily. "50 Most Powerful Women in New York 2013", Crain's New York Business, Retrieved June 25, 2013.
  33. ^ "19th Annual Spring Benefit, May 16th, 2013" Archived 2013-06-28 at,, Retrieved June 25, 2013.
  34. ^ "Kate Stoneman Day", Kate Stoneman Day, Retrieved March 23, 2012.
  35. ^ "2012 OTTY Awards: Hunter Preserving, Building and Educating Under Raab", Our Town, March 28, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  36. ^ "Outstanding Educators Award-2012", CUNY TV, Retrieved September 5, 2012.
  37. ^ "Hunter President Honored with Bella Abzug Award", Our Town, April 13, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  38. ^ "President Raab Honored at Opera Foundation Gala", Hunter Office of Communications website, Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  39. ^ "Newly Elected Fellows". Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  40. ^ "NY Power Couples List", "Power Couples List", Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  41. ^ Foderaro, Lisa W. (4 July 2010). "Multitasking, With Time for the Roses". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  42. ^ Jackson, Nancy Beth. "If You're Thinking of Living In/Fieldston; A Leafy Enclave in the Hills of the Bronx", The New York Times, February 17, 2002. Accessed May 3, 2008. "TODAY, residents include United Nations ambassadors from Benin and Guinea; Jennifer J. Raab, president of Hunter College and former head of the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission; and G. Oliver Koppell, the former New York attorney general newly elected to the City Council."

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