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Judith Rodin

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Judith Rodin
Rodin in 2011
12th President of the Rockefeller Foundation
In office
March 2005 – February 2017
Preceded byGordon Conway
Succeeded byRajiv Shah
7th President of the University of Pennsylvania
In office
July 1, 1994 – June 30, 2004
Preceded byClaire Fagin (Acting)
Succeeded byAmy Gutmann
Personal details
Judith Seitz

(1944-09-09) September 9, 1944 (age 79)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Spouse(s)Bruce Rodin
Nicholas Neijelow
Paul R. Verkuil
EducationUniversity of Pennsylvania (BA)
Columbia University (MA, PhD)
Academic background
ThesisThe Effects of Distraction Upon the Performance of Obese and Normal Subjects (1971)
Doctoral advisorStanley Schachter
Academic work
DisciplineSocial Psychology

Judith Rodin (born Judith Seitz, September 9, 1944) is an American academic and philanthropist. She was the president of the Rockefeller Foundation from 2005 until 2017.[1] From 1994 to 2004, Rodin served as the 7th president of the University of Pennsylvania, and the first permanent female president of an Ivy League university.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Rodin was born Jewish[4][5] in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[6] She was the younger of two daughters of Morris and Sally Seitz. She graduated with honors from the Philadelphia High School for Girls and won an undergraduate scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania.[7] At Penn, Rodin majored in psychology and graduated from the university's College for Women with a B.A. in 1966. She was the president of Penn's Women's Student Government and led the groundwork for the merger with the Men's Student Government[8] that ultimately formed the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education (SCUE) in 1965 that led to the co-education of the College of Arts and Sciences.[9] She went on to earn a Ph.D. from Columbia University, which she received in 1970. Rodin also completed some postdoctoral research at the University of California at Irvine in 1971.[10]

Academic career[edit]

After teaching briefly at New York University, Rodin became an associate professor at Yale University, where she was to become well known among students as a popular lecturer.[7] She held various professorial and other positions at Yale from 1972 to 1994, including dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, chair of the Department of Psychology, and provost.

In 1994, Rodin was appointed president of the University of Pennsylvania, becoming the first permanent female president of an Ivy League institution and the first graduate of the university to take on its highest leadership role.[7] Her immediate predecessor was Dr. Claire M. Fagin, who served in 1994 as Interim President.[11] As president, Rodin guided the university through a period of unprecedented growth and development that transformed Penn's academic core and dramatically enhanced the quality of life on campus and in the surrounding community. She encouraged revitalization in University City and West Philadelphia through public safety; the establishment of Wharton School alliances for small businesses; the development of buildings and streetscapes that turned outward to the community; and the establishment of a university-led partnership school, the Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander University of Pennsylvania Partnership School.[12]

Under Rodin's leadership, Penn invigorated its resources, doubling its research funding and tripling both its annual fundraising and the size of its endowment. It also created Penn Medicine, the unified organization comprising the university's medical school and hospital; attracted record numbers of undergraduate applicants, creating Penn's most selective classes ever; and rose in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of top national research universities from 16th in 1994 to 4th in 2002.[13]

The Rockefeller Foundation[edit]

Rodin became president of the Rockefeller Foundation in March, 2005. Following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Rodin was appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to co-chair NYS 2100,[14] a commission charged with finding ways to improve the resilience and strength of the state's infrastructure in the face of natural disasters and other emergencies.[15][16]

Other professional work[edit]

Rodin is on the Board of Directors of Trilogy Education Services, Citigroup and Comcast Corporation, where she served as the presiding director until 2006.[17] Rodin has also served on the boards of various corporations, including Aetna, Electronic Data Systems (EDS), all women Athena SPACs and BlackRock.[18] [19] She continues to serve as a trustee of the Brookings Institution.

Personal life[edit]

Rodin is married to Paul R. Verkuil, a former president of the College of William and Mary, former dean of the Tulane University Law School and former CEO of the American Automobile Association.[20] Verkuil is a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he served previously as dean. Rodin was previously married two other times, to Bruce Rodin and to Nicholas Neijelow, with whom she has a son.[7]

Awards and honors[edit]

Rodin was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1990.[21] In 1994, Rodin received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.[22] She was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 1995.[23]

In 2003, Rodin was named to the PoliticsPA list of "Pennsylvania's Most Politically Powerful Women".[24] That same year, Rodin received the Philadelphia Award, given to "citizen[s] of the region who [have] done the most to advance the best and largest interest of the community."[25]

Rodin was named one of Crain's 50 Most Powerful Women in New York list three years in a row.[26] Rodin has also been recognized as one of Forbes Magazine's List of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women,[27] and the National Association of Corporate Directors' (NACD's) 2011 Directorship 100, in recognition of her work promoting the highest standards of corporate governance.


  1. ^ Judith Rodin, PhD :: The Rockefeller Foundation
  2. ^ "Leaders of the University of Pennsylvania: Presidents". Archived from the original on 2018-04-23. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
  3. ^ "Dr. Judith Rodin". huffingtonpost.com. Archived from the original on 14 April 2016. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  4. ^ "Familiar Jewish Names On Forbes Most Powerful Women List". Jspace. August 24, 2012. Archived from the original on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  5. ^ Jewish Women's Archives: "Psychology in the United States" by Rhoda K. Unger] retrieved March 26, 2017
  6. ^ "America's Best Leaders 2009: Judith Rodin – USNews.com". usnews.com. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d O'Neill, Molly (20 October 1994). "ON CAMPUS WITH: Dr. Judith Rodin; In an Ivy League of Her Own". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  8. ^ "5/25/04, the Rodin Decade - Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 34".
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-28. Retrieved 2013-12-28.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Biographical Details from the Rockefeller Foundation Archived 2012-06-01 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Judith Rodin: Rockefeller Foundation Head Changes the Charity and the World – US News and World Report". usnews.com. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  12. ^ "A community reborn", APA Online, accessed 18 Dec 2008
  13. ^ "Judith Rodin to Step Down as President of Penn In June 2004". University of Pennsylvania Almanac. 20 June 2003. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  14. ^ ""Governor Cuomo Announces Commissions to Improve New York State's Emergency Preparedness and Response Capabilities"". Archived from the original on 2012-12-28. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
  15. ^ "Can This Woman Save New York from the Next Sandy"
  16. ^ "Learning from Superstorm Sandy"
  17. ^ "Dr Judith Rodin Profile – Forbes.com". Forbes.[dead link]
  18. ^ Rodin juggles corporate, govt. duties - Resources
  19. ^ "ATEK Company Profile & Executives - Athena Technology Acquisition Corp. II Cl A - Wall Street Journal". www.wsj.com. Retrieved 2023-04-24.
  20. ^ Paul Verkuil, Professor of Law Archived 2012-03-19 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "Judith Seitz Rodin". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 2021-12-20.
  22. ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". www.achievement.org. American Academy of Achievement.
  23. ^ "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved 2021-12-20.
  24. ^ "Pennsylvania's Most Politically Powerful Women". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2001. Archived from the original on 2004-02-09.
  25. ^ "Judith Rodin | WHYY". Archived from the original on 2007-03-02. Retrieved 2006-09-25.
  26. ^ "Most Powerful Women in New York 2011". 26 June 2011.
  27. ^ "The Forbes Power Women list ranks the world's 100 most powerful women by dollars, media presence and impact". Forbes.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by President of the University of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by