Regina Peruggi

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Regina Peruggi
Regina Peruggi delivers an address at Kingsborough Community College's June 2008 commencement ceremony.
President of
Kingsborough Community College
In office
January 2005 – August 2014
Preceded by Fred Malamet[1]
Succeeded by Stuart Suss (interim)[2]
Personal details
Born September 1, 1946
Spouse(s) Rudy Giuliani (1968–1982)
Alma mater College of New Rochelle
New York University
Teachers College, Columbia University
Profession Educator

Regina S. Peruggi (born September 1, 1946)[3] is an American educator who was the President of Kingsborough Community College from 2005 to 2014, the first woman to hold that position in the college's 40-year history.[4] She is also known as the first wife of Rudy Giuliani, her cousin, who would subsequently become Mayor of New York and a U.S. presidential candidate.[5]

Life and career[edit]

Peruggi grew up in a middle class family in The Bronx[6] in New York City.[7] She attended Roman Catholic parochial schools.[6] She gained a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the College of New Rochelle in 1967.[6][7]

She was married to Rudy Giuliani, who is her second cousin and whom she had known since childhood, on October 26, 1968 in a large Roman Catholic ceremony in Bedford Park, The Bronx.[5] She started her career as a drug abuse counselor in a state jail.[7][8] She worked as a teacher at the elementary school, college, and graduate school levels.[7] In 1974 she joined York College of The City University of New York,[7] then moved to Washington, D.C. with Giuliani and worked as a coordinator at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington.[9] The couple returned to New York in 1977, but had become separated to some degree.[10][11] Then around 1980 she went back to school,[12] and then earned a Master of Business Administration from New York University.[7] Giuliani filed for legal separation from Peruggi on August 12, 1982;[10] a civil divorce was issued by the end of the year.[6] A Roman Catholic Church annulment of the Giuliani-Peruggi marriage was granted at the end of 1983[10] on the grounds that they had not obtained a church dispensation for second cousins once removed to marry;[13] Giuliani later said he had believed they were third cousins.[14] The two had no children.[15]

By 1984 Peruggi worked in the central office of the City University system, and again went back to school at night,[12] now earning a Doctor of Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.[7] By 1986 she had become an Associate Dean for the whole City University system, specializing in adult education programs.[7] In 1990 she was named president of Marymount Manhattan College, a position she held for eleven years; during this time the college's enrollment doubled.[7] She served as the second President of the Central Park Conservancy from 2001 to 2004,[7] where she sought to continue its restoration[12] via increased fund-raising[6] and appeared on the PBS reality television show Back to the Floor.[16]

Peruggi was then named president of Kingsborough Community College in May 2004.[7] There she had a salary of over $200,000.[17] Under Peruggi's leadership, Kingsborough Community College experienced record-high enrollment numbers.[18] It was also named one of the top four community colleges in the country when it was chosen as a Finalist with Distinction for the 2013 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.[18] Having reached age 65, she announced she was stepping down in April 2014, effective at the end of the coming summer.[2][18]

Peruggi has served on the board of directors of the GreenPoint Foundation, the American Red Cross of Greater New York, the Silver Shield Foundation, and the Center for Redirection Through Education.[7] In 2006 she was honored as a 2006 New York State Senate Woman of Distinction.[19] By 2009, Peruggi was the Chairperson Emerita and Chairperson of the Commissioners of the Women's Commission For Refugee Women and Children; on the Board of Managers of the Havens Relief Fund Society; and on the boards of Berkeley College, the Academy of Mount St. Ursula High School, the Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and the International Longevity Center.[20] In 2008, Peruggi was named to the Commission on Lifelong Learning of the American Council on Education and around the same time was named to the Advisory Board of the Student World Assembly.[20]


  1. ^ August Tuosto, "History of Kingsborough Community College". Accessed June 16, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "CUNY Board Appoints Stuart Suss as Interim President of Kingsborough Community College" Press release, City University of New York, April 29, 2013. Accessed June 2, 2014.
  3. ^ Karen Arenson, " CUNY Board Approves Three For Presidencies at Its Colleges", The New York Times, May 25, 2004. Retrieved April 6, 2008.
  4. ^ Joan Baum, "President Regina S. Peruggi, Kingsborough Community College", Education Update, January 2005. Accessed March 16, 2007.
  5. ^ a b Wayne Barrett, Rudy!: An Investigative Biography of Rudolph Giuliani, Basic Books, 2000, ISBN 0-7567-6114-X, p. 71.
  6. ^ a b c d e Lynda Richardson, "A Scholarly Fund-Raiser's Stroll to the Park", The New York Times, May 4, 2001. Accessed April 6, 2008.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Press release, "Dr. Regina S. Peruggi is Named President of Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York", Kingsborough Community College, May 25, 2004. Accessed March 16, 2007.
  8. ^ Barrett, p. 72
  9. ^ Barrett, p. 95.
  10. ^ a b c "title unknown", Newsday, October 22, 1989.
  11. ^ Barrett, p. 96-97.
  12. ^ a b c "Regina Peruggi, President, Central Park Conservancy", Education Update, March 2004. Accessed March 16, 2007.
  13. ^ "Giuliani to Wed at Gracie Mansion", CBS News, April 25, 2003. Accessed March 16, 2007.
  14. ^ Barry Bearak, Ian Fisher, "Race for City Hall: The Republican Candidate; A Mercurial Mayor's Confident Journey", The New York Times, October 19, 1997. Accessed May 16, 2007.
  15. ^ "All not in the family for GOP hopeful Giuliani", CNN, 2007-03-06. Accessed 2007-12-12.
  16. ^ Back to the Floor, "Regina Peruggi, President", PBS. Accessed March 16, 2007.
  17. ^ John Tarleton, "CUNY bosses see big raises", Clarion, November–December 2007. Accessed June 16, 2008.
  18. ^ a b c Ned Burke, "Exclusive: Kingsborough President Regina Peruggi To Retire This Summer", Sheepshead Bites, April 15, 2013. Accessed June 2, 2014.
  19. ^ "Golden Honors Regina Peruggi" Press release, New York State Senate, July 6, 2006. Accessed April 19, 2007.
  20. ^ a b "Job Creation and Workforce Development Summit", New York City Global Partners, City of New York, June 25, 2009. Accessed November 12, 2009.