Rebecca Blank Will Be the First Woman to Serve as President of Northwestern University

The board of trustees of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, has selected Rebecca M. Black as the educational institution’s seventeenth president. When she takes office next summer. Dr. Blank will be Northwestern’s first woman president.

“I am honored and delighted to accept the job as Northwestern’s next president,” Dr. 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.”

An internationally renowned economist, Dr. Blank is a well-known researcher on poverty and the low-income labor market and has served as an economics expert in three presidential administrations. Her appointment as Northwestern’s next president marks a return to the University, where decades ago, she was the first tenured woman in the economics department.

Dr. Blank became chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013. She had been serving as acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Dr. Blank joined the Department of Commerce in 2009 as undersecretary for economic affairs. Previously, she was a fellow at the Brookings Institution.

From 1999 to 2007, Dr. Blank was the dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. She has also taught at MIT and Princeton University.

Dr. Blank is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, where she majored in economics. She earned a Ph.D. in economics at MIT.

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