Ruth B. Mandel, who has led the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University for 24 years, will step down at the end of the month and will be replaced by John J. Farmer Jr., a former New Jersey attorney general.
Mandel joined Eagleton in 1971 as a co-founder of the institute’s Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP).
In 1994, she was appointed director of Eagleton, which is best known for its public polling on state and national politics.
“Rutgers University will be forever indebted to Professor Mandel for bringing both CAWP and Eagleton to national prominence as valued venues for nonpartisan research and engagement in the most important political issues of our time,” said Rutgers-New Brunswick Chancellor Christopher J. Molloy in a statement Monday.
“I approach this transition with wonderfully mixed feelings,” Mandel said in a statement. “I am proud of Eagleton’s longstanding, nationally respected centers and programs as well as the groundbreaking new ones that have been initiated and nurtured on my watch, the hundreds of students who have passed through our doors, and the impressive and collegial faculty and staff who have been attracted to the institute and, in many cases, continued to work here almost as long as me.”
Mandel will take a one-year research leave and then return to her existing positions as Board of Governors Professor of politics and senior scholar at CAWP.
The institute is named for Florence Peshine Eagleton, a New Jersey native who fought for the right of women to vote in the United States.
Mandel was a presidential appointee on the governing Council of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington from 1991 to 2006.
In a 1993 Inquirer article, Mandel described the lifelong impact of being an infant refugee from Nazi terror. Her family was on a ship carrying Jewish refugees that was refused docking in Cuba and the United States in 1939.
The ship turned around and her family eventually found a haven in England.
“I think my interest in opportunities for women in politics is related to a deep-seated belief that we have to do everything we can to make our democracy really look and act like a democracy…and that means inclusion and participation of all kinds of people,” Mandel said.