President emeritus of American University, URI alumnus named to Board of Trustees

Cornelius Kerwin a nationally recognized public policy, regulatory expert

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Cornelius M. Kerwin
Cornelius M. Kerwin

KINGSTON, R.I. — Feb. 11, 2021 — Cornelius M. Kerwin M.A. ‘73, president emeritus of American University and current professor in its Department of Public Administration and Policy in the School of Public Affairs, has been named to the University of Rhode Island Board of Trustees.

The 17-member board, established by the Rhode Island General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Gina Raimondo in July 2019, governs the University, overseeing employment, as well as the University’s property, purchases and procurement.

Kerwin, a nationally recognized specialist in public policy and the regulatory process who served as president of American from 2007 through 2017, was nominated by Raimondo. He succeeds Cecilia Elena Rouse, who has been nominated to serve on President Joe Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers. Kerwin will serve the remainder of Rouse’s term, which expires in February 2022.

In welcoming Kerwin, Board of Trustees Chair Margo Cook said, “President Kerwin is a nationally renowned educator, researcher and administrator who will play an essential role in the University’s future. Board members are excited to be working with an innovator and leader who knows the University and who wants to see it thrive.”

Widely known as a higher education reformer, his honors include: El Tiempo Latino Powermeter 100 Honoree, 2017; Washington Business Journal, Most Admired CEO, 2013; University of Rhode Island Distinguished Achievement/President’s Award, 2012; Washingtonian Magazine, Washingtonian of the Year, 2009; and Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, 1996. Kerwin was president of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.

Irish Voice named him one of the most influential Irish educators in the U.S. and Canada. He is a member of the boards of directors of the American Council on Education and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

He has been a consultant to the Brookings Institution, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and IBM Corp.

Kerwin earned his master’s degree in political science from URI. He earned his bachelor’s degree from American University and his Ph.D. in political science from Johns Hopkins University.

He began his career in 1978 at American as an assistant professor in the School of Government and Public Administration, becoming an associate professor in 1984 and becoming a full professor in the Department of Public Administration in 1989, a position he still holds today.

He is the original author and now co-author of Rulemaking: How Government Agencies Write Law and Make Policy, now in its fifth edition. Kerwin is the author of numerous scholarly articles and professional reports.

He resides in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife, Ann Londe Kerwin, the former director of human resources at Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.