Eagleton Institute of Politics director to step down

Dr. Ruth Mandel, the director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, is stepping down after a 25-year career with the organization, Rutgers—New Brunswick Chancellor Christopher Malloy announced Tuesday.

Malloy said Mandel will step down from the role on Aug. 31.

“I approach this transition with wonderfully mixed feelings. I am proud of the Institute’s long-standing, nationally-respected centers and programs, as well as ground-breaking new ones that have been initiated and nurtured on my watch, the hundreds of inspiring undergraduate and graduate students who have passed through our doors, and the amazingly 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,” Malloy said.

Ruth Mandel and John J. Farmer Jr. (Rutgers University)

“No doubt I will miss almost every aspect of this position I have held since 1995. There will be moments of regret that I’m not at the helm trying to steer Eagleton through this challenging era in American politics.”

Mandel has served as director since 1995 and founded the Eagleton’s Center for American Women and Politics in 1971. Once Mandel steps down, she will take a one-year research leave before returning to her faculty role as board of governors professor of politics and senior scholar at CAWP.

Mandel will be succeeded by John J. Farmer Jr., who will take over the role on Sept. 1.

“At the same time and most important, I am thrilled about the prospects for Eagleton’s future under its new leadership. I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the chancellor’s choice of the next director. This appointment is so good for the Institute. I have unabashed admiration and the highest respect for John Farmer and can think of no one better to lead Eagleton as we craft its next chapter. As an Eagleton faculty associate, John has occupied the office next to mine since 2014, and I have had the pleasure of getting to know him well. He is an extraordinary person—knowledgeable, formidable, and delightfully genial. John brings to Eagleton deep and varied experience in state and national government as well as in top teaching and leadership roles at Rutgers. He is a gifted writer, already admired as an influential public intellectual and will be an esteemed Eagleton director,” Malloy said.

Farmer is a university professor of law and the former dean of Rutgers School of Law—Newark as well as the executive vice president and general counsel of Rutgers and special counsel to the president of Rutgers. He’s been with Eagleton since 2014. Before that, he served as an assistant U.S. attorney, chief counsel to former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and as New Jersey’s attorney general.

In addition to his appointment, Farmer will continue as the director of the Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience.