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Campus News

Promotions and Appointments

By Greta Petry (October 8, 2004)

J. Philippe Abraham
J. Philippe Abraham

Abraham Named Director of Career Development

J. Philippe Abraham was recently promoted to the position of director of Career Development. Abraham has a long history of service and dedication to this institution, dating back to 1980 when he entered the University as a freshman EOP student. Active in student government as an undergraduate, he chaired the Pan Caribbean Association.

While finishing his master’s degree at UAlbany, he served as a teaching assistant, and since that time has variously taught classes for both Hispanic and Italian Studies and for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. In 1989, he began his career as a full-time academic adviser, eventually becoming associate director of ASC/US, where he was perhaps best known for his coordination of the academic portion of orientation.
Abraham was elected to the University Senate for 2004-06, where he is a member of the Undergraduate Academic Council and chairs that body’s Appellate Subcommittee on Academic Standing. In addition, he has been re-elected as a representative of United University Professions’ Delegate Assembly, a position he has held since 1993.
Abraham has consistently worked to assist large numbers of undergraduates to define and achieve their academic goals and career objectives. In 1991, the Student Association awarded him a certificate of appreciation for outstanding service to students. In 1993, he received the Disabled Student Services Achievement Award, and in 2001, he won both the President’s and the Chancellor’s awards for Excel-lence in Professional Service.

David Liebschutz Appointed Associate Dean

David S. Liebschutz has been appointed associate dean for Career and Alumni Programs at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. Liebschutz replaces Gretchen Manning, who left to be the new executive dean at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston.

Liebschutz earned law and policy degrees from Duke University and an economics degree from Yale. He has taught budget and finance classes for Rockefeller College since January 2000 as a public service professor. In addition, he served as executive director of UAlbany’s Hillel for the past four years and recently received two community awards for his work there.

Prior to joining Hillel, he was the 1999 Ian Axford Fellow in Wellington, New Zealand, and before that spent nearly 15 years in government-related work in Albany and Washington, D.C.

Robert Nakamura Heads CLD

Robert Nakamura, professor of political science at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, has been appointed director of the Center for Legislative Development (CLD) following a national search. The center is one of the college’s main windows on the world, focused on institution building in emerging democracies. With funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), it is currently implementing a major project in Lebanon.

“Bob Nakamura brings valuable experience to the center,” said Rockefeller College Dean Frank Thompson. “He has been involved in several projects focused on nation building in Africa, Latin America, and elsewhere. He also has a strategic vision for the center that I believe will allow it to sustain and enhance the tradition of excellence associated with the center’s former director, the late Professor Abdo Baaklini.” Baaklini, who passed away in November 2003, led CLD’s efforts to assist the government in Lebanon beginning in 1993, following a 16-year civil war.

Nakamura’s academic specialization is in the study of policy implementation. He has been published in numerous professional journals and has written six books, including Taming Regulation, co-authored with Thomas Church and published by the Brookings Institution in 2003. He is a co-author, with John Johnson, of USAID’s Handbook on Legislative Development and the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Legislatures and Good Governance, and How to Conduct a Legislative Needs Assessment. In addition, Nakamura has done policy and legislative development work in more than a dozen legislative bodies in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Europe as a consultant to USAID, UNDP, the Inter-American Development Bank, the U.S. General Accounting Office, the New York State Assembly, and other organizations.

Peter A. Vellis
Peter A. Vellis

Vellis Joins as Health Center Director

Peter A. Vellis, D.O., has joined the University Health Center as director after a national search. Vellis comes to UAlbany from Seton Health

in Clifton Park, N.Y. Vellis brings rich clinical and administrative experience to the position. Board certified in family practice with a specialty in sports medicine, he has a medical degree from the University of New England’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, and a bachelor’s degree from Union College.