City & State 2021 Higher Education Power 100

City State

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 25, 2021) — Rockefeller College Dean R. Karl Rethemeyer has been named to City & State’s 2021 Higher Education Power 100. In addition, University at Albany President Havidán Rodríguez; UAlbany’s College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity Dean Robert Griffin as well as Rockefeller College alumni SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras; United University Professions President Frederick Kowal; and SUNY Student Assembly President Bradley Hershenson were also honored on the list.

City & State’s Higher Education Power 100 highlights the chancellors, presidents, deans, public officials, and philanthropists who are not only leading and serving New York’s top institutions, but also participating in “extracurricular activities outside the classroom as they seek to make the state a better place.” 

UAlbany/Rockefeller College's 2021 Higher Education Power 100
(Profiles by City & State)

2. Jim Malatras
Chancellor, State University of New York

Since Jim Malatras was named State University of New York chancellor in August, he has navigated coronavirus outbreaks, eliminated application fees for high school seniors from low-income households and boosted faculty and staff diversity. Besides overseeing SUNY’s 64 campuses and nearly 400,000 students, the former director of state operations remains one of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s closest allies, serving on the governor’s COVID-19 task force and appearing at many of Cuomo’s coronavirus briefings last year. Yet those ties are now a liability with the governor facing allegations of sexual harassment and underreporting nursing home deaths.

16. Havidán Rodríguez
President, University at Albany

University at Albany President Havidán Rodríguez has been busy during the coronavirus crisis, grappling with COVID-19 cases on campus, setting up remote learning options and partnering with the state Department of Health to study the impact of the pandemic across different demographic groups. Rodríguez was appointed last year by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to lead SUNY’s Hispanic Leadership Institute, and co-chairs the governor’s Capital Region Regional Economic Development Council.

24. Frederick Kowal
President, United University Professions

When Frederick Kowal ran for president at the nation’s largest higher education union in 2013, he promised to make the United University Professions a more dynamic and progressive force. In 2019, he unveiled his “NY25” plan to position the State University of New York as a leader in sustainability and accessibility and solidify higher education investments. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, he helped UUP members on the front lines find hotel rooms near SUNY hospitals, held virtual town halls and directed personal protective equipment purchases for SUNY hospital workers.

64. R. Karl Rethemeyer
Dean, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany

R. Karl Rethemeyer, who took the helm of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy in 2015 as interim dean and in 2018 as dean, will depart this summer to become dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. During his tenure, Rockefeller College has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top public affairs program. Rethemeyer studies social networks and their impact on social, political and policy processes.

78. Robert Griffin
Founding Dean, College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity

After six years at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where he managed a $1.1 billion science and technology portfolio, Robert Griffin took his talents to the State University of New York at Albany in 2017, establishing a first-in-the-nation cybersecurity and emergency preparedness college that was hailed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Now Griffin trains the next generation of leaders, offering courses in cybersecurity, homeland security, data analytics and information science. A new facility for the school will open this summer.

100. Bradley Hershenson
President, SUNY Student Assembly

As president of the State University of New York Student Assembly, Bradley Hershenson represents the nearly 400,000 students on 64 SUNY campuses. He has recently been out on the front lines protesting against tuition hikes. He is a doctoral student at the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cyber Security at the University at Albany. Hershenson previously served as a policy intern in the New York State Legislature and assisted with the creation of the University at Albany's first Climate Action and Sustainability Plan.

Click here to view the full 2021 Higher Education Power 100 list