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Jerome Charyn '59

President Rupp Will Head International Rescue Committee
By Alex Sachare '71

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When he retires as president of Columbia University this summer, George Rupp will become president of the International Rescue Committee, one of the world's leading refugee relief agencies. The IRC has offices in more than 20 cities in the United States and extensive aid operations in more than 30 countries.

Prior to becoming Columbia's president in 1993, Rupp served as president of Rice University in Houston and dean of the Harvard Divinity School. A year ago he advised Columbia's Board of Trustees that he would step down on June 30, 2002, propting speculation as to where he was headed. At the time Rupp said he was keeping his options open, stipulating only that he would not become president of another university.

"The IRC is going from strength to strength," said board co-chairmen Winston Lord and James C. Strickler, in a statement referring to outgoing president Reynold Levy and Rupp. "We and the refugee cause are fortunate to welcome a leader with George Rupp's vision, skills and dedication to humanitarian causes. We are confident that he will build on the strong gains in programming, fundraising and managerial excellence that have been achieved over the last five years under the outstanding leadership of Reynold Levy."

Said Rupp, "I am excited to be joining the International Rescue Committee. It is an honor to participate in continuing the IRC's proud tradition of providing aid for refugees and other victims of persecution and conflict. I look forward to working with my new colleagues in this urgent cause."

At Columbia, Rupp has focused on enhancing undergraduate education, on strengthening the relationship of the campus to surrounding communities and New York City as a whole, and on increasing the international orientation of the University. He also completed a financial restructuring, with the result that each of the annual budgets he has submitted has been in balance. Under his leadership, the University achieved record fund raising each year and completed a $2.84 billion campaign.

Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC is among the world's largest nonsectarian, nonprofit agencies providing global emergency relief, rehabilitation, protection and resettlement services for refugees, displaced persons and victims of oppression and violent conflict. It is committed to freedom, human dignity and self-reliance.


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