NYU Names Andrew Hamilton 16th President

The Board of Trustees of New York University today announced the appointment of Vice Chancellor Andrew Hamilton—the University of Oxford’s senior officer, a noted chemist, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and the former Provost of Yale—as the 16th president of NYU.

The Board of Trustees of New York University today announced the appointment of Vice Chancellor Andrew Hamilton (above)—the University of Oxford’s senior officer, a noted chemist, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and the former Provost of Yale—as the 16th president of New York University. He will officially take up his duties in January 2016. OU Images/John Cairns

New President — Currently Vice Chancellor of Oxford — to Lead NYU Beginning in 2016

The Board of Trustees of New York University today announced the appointment of Vice Chancellor Andrew Hamilton—the University of Oxford’s senior officer, a noted chemist, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and the former Provost of Yale—as the 16th president of New York University. He will officially take up his duties in January 2016.

Professor Hamilton’s selection follows an eight-month, international search process conducted by a Search Committee of trustees, faculty, students, and administrators. The Committee—which began the search with over 200 nominees—unanimously recommended Professor Hamilton to the Board of Trustees.

He will assume the presidency of one of the largest private universities in the U.S., with approximately 50,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. In addition to its campus in New York’s historic Greenwich Village neighborhood—which the University has called home since the early 1830’s—NYU has an unrivaled global network, including degree-granting, liberal arts, research university campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, as well as 11 additional Study Away sites throughout the world. NYU both educates more international students than any other U.S. college or university, and sends more students to study abroad.

In addition to his duties as president, Professor Hamilton plans to maintain an active program of teaching and research.

Martin Lipton, chair of the Board of Trustees said, “New York University is very pleased and excited to welcome Andrew Hamilton. NYU—which has done so much over the previous four decades to transform itself into the world-class university it is today and remains committed to sustaining that academic trajectory —demands much of a potential president: wisdom, intelligence, courage, energy, perseverance, stellar credentials as a scholar, and academic leadership of the highest caliber. Andrew Hamilton brings all these qualities and more. We know he will be a superb president and that he will advance NYU’s teaching and research missions to a new level of excellence. My fellow Board members and I are completely confident we have found the right person to lead NYU and its global network, and we are proud and glad to have him join our community.

“On behalf of the entire Board, I would like to thank the members of the Search Committee—and particularly its chair, my fellow trustee William Berkley—for their dedication, hard work, and discernment. Thanks to their excellent judgment and great efforts, we found the ideal candidate. The University owes them a debt of great gratitude.”

William Berkley, chair of the Search Committee and Chair-Designate of the Board of Trustees, said, “The Search Committee—aided by the guidance we received from the more than two dozen listening sessions we attended—worked together seamlessly on our shared goal: to find the best possible president for NYU. What focused us on Andrew Hamilton and set him apart from a formidable field of candidates was the unusual combination of his outstanding scholarship in his field, his record of achievement in leadership posts at top universities, his commitment to academic excellence and support for the faculty, his commitment to teaching and undergraduate education, his accomplishments in fundraising at Oxford, and his global background and outlook. We were also struck by his great intelligence, personal warmth, energy and entrepreneurial spirit, and natural feel for complex institutions. Everywhere he has served has benefited from the quality and style of his leadership. And it was clear to us that he understood NYU—our urban character, our distinctive global presence, our vibrancy, our focus on the future, our innovative spirit, our sense of being on the move, and our habit of exceeding others’ expectations.

“In short, the committee believed that Andrew Hamilton was the just the right person at this moment in NYU’s history to build on the University’s academic momentum and lead it to even greater achievements.”

NYU President-Designate Hamilton said, “I am delighted to be selected as NYU’s 16th president. I have been a keen observer of NYU, its accomplishments, its trajectory, and its renowned president, John Sexton, for some time. It is difficult not to take notice of an institution that has proven itself again and again to be a game-changer in a field in which that is uncommon. So when the search began, I was very glad to be included, as I am honored now to have been named president of such a wonderful university. I am looking forward with great eagerness to working with NYU’s faculty, students, administrators, and staff, and to joining a university that is so manifestly energetic, innovative, and successful.”

Andrew Hamilton has been Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford since 2009. Prior to that, he was the Provost of Yale University, where he was also the Benjamin Silliman Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry; he joined the Yale faculty in 1997. He joined the University of Pittsburgh in 1988, where was a tenured Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Chemistry Department. Before joining the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh, he was an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Princeton University.

His area of scholarly interest lies at the intersection of organic and biologic chemistry, with particular focus on the use of synthetic design for the understanding, mimicry, and potential disruption of biological processes. He is widely published and the recipient of numerous awards and honors. A list of his publications can be found here. Among his many honors and awards, he is the recipient of the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award from the American Chemical Society, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2004, he was elected a member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he was the 2011 winner of the International Izatt-Christiansen Award for Macrocyclic Chemistry.

Professor Hamilton received a first class BSc from the University of Exeter, his master’s degree from the University of British Columbia, and his doctorate from the University of Cambridge. He did post-doctoral work at the Université Louis Pasteur.

Professor Hamilton is married. He and his wife, Jennie, have three adult children who all live in the United States—in New York, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles.

NYU President John Sexton said, “I love NYU, and I could not be more thrilled with the selection of Andrew Hamilton. I know and admire him, and I am certain he will do great things for the University. For my own part, I have had no higher calling in my life than to be a teacher and to contribute to building strong institutions. For nearly 35 years, I have had the exceptional privilege of being able to do both those things at NYU. I want to thank the trustees, faculty, students, and administrators for permitting me to serve as their president and for doing so much to improve the university during my tenure.”

Mr. Lipton—speaking of NYU’s current president, John Sexton—said, “We could not announce the happy news of Andrew Hamilton’s appointment without remarking on his predecessor. That NYU could attract an academic leader of Andrew Hamilton’s stature is proof of how far NYU has come. Many people had a hand in building this great university over the decades—faculty, trustees, deans, alumni/ae, students, administrators—but arguably none more so than John Sexton. Doubling the applicants for freshman admission, more than doubling the financial aid budget, improving student diversity, expanding the tenured and tenure-track faculty, launching new areas of scholarly inquiry, growing our international stature, opening new campuses abroad, raising some $5 billion, and tripling the endowment —it seems hard to believe all this and more was accomplished in just a single presidency. John always said to the Board that the highest role he saw for himself was to leave the University in better shape for his successor than when he took on the presidency. In that noble goal, he was eminently successful, and for his more than 30 years of distinguished and dedicated service to this University, he has the unflagging thanks of the NYU community.”

The Search Committee was assisted by the executive recruitment firm Isaacson Miller and its principal, John Isaacson.

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