NYU Chairman of the Board
William R. Berkley
William R. Berkley founded W. R. Berkley Corporation, a Fortune 500 property-casualty insurance holding company with assets of over $22 billion and annual revenues in excess of $8 billion, in 1967, and served continuously as Chairman of the Board and the company’s Chief Executive Officer until October 2015, when he became Executive Chairman. In addition, he is Chairman of many of the company subsidiaries, including Berkley Dean & Company, an investment management company.
During his career, Mr. Berkley has founded a number of public and private companies, some of which he continues to control or serve as Chairman or Director. In addition to these enterprises, he has held similar roles in several financial institutions, including a bank and a number of industrial companies. He is former Chairman of the American Insurance Association, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Parks Conservation Association.
Mr. Berkley is a graduate of New York University and the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. He is Chair of the New York University Board of Trustees and has served in various capacities at NYU for almost three decades, including Chairman of the Board of Overseers of the Stern School of Business, and member of the Board of Trustees of the New York University Langone Medical Center, as well as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees at New York University. In addition, he has served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Georgetown University, where he helped create the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, which is devoted to fostering inter-religious dialogue with a goal of improving global cultural understanding. He is also a former Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of Connecticut.
Mr. Berkley served as Chairman of Achievement First, a group of charter schools operating in the New York Metropolitan area, Connecticut and Rhode Island, until November 2015 and continues to serve as a director. Achievement First schools serve over 12,000 inner-city children and have been rated among the outstanding charter schools in America.
Over the years, he has received many awards for his business, civic and philanthropic activities, including an honorary doctor of law degree from Mercy College. In 1999, he was awarded the Medallion for Entrepreneurship by Beta Gamma Sigma, which honors outstanding individuals who combine innovative business achievements with service to humanity. In April 2006, he received the Charles Waldo Haskins award, given annually by NYU’s Stern School of Business to a nationally prominent business and public service leader. He was the 2011 recipient of the Valentine Mott Award, given by the NYU Langone Medical Center, in recognition of exceptional and long-standing support and leadership. An avid collector of antiquarian books, he is a member of the American Antiquarian Society, The Grolier Club, and the Walpole Society.