The Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers has new leadership: John J. Farmer Jr., a law professor, is replacing director Ruth B. Mandel who stepped down after leading the institute for 24 years.

Mandel will take a one-year research leave before returning to a position on the faculty.

Mandel was the founding director of Eagleton’s Center for American Women and Politics from 1971 through 1994. “The University will forever be indebted to Professor Mandel for bringing both CAWP and Eagleton to national prominence, as valued venues for non-partisan research and engagement in the most important political issues of our time,” wrote Christopher J. Molloy, chancellor of Rutgers New Brunswick.

“As Eagleton director, Mandel transformed the Institute’s education programs, recruiting students from every Rutgers division to benefit from unique offerings on the undergraduate and graduate levels that blend classroom learning with direct experience in politics and government. She has developed an outstanding faculty and staff community bringing together educators, scholars and practitioners who explore both perennial and underexamined themes in American politics and government, including women’s political participation, youth political participation, governors and state executives, immigration and democracy, science and politics, civic engagement and public service, and ethics and public leadership,” Molloy wrote.

Farmer was formerly dean of the Rutgers School of Law-Newark as well as executive vice president and general counsel of Rutgers and special counsel to the president of Rutgers. He has been a faculty associate at Eagleton since 2014. He previously served as a U.S. Attorney and as chief counsel to Governor Christine Todd Whitman and, from 1999-2002, as New Jersey’s Attorney General. As a team leader for the 9/11 Commission, Farmer led the investigation of the country’s preparedness for and response to the terrorist attacks and was a principal author of the Commission’s final report.

In 2011, he served as counsel to the commission that redrew New Jersey’s legislative districts and, later that year, was appointed the independent, tie-breaking member of the commission charged with developing a new map of New Jersey’s congressional districts. He became dean of Rutgers School of Law – Newark in 2009. He has served as Director of the Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience since its inception as the Faith-Based Communities Security Program in 2015, and will continue in that role. The Miller Center has provided assistance to vulnerable populations as diverse as the Muslim population of Brussels, Belgium and the Jewish communities of Whitefish, Montana and Malmo, Sweden.

Stern sworn in as president of American Association for Justice

Stark & Stark, 993 Lenox Drive, Building Two, Lawrenceville 08648. 609-896-9060. Michael G. Donahue III, co-managing shareholders. www.stark-stark.com.

Stark & Stark shareholder Bruce Stern was sworn in as President of the American Association for Justice at the annual conference in San Diego on July 30. AAJ is the world’s largest trial bar with more than 20,000 members.

“I know that I follow in the footsteps of giants who dug our wells and I thank and honor all the past presidents of AAJ who came before me. Together we can accomplish so much. I look forward to serving as your president and working together with you,” Stern said at the ceremony.

Stern joined AAJ in 1982 and is a member of the Executive Committee and the National Board of Governors. He served as a past chair of both the Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group and AAJ’s Motor Vehicle Collision, Highway and Premises Section. He now leads the nation’s trial lawyers and is the first president hailing from New Jersey in AAJ’s over 70 year history.

Stern is a shareholder of Stark & Stark and is a member of the Accident & Personal Injury Group. He concentrates his practice in the area of traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries and wrongful death. He previously co-authored a book entitled, Litigating Brain Injuries, published by Thomson Reuters.

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