The Honorable Michael A. Nutter, who completed eight years of service as Philadelphia’s mayor on January 4, has been named as the inaugural holder of the David N. Dinkins Professorship of Professional Practice in Urban and Public Affairs at Columbia SIPA. The professorship honors David N. Dinkins, the first African-American mayor of New York City and a professor of professional practice at SIPA since he left office in 1994. It is reserved for an individual with a distinguished record of public service in urban affairs who embodies Dinkins’s values and vision.
Dean Merit E. Janow of SIPA announced the selection at the 19th Annual David N. Dinkins Forum on Leadership and Public Policy, held on April 7 at Columbia University’s Alfred Lerner Hall.
Nutter, who joined the SIPA faculty this semester, is currently teaching the course Leadership and Urban Transformation. He served as the 98th mayor of Philadelphia—the nation’s fifth largest city—from January 2008 to January 2016, and as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors from 2012 to 2013. During his time in office, he was widely recognized as a reformer, leading changes in policing, economic development, taxation, sustainability policy, and other areas.
“As mayor of one of our nation’s largest cities, Michael Nutter earned a national reputation as a leader in urban public policy,” said Janow. “As a respected public servant who has addressed key challenges in economic development, public safety, environmental innovation, and many other areas, it is especially fitting that he will be the first professor to hold this chair honoring our longtime faculty member—and a fellow former mayor—David Dinkins.”
“Michael Nutter has an exemplary record of leadership in Philadelphia, and I am so pleased to welcome him to SIPA and Columbia University as the inaugural David N. Dinkins Professor of Professional Practice in Urban and Public Affairs,” said Dinkins. “Michael earned our nation’s respect as an effective urban reformer and innovator who keeps humanity at the forefront of his goals. He is a fresh and inspirational voice at SIPA and for the Columbia community at large.”
“I am deeply honored and excited to have been asked to serve as the inaugural David N. Dinkins Professor of Professional Practice in Urban and Public Affairs,” Nutter said. "I have admired Mayor Dinkins for many years for his trailblazing leadership as New York City's first African American mayor, and also because he has served as such an important role model for the diverse group of mayors who have served since his time in office.”
Pictured from left: Michael Nutter, David Dinkins