Andrew Samwick Honored for Fifteen Years of Leadership as Director of the Center

Andrew Samwick, the Sandra L. and Arthur L. Irving 72a P 10 Professor of Economics, was honored at the Rockefeller Center Board of Visitors dinner on May 9, 2019 for his 15 years of leadership as director of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences. Samwick’s term as director ends on June 30, 2019. 

Cheryl Bascomb 82, Vice President of Alumni Relations, began the evening’s program by recognizing the 250thAnniversary of Dartmouth and the Call to Lead Campaign, and encouraged alumni to participate in the Call to Serve activities. She also thanked Samwick for his contributions to the Rockefeller Center. 

The next honor was from the Class of 1964, who presented Samwick with the Class of 1964 Outstanding Leadership Award for his work as director since 2004. The Class had adopted Samwick as a member of their class on the occasion of their 50threunion. They established the Outstanding Leadership Award at that time June 2014 to honor those who share the class’s belief in the importance of developing young leaders to take on today’s challenges. Samwick is the fifth recipient of the Award. 

At the dinner, Huntley “Hunt” Whitacre ’64 read the citation for the award written by Robert “Bob” Bartles 64 and Ronald “Ron” Schram ’64, former chair of the Rockefeller Center Board of Visitors (2004-2011). Bob Bartles, along with his classmates David “Dave” Hewitt, Stephen “Steve “Ward, and Hunt Whitacre, presented Samwick with the award and an engraved Simon Pearce bowl.

The citation reads:

“Andrew A. Samwick ’64a, you have been an unflagging advocate for leadership education at Dartmouth. Based upon your experience in Washington, D.C. as the Chief Economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisors from July 2003 to July 2004 under President George Bush, you learned firsthand that good ideas are not enough to produce constructive change. It became clear to you that there also have to be persons with leadership skills who can motivate others to convert the good ideas into specific action that will produce tangible results.

Fortunately for Dartmouth, the end of your tenure in D.C. coincided with your selection as the Director of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences. Founded at the College in 1983 to honor one of its most illustrious graduates, you are the longest serving of its five directors, serving for 15 years from 2004 to your retirement from that role next month.  In that capacity, you have nourished innovative and popular leadership programs that you believe “are an essential element of Dartmouth’s mission to prepare its students for ‘a lifetime of learning and of responsible leadership’.” For the full citation, click here.

Curt Welling 71 Tuck 77, former chair of the Board of Visitors (2011-2017) continued the evening’s program, praising Samwick’s legacy of leadership at the center, and his many contributions as teacher, executive, mentor, and innovator. “In all these roles, Andrew has been a superb partner, colleague and co-conspirator,” Welling said. “The Rockefeller Center today is stronger than ever, more effective than ever, more impactful on student lives than ever.” Welling continued, “You have built a terrific team at Rocky, kept that team intact for a long time, and changed the lives of hundreds of students. You have set the standard by which the College should develop broader leadership initiatives engaging all students.”

Tim Harrison ’78, current chair of the Board of Visitors, added his recognition of Samwick. “It has been one of the signal honors of my life to work with Andrew Samwick and the Board of Visitors of the Rockefeller Center,  to witness first-hand not just Andrew's passion for teaching and mentoring his students, but also the creativity, leadership and skill with which he and his dedicated team have expanded and enhanced the Center’s public policy and leadership training programs. Nelson Rockefeller must be smiling at Andrew’s accomplishments.”

Samwick offered brief remarks of thanks before an audience of 70 people, including members of the Rockefeller Center Board of Visitors, Rocky faculty and staff, Dartmouth Administration, Social Science faculty, and guests. Members of the Rockefeller Center Board of Visitors, who serve as advisers to the director of the Center, are Dartmouth alumni and represent academia, business, nonprofit organizations, and the law.

Samwick graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University in 1989 and went on to complete his Ph.D. in economics in 1993 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1994, he joined the Dartmouth College faculty as an assistant professor in the economics department. Since 2004, he has been director for the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center and the Sandra L. and Arthur L. Irving ‘72a, P’10 Professor of Economics. Samwick’s research focuses on applied microeconomics, finance, as well as public policy and social entrepreneurship.

Written by Bethany Malzman '19, Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant for Communications