HWS President Confirmed by Senate for National Service Post – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

HWS President Confirmed by Senate for National Service Post

GENEVA, N.Y. – Hobart and William Smith Colleges President Mark D. Gearan was recently confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Gearan had been nominated by President George W. Bush to serve on the Board that oversees domestic service programs. He has served on the board since 2000 after being nominated by then President Bill Clinton.

For Gearan, the confirmation continues a commitment to service that has been a constant throughout his public and private life. When named president of HWS, Gearan was serving as director of the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C., a post he assumed in 1995. Under his leadership, the Peace Corps experienced a resurgence of interest. The Colleges also have progressed under his guidance.

“I am honored by the Senate’s confirmation to this important Board and grateful to President Bush for his nomination,” Gearan said. “I look forward to advancing the ethic of service in our country with the various streams of service at the Corporation for National and Community Service. I have seen the power of service among today’s young people as a college president and from my tenure as Director of the Peace Corps. Americans are looking for ways to make a difference and the Corporation advances that ideal.”

The Corporation for National and Community Service, best known for overseeing AmeriCorps, engages Americans of all backgrounds in community-based service. Established in 1993, the Corporation for National Service engages more than a million Americans each year in service to their communities – helping to solve community problems. AmeriCorps, the domestic Peace Corps, engages more than 40,000 Americans in intensive, results-driven service. Most AmeriCorps members are selected by and serve with local and national organizations like Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and Boys and Girls Clubs.

At the close of his first year on campus, Gearan began the process that led to the development of a five-year strategic planning initiative that has been credited with, among other projects, the creation of the Stern Hall academic building, the Salisbury Center for career services and the Finger Lakes Institute environmental research and education center, as well as current construction of two new residence halls on Emerson Hill.

Among his other accomplishments is the establishment of the President’s Forum lecture series, which brings national and international speakers to campus. As a member of the political science department, he is a frequent presence in the classroom as lecturer and instructor.

Gearan serves on the board of The Partnership of Public Service, a group aimed at encouraging young people to pursue federal service careers. Additionally, he serves as chairman of the National Campus Compact. He is also a member of the Independent College Fund of New York.

Outside of the education and service arenas, Gearan has been active on the advisory board of The Presidential Appointee Initiative, a project of the Brookings Institution that has worked to revamp the process through which U.S. Presidential appointees are chosen. In 2003, he was named to the Board of Directors of the newly formed not-for-profit organization New Jobs for New York, designed to encourage economic development and spur job growth throughout New York State.

Gearan has remained involved in international issues as a member of the International Advisory Board of the Global Citizens Circle. Closer to home, he serves on the board of Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes and is a member of Jobs for Geneva.

Prior to his Peace Corps directorship, Gearan served at the White House as Assistant to the President and Director of Communications, as well as Deputy Chief of Staff, during the Clinton administration. During the 1992 presidential campaign, he was Al Gore's campaign manager, segueing to the position of Deputy Director of President-elect Clinton's transition team.

A native of Gardner, Mass., Gearan earned his B.A. in government cum laude at Harvard University and his law degree from Georgetown University. He is also the recipient of 12 honorary degrees.


Editor’s Note: a high resolution image of President Mark D. Gearan can be found at

Gearan's confirmation was featured in the Rochester Business Journal and the Syracuse Post-Standard