Annual Gala Honorees
DR. MERRYL H. TISCH
Vice Chair of the State University of New York
Dr. Merryl H. Tisch, Vice Chair of the State University of New York, is one of the nation’s leading voices on education. She served at the helm of New York State’s governing body for education from 2009 to 2016. As Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, Dr. Tisch was responsible for setting the state’s education policy and overseeing both public and private education throughout New York.
Dr. Tisch was a member of the Board of Regents for twenty years and held the position of Vice Chancellor from 2007 to 2009. Her policies were informed by years of experience in the fields of education, community service, and philanthropy, including her work as a first-grade teacher at New York City’s Ramaz School and the B’nai Jeshurun School.
She currently holds a number of philanthropic and civic positions, including serving as co-chairperson of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, a leading social services agency. The Met Council has gained national recognition for its work in the areas of youth and family services, housing, poverty programs, and neighborhood preservation. Dr. Tisch is on the board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and acts as the Met’s representative on the Public Design Commission. She is also the Chair of the District Committee of the Rhodes Scholarship Selection and is a member of the NYC Charter Revision Commission.
Dr. Tisch also sits on the executive committees of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Citizens Budget Commission. Additionally, she serves on the board of The Trust for Cultural Resources of the City of New York, and the Graduate School of Education’s Board of Overseers at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Tisch founded the Tisch Cancer Institute at Mt. Sinai Hospital in 2008.
She earned a B.A. from Barnard College, an M.A. in Education from New York University, and received an Ed.D from Teacher’s College, Columbia University.
JAMES S. TISCH
President and Chief Executive Officer, Loews Corporation
James S. Tisch is President and Chief Executive Officer of Loews Corporation. He has been with Loews since 1977. Prior to that he was with CNA Financial Corporation.
Mr. Tisch is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Cornell University where he majored in economics. He holds an MBA with Distinction from the Wharton Graduate School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Tisch is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc., and a member of the Board of Directors of CNA Financial Corporation and of Loews Corporation. He also serves as a director on the board of the General Electric Company.
Mr. Tisch is a member of the Board of WNET, parent of WNET Channel 13 and WLIW Channel 21, and is also a member of the Board of Directors of The New York Public Library. Mr. Tisch serves on the Executive Committee of the Partnership for New York City, and is a Trustee of the Mount Sinai Medical Center. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Mr. Tisch is an Honorary Member and past Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel, past Chairman of the Board of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, past Chairman of the Board of United Jewish Communities, past President of UJA-Federation of New York, and a former director on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.