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Name: Gerald Benjamin
Title: Dean
Academic Rank: Distinguished Teaching Professor
Department: CRREO

Expertise Keywords: City charters, City government, County government, Direct democracy, Federalism, Intergovernmental relations, Local government, Metorpolitan, New York City, New York State, Political parties, Public finance, Regional government, School districts, State constitutions, State government, Suburbs, Town government, Village government

Available For: interviews, essays, speaking

Expertise: I have written and commented extensively on state and local government and regional governance, with a special emphasis on New York. I have been involved in major efforts to reform state and local government in New York State and City. Additionally, I served for twelve years as a county elected official and was the chief elected officer in Ulster County, New York for two years.

Contact Information

Office Phone: 845-257-2901
E-mail Address: benjamig@newpaltz.edu

Other Information

Positions held prior to joining SUNY New Paltz:
Director, Center for NYS and Local Government Studies
Director, Rockefeller Institute of Government Research
Principal Researcher, NYS Constitutional Revision Commission
Chairman, NYC Charter Revision Commission
Ulster County Legislature Fulbright
Lecturer, Univeristy of Tokyo


Columbia University 1965-1970 M.A. 1968 American Government
Columbia University 1965-1970 Ph.D. 1970 American Government
St. Lawrence University 1961-1965 A.B. 1965 Government/History


Postdoctoral Research at University of Wisconsin, NEH College Teacher Fellow, 1976

Fulbright Lecturer, University of Tokyo and Japanese Foreign Mnistry School, 1980

Seminar on American Presidency, NEH Summer Fellow, New York University, 1981

NYS/UUP Excellence Award, 1991

Sebelloni Fellow in Residence, Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio, Research, 1996

Distinguished Alumni Award, St. Lawrence University, 2001

Other professional activities

Member-at-Large, Real Property Tax Alliance, NYS Office of Real Property Tax Services, 2001-present

Member, Advisory Council, State Mandates Project, Institute for Local Governance and Regional Growth, University of Buffalo, 2000

Member, Editorial Board, Encyclopedia of New York State, 1998-present

Consultant, Legislative Development, SUNY Uganda Project, 1999

Consultant, Japan Local Government Center of New York, 1997-2000

Consultant, New York State Department of Civil Service and Rockefeller Institute of Government, PMI Training Program, 1998-present

Chairman, Commissioner's Review of the New York State Education Department (by appointment of the Commissioner of Education, 1995-1996

Member, Board of Directors, Northeast/Midwest Institute, 1994-1999

Member, Board of Directors, Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, 1994-2000

Consultant, Governor's Office of Employee Relations, 1983-1998

Member, Board of Directors, Jewish Community Council of Ulster County, 1993-1996

Member, New York State Equalization and Assessment Panel (by appointment of the Governor, 1992-1994

Member, Lower Hudson Study Commission on School District Reorganization and Sharing (by appointment of the Commissioner of Education, 1992

Member, Board of Directors, New York State Associate of Counties, 1991-1993

Member, Board of Directors, Stewart International Airport, 1991-1993

Member, Board of Directors. Ulster County Development Corporation, 1992-1993

Chairman, Ulster County Council on Children and Families, 1989-1993

Member, Citizen Advisory Committee for Minnewaska Park, Palisades Interstate Park Commission, 1987-1992

Consultant, The Manhattan Institute,1987-1989

Consultant, Public Management Institute, New York State Department of Social Services, 1990-1995

Member, Board of Directors, WAMC, Albany Public Radio, 1987- present

Coordinator, Japan-New York State Leaders Exchange (a program of the Rockefeller Institute, 1984-1986

Contributing Editor, Empire State Reports Magazine, 1986-88 and 1991-1994

Consultant, Legislative Committee on Economy and Efficiency in Government (1984).

Consultant, World Book Encyclopedia (1985 - 1996).


Books and Monographs:

with Richard Nathan. Regionalism and Realism: A Study of Governments in the New York Metropolitan Area (Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 2001) A Century Foundation Project.

with Henrik Dullea (eds). Decision 1997: Constitutional Change in New York (Albany: Rockefeller Institute Press, 1997).

with Michael J. Malbin (eds.) Limiting Legislative Terms (Washington: Congressional Quarterly Press, 1992).

with Robert T. Nakamura (eds.) Making of the Modern New York Legislature (Albany: The Rockefeller Institute, 1992).

(editor). Tom Dewey Remembered (Albany: The Rockefeller Institute, 1991).

with Frank J. Mauro (eds.) Restructuring the New York City Government: The Reemergence of Municipal Reform (New York: The Academy of Political Science, 1989).

with Charles Brecher (eds.) The Two New Yorks: State and City in a Changing Federal System (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1989).

with T. Norman Hurd (eds.). Making Experience Count: Managing Modern New York in the Carey Era (Albany: The Rockefeller Institute, 1985).

with T. Norman Hurd (eds.). Rockefeller in Retrospect: The Governor's New York Legacy (Albany: The Rockefeller Institute, 1984).

(editor). The Communications Revolution in Politics (New York: The Academy of Political Science, 1982).

(editor). Private Philanthropy and Public Elementary and Secondary Education (Tarrytown: The Rockefeller Archive Center, 1980).

with Robert Connery. Rockefeller of New York: Executive Power in the Statehouse (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1979).

with Robert Connery (eds.). Governing New York State: The Rockefeller Years (New York: Academy of Political Science, 1974).

Race Relations and the New York City Commission on Human Rights (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1974).

Government Reports:

(with Peter Goldmark, Pauline Toole and Eric Lane, for the Commission). Effective Government Now for the New Century: The Final Report of The Temporary New York State Commission on Constitutional Revision (Albany: The Temporary State Commission on Constitution Revision, February, 1995).

(editor). The New York State Constitution: A Briefing Book (Albany: The Temporary State Commission on Constitutional Revision, 1994).

(with Pauline Toole and Eric Lane, for the Commission ). The Delegate Selection Process: An Interim Report (Albany: The Temporary State Commission on Constitutional Revision, March, 1994).

(with Doug Muzzio and Tim Tompkins). Structure, Organization and Powers of the City Council (New York City: Charter Revision Commission, 1989).

(with Tim Tompkins). Filling Vacancies (New York City: Charter Revision Commission, 1989).

Selection of the Comptroller and Functions of the Office (New York City: Charter Revision Commission, in draft, 1989).

Origins of the Borough System (New York City: Charter Revision Commission, 1989).

Essays (selected):

"Joseph P. Chamberlain," American National Biography (NY: Oxford University Press, 1999)

ASystems of Representation for Legislatures in Democracies,@ in George Thomas Kurian (ed.) World Encyclopedia of Paliaments and Legislatures, Vol. 2 (Washington: Congressional Quarterly, 1998) pp. 853 - 859.

AVote >Yes= for a Constitutional Convention,@ in Citylaw (May, 1997) pp. 49, 51-54.

(with Tom Gais). "Constitutional Conventionphobia," Hofstra Law and Policy Symposium (1996) pp. 53-77.

(with Melissa Cusa). "Changing Government Structure Through Legislatively Initiated Constitutional Reform," in Alan Tarr (ed.)Constitutional Politics in the States (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, forthcoming, 1996).

(with Tom Gais). "Public Discontent and the Decline of Deliberation: A Dilemma in State Constitutional Reform," Temple Law Review (Fall, 1995) pp. 1291-1316.

(with Peter Goldmark). "Considering Constitutional Change for New York," The Rockefeller Institute Bulletin (1993) pp. 38-40.

(with Michael Malbin) "Why Is There No Real Terms Limits Debate in New York?," Empire State Reports (November 1992).

(with Michael Malbin). "Term Limits for Lawmakers,: The Rockefeller Institute Bulletin (1992) pp. 4-7.

"Governor Thomas E. Dewey: A Model of Leadership," The Rockefeller Institute Bulletin (1992) pp. 53-56.

"The Charter" The Encyclopedia of the City of New York (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995).

"Civil Service," Ibid.

"Obituary: The Regents Scholarship," Empire State Report (August, 1992) pp. 29-30.

"Change the Rules, Change the Game," Empire State Report (October, 1991), pp. 37-39.

with Robert T. Nakamura. "The Modern New York Legislature," Rockefeller Institute Bulletin (1991) pp. 11-14.

"George Washington Plunkett," in Maisel (ed.). Political Parties and Elections in the United States (New York and London: Garland, 1991, Vol. II) pp. 813-814.

"Nelson Rockefeller," Ibid. pp. 973-974.

"The State/City Relationship," in Jewel Bellush and Dick Netzer. Urban Politics: New York Style (New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1990) pp. 223-244.

"George Clinton: Political Professional in the New York Governorship," in Stephen L. Schecter and Richard R. Bernstein. New York and the Union (Albany: New York State Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution, 1990) pp. 385-398.

(with Steve Morris and Azra Farrell). "Delivering Children's Services: The Experience of Ulster County," in Frank J. Macchiarola and Alan A. Gartner (eds.) Caring For America's Children (New York: Academy of Political Science, 1989).

"The Albany Triad," Empire State Reports (November, 1987) pp. 53- 57.

"The Power of Incumbency," Empire State Reports (April, 1987) pp. 33-37.

with Charles Brecher. "Interactions Between State and City: Economic, Social, Legal and Political," CBC Quarterly (Winter, 1987) pp. 3-10.

"Budgeting: More Than Just Money," in Thad Beyle (ed.) State Government: C.Q.'s Guide to Current Issues and Activities, 1986- 87 (Washington: Congressional Quarterly, 1987) pp. 95- 96.

"Budget Battles Between the Governor and Legislature: A Recurring Conflict," CBC Quarterly (Spring, 1986) pp. 10-11.

"The New York State-Japan Exchange: A Retrospective," Forum (Summer, 1986 pp. 3-4).

"The Governor and the Attorney General in New York," (Albany: The Rockefeller Institute, 1986).

"Reorganization in New York State in the Twentieth Century," New York Affairs, Vol. 9, #3, (1986), pp. 94- 105.

"The Diffusion of Executive Power in American Constitutions: Tenure and Tenure Limitation," Publius (Fall, 1985), pp. 71-84.

"The Gubernatorial Transition in New York," in Thad L. Beyle (ed.) Gubernatorial Transitions: The 1982 Election (Durham: Duke University Press, 1985) pp. 341-371.

"A New York State Department of Justice?," Empire State Reports (April, 1985) pp. 15-18 and 32.

"The Governorship in an Era of Limits and Change," in Peter Colby (ed.) New York State Today, (Albany: SUNY Press, 1984). pp. 125-138. This essay was revised and reprinted in three later editions.

"The Diffusion of the Veto Power in State Constitutions," State Government, Vol. 55, No. 3 (1982) pp. 99-105.

"Japan in the World of the 1980's," Current History (April, 1982) pp. 168-172, 179-180.

"Dissection in the Ranks: Constitutional Revision in Japan and America," PHP International (July, 1981) pp. 29- 34, 59-64. (Spanish language edition, June, 1982). "Japan Votes for Jimmy Carter," Diamond Magazine (November 1, 1980) pp. 28-31 (Japanese).

"Carter's Dilemma," Asahi Journal (August 15, 1980) pp. 31-55 (Japanese).

"Constitutional Revision in New York State," in Essays on the Genesis of the Empire State (Albany: New York State Bicentennial Commission, 1979) pp. 35-50.

"Israel: Too Much Democracy?," Midstream (May, 1977) pp. 3-13.

"On Making Teaching 'U'," P.S. (Winter, 1971) pp. 41-47.

Reviews, Conference Papers and Commentary:

Book reviews in: American Political Science Review; Journal of Politics; Political Science Quarterly; Public Administration Review; New York History; and PHP International.

Manuscript reviewer for: Oxford University Press; McGraw-Hill; Random House: University of Wisconsin Press; Macmillan; Holt Reinhart and Winston; Addison Wesley; Prentice Hall; Greenwood Press; Farleigh Dickinson University Press; New York Academy of Sciences; SUNY Press; Journal of Politics; Political Science Quarterly; Western Political Quarterly; Publius; Urban Affairs Quarterly; Journal of Political Communication.

I have regularly delivered conference papers and commented at national and regional professional meetings. In addition, I have organized professional conferences for the Academy of Political Science; the Rockefeller Archive Center; the Rockefeller Institute; and SUNY New Paltz.

Extensive Commentary on Public Affairs, with special emphasis on New York, in newspapers and on television and radio in New York State and nationally.