President Amy Gutmann has announced the selection of Dr. Vanda McMurtry, of Cornell, as Penn’s new Vice President for Government and Community Affairs.
Dr. McMurtry has been the vice president for government and community relations at Cornell University and former chief counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. The Trustees will act on the recommendation at its meeting September 15. Dr. McMurtry will assume his new position October 1.
In announcing his appointment, President Gutmann said, “Van’s background working for federal regulatory agencies and congressional committees, coupled with his higher education and healthcare experience make him exceptionally well suited for his new role at Penn.” He will direct Penn’s relationship with state, local and federal governments as well as non-governmental groups at the community and national levels.
“Van has a deep understanding of the important role that strong collaborative relationships with government and community play in the success of the University, and is known and respected in the highest levels of government. He will be an outstanding addition to our leadership team.” Dr. Gutmann added.
Dr. McMurtry has been at Cornell since spring 2004; prior to that he served for 12 years as senior vice president for federal government relations for Aetna Inc., where he partnered with federal government officials and congressional committees on issues related to health/medical care, insurance and financial services.
From 1989 to 1992, he was staff director and chief counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, at that time led by Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas. Dr. McMurtry’s Washington career also included five years on the staff of the Joint Economic Committee, where he studied and produced reports on the major economic issues confronting the nation.
Dr. McMurtry, who grew up in St. Cloud, Minnesota, earned his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in philosophy from the University of California, Irvine in 1972. He earned both a master’s degree in 1975, and a Ph.D. degree, in 1979, in philosophy from Cornell, as well as a master’s degree in public administration in 1981, from Johns Hopkins University, and a JD in 1985, from Georgetown University.
Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 2, September 6, 2005