Dr. Merryl H. Tisch: Former Chancellor, New York State Board of Regents | Urban Education Leaders Program | Organization and Leadership

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Dr. Merryl  H. Tisch

Dr. Merryl H. Tisch

Former Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents


Former Inquiry 2000 cohort member, Dr. Merryl Tisch was the Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents from 2009 to 2016. Dr. Tisch has a long standing career in educational leadership which reflects her pioneering contributions to the field.

As the first female Chancellor appointed to the New York State Board of Regents, Dr. Tisch first joined the Board in 1996. In 2007, she was elected Vice Chancellor and as acknowledgement of her leadership qualities she was appointed two years later as the Chancellor. In addition to leading the Board as a Chancellor, Dr. Tisch co-chaired the Board's Committee on Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education.

Dr. Tisch's educational journey began in 1977 when she taught first-graders at New York City’s Ramaz School and the B’nai Jeshurun School. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College, a Master of Arts in Education from New York University, and a Doctorate in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

In her most recent role as Chancellor, Dr. Tisch pioneered a redesign of the State Education Department to better cultivate local innovations in the State’s highest performing school districts as well as to give greater support to struggling districts. Dr. Tisch's leadership qualities coupled with her data-driven approach to problem solving identified best policies and practices for supporting schools and their students. The former Chancellor led the Board’s efforts to reform and expand the State Education Department’s data system for the purpose of increasing utility, efficiency and ultimatly organizational effectiveness.

Dr. Tisch's many contributions to the field of education, whether through volunteering, community and civic engagement or professional leadership positions, illustrate her passion for educational reform and committment to students' wellbeing. Dr. Tisch has held positions at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America, the Citizens Budget Commission, and the Mount Sinai Children’s Center Foundation. She was appointed to the Graduate School of Education's Board of Overseers at the University of Pennsylvania and has been a board member of both Barnard College and the Dalton School. Dr. Tisch is currently the Chairperson of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty and also serves on the board of The Trust for Cultural Resources of the City of New York.

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