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Herbert H. Lehman Memorial Lecture

Herbert H. Lehman Lecture Series

The Herbert H. Lehman Memorial Lecture is held annually to celebrate the birth of the College’s namesake, Herbert H. Lehman, a former New York State governor and senator, who dedicated his life and career to public service and social justice. The lecture is delivered by an individual who embodies these same qualities.

2023 Derek Luke Celebrated Hollywood Actor
2022 Hon. Fernando Ferrer   CUNY Trustee Bronx; Borough President (1987-2001)
2021 Letitia James  New York State Attorney General
2020 Lecture Postponed
2019 Alessandra Biaggi The 50th Annual Herbert H. Lehman Memorial Lecture: New York State Senator Alessandra Biaggi.
2018 John King The 49th Annual Herbert H. Lehman Memorial Lecture: The former secretary of education and nationally renowned advocate for educational equity, John B. King Jr.
2017 Adriano Espaillat The 48th Annual Herbert H. Lehman Memorial Lecture: U.S. Representative Adriano Espaillat New York’s 13th congressional District
2016 Ban KI-moon

Secretary-General, United Nations


Francisco Marmolejo

Lead Tertiary Education Specialist, World Bank



Dr. Anthony P. Carnevale

Director of the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce


Dr. Arthur E. Levine

Former President of Columbia University Teachers College; President of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship

2012 Esmeralda Santiago Author of critically acclaimed books including When I Was Puerto Rican, Almost a Woman, and Conquistadora
2011 Dr. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández First Lady of the Dominican Republic
2010 Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr. Chairman, John L. Loeb, Jr. Associates, Inc., Investment Counselors; Former United States Ambassador to Denmark
2009 Jill Abramson

Managing Editor, New York Times

2008 Jonah Triebwasser

Educator, Lawyer, and Actor

2007 Richard N. Haass President, Council on Foreign Relations
2006 Jody Williams

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1997); Founding Coordinator, International Campaign to Ban Landmines

2005 Fritz Stern University Professor Emeritus, Columbia University
2004 Michael Beschloss

Presidential Historian & Author

2003 Herbert H. Lehman Symposium

Several Lehman family members participated in the event

2002 Raúl Yzaguirre

President & CEO,  National Council of La Raza

2001 James M. McPherson

Pulitzer Prize-winning author; Edwards Professor of American History, Princeton University

2000 George J. Mitchell

U.S. Special Envoy for Northern Ireland; Former US Senator (D-ME)

1999 James Appleberry

President, The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)

1998 Bill Richardson

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Former U.S. Congressman

1997 Geraldine A. Ferraro

United States Ambassador, to the United Nations, on Human Rights; First Female Vice Presidential             Candidate; Former U.S. Congresswoman (D-NY)

1996 Sir Brian Urquhart Former United Nations Under Secretary General for Special Political Affairs
1995 Norma Cantú

Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education

1994 Albert Gore, Sr.

Former U.S. Senator (D-TN)

1993 Meyer Weinberg            Professor in the School of Education and Professor in the W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; First Chair of Multicultural Education at California State University, Long Beach
1992 Maristella De Panizza Lorch Founder and President of the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia  University
1991 William Wayne Justice U.S. District Judge, Eastern District of Texas
1990 Vartan Gregorian President, Brown University
1989 Irving Howe

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English, Hunter College and the Graduate Center of The City University of New York

1988 Robert F. Wagner, Jr.

President, New York City Board of Education

1987 Albert Shanker President of the American Federation of Teachers; Founder and Former President of the United Federation of Teachers; and a Vice President of the AFL-CIO
1986 Reverend M. William Howard, Jr.

Executive Director, Black Council of the Reformed Church in America; Former President, National Council of Churches

1985 John V. Lindsay

Former Mayor of the City of New York; Former U.S. Congressman; Former Executive Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States

1984 Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Albert Schweitzer Professor In the Humanities, The City University of New York
1983 Jonathan B. Bingham

Former U.S. Congressman (D-NY)

1982 Reverend Timothy S. Healy, S.J. President of Georgetown University
1981 A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr.

Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

1980 Kitty Carlisle Hart Chair, New York State Council on the Arts
1979 Joseph Papp

Theatrical Producer & Director, The Pubic Theater. Also founded the New York Shakespeare Festival

1978 Daniel Patrick Moynihan

U.S. Senator (D-NY)

1977 George McGovern

U.S. Senator (D-SD) and former Democratic Presidential Candidate

1976 Tom Wicker Associate Editor, New York Times
1975 Abba Eban

Former Foreign Minister of Israel

1974 Joseph P. Lash

Biographer of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt

1973 Barbara Ward Jackson

Schweitzer Professor of International Economics, Columbia University

1972 James MacGregor Burns

Woodrow Wilson Professor of Government, Williams College

1971 Stuart Symington U.S. Senator (D-MO)
1970 Ramsey Clark

Former Attorney General of the United States