Mariko Silver


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Dr. Mariko Silver took office as president of Bennington on July 1, 2013. Prior to this appointment Dr. Silver was a senior advisor to the president of Arizona State University (ASU). She previously held roles in the Obama administration, in the administration of Arizona’s governor Janet Napolitano, and at Columbia University.


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Silver served in the Obama administration as Acting Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Policy of the US Department of Homeland Security, where she spearheaded the creation of the first department-wide international strategy, managed the Department’s international engagements, and co-developed a global initiative to enhance aviation security. Prior to that, she served as Policy Advisor to Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, with responsibility for the state’s public and private universities, community colleges, and vocational institutions; the Arizona Department of Commerce; and Science Foundation Arizona. In these capacities she worked with multiple communities and constituencies around the world and very close to home.

As senior advisor to ASU President Michael Crow, Silver was a key strategist in what Newsweek called “one of the most radical redesigns in higher learning since the origins of the modern university.” She designed and led international and community initiatives focused on economic development, interdisciplinary science initiatives, and student success. Silver also served as Professor of Practice in ASU’s School of Politics and Global Studies and established international research and teaching partnerships, including the international University Design Consortium.

In the Office of the Executive Vice-Provost of Columbia University, Silver co-developed a multi-institution research response to the events of 9/11 and helped establish the International Innovation Initiative (I-3). She has also worked in London, UK; Bangkok, Thailand; and at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

Silver sits on the board of Mass MOCA, is serving a three-year term on the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), and also serves on the Climate Leadership Steering Committee of Second Nature, an organization that works with colleges and universities to help make the principles of sustainability fundamental to every aspect of higher education. She has in the past served on the boards of the Humanity in Action Foundation, Planned Parenthood of Arizona, and the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and is a member of the American Association of Geographers and a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Silver holds a BA in History from Yale University, an MSc in Science and Technology Policy from the University of Sussex (UK), and a Ph.D. in Economic Geography from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

Silver is married to musician Thom Loubet and is the mother of two children.


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