Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab today announced the appointment of Dr. Basil A. Smikle Jr. as the new Director of the Public Policy program at Hunter’s Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute. The program—which, along with Human Rights, constitutes the academic side of Roosevelt House—counts more than 100 undergraduate enrollees annually pursuing a certificate or minor in public policy.
Dr. Smikle, who served until 2019 as the first Distinguished Lecturer in Politics and Public Policy at CUNY’s School of Labor and Urban Studies, has enjoyed a 25-year career combining academic work, government service, politics, and media. He recently served as campaign manager for New York City mayoral candidate Ray McGuire, and is a regular commentator on the intersection of electoral politics and public policy for television and print media outlets nationwide.
“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Basil Smikle to Roosevelt House, one of the jewels in the Hunter crown,” commented President Raab. “He brings an inspiring personal story and a wealth of educational and practical experience to Hunter’s extraordinary public policy program. In addition to working on curricular matters for our program, we know that his many contacts in government will enable him to place students in meaningful internships and to mentor them with an eye toward not only academic but professional development.”
In his new role, Dr. Smikle will report to Harold Holzer, the Jonathan F. Fanton Director of Roosevelt House. “I join President Raab in enthusiastically welcoming Basil Smikle,” Holzer said. “I very much look forward to working with him to engage students, work with Hunter faculty, and create meaningful public programs on public policy issues.”
Commented Dr. Smikle: “I am excited to join Hunter College to teach and work with students at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute. I originally pursued public service and education equity because I believed there was a path to help my neighbors and their families. I look forward to working at Roosevelt House to vigorously investigate policies that impact education, governance, economic mobility, and civic engagement, while working with a broad set of stakeholders in nonprofits, government, and the private sector.”