The GW Graduate School of Political Management announced the choice of two accomplished politicos – Jack N. Gerard and Howard Paster – to lead the GW Council on American Politics, the principal advisory board to the school.
“I am delighted to have the advice and counsel of Jack Gerard and Howard Paster,” said Christopher Arterton, dean of the GSPM, in a news release. “Their legendary experience in politics and public relations will inject a new intensity and energy into the council.”
Paster, who served as a legislative affairs aide in the Clinton White House, is currently the executive vice president of the WPP group. He has also served as chairman of Hill and Knowlton Public Relations.
Gerard is president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council, was formerly president and CEO of the National Mining Association.
Gerard and Paster will be replacing co-chairs Frank Fahrenkopf and Tony Coelho, who have led the council for 10 years, since its inception in 1998.
As co-chairs of the council, Gerard and Paster will be charged with overseeing the establishment of subcommittees focused on key issues for the school, faculty recruitment, fundraising, and curriculum development, said Arterton.
“(GSPM) is a new school that doesn’t have many alum in politics, so we have brought in prominent people around Washington to serve on the council,” Arterton said. “They are both highly regarded, highly professional, well-known people with considerably well-known reputations and ethics . and have the connections to open doors for fundraising.”
Gerard, a GW alumnus, said that he is “honored to be leading the group.” He has been a member for six years.
“Our hope is to continue to elevate (GSPM’s) curriculum, to provide what’s needed to political operatives, to make the name of the school more widely known, and to advance and develop opportunities for the students,” Gerard said. “We want to make it the best political education available to anyone.”
Paster has no prior experience with the University himself, but his wife was a full-time English professor at GW for 20 years.
“I am delighted to chair this council because I think it is an important task,” Paster said. “We need to make politics a respected and honorable source of public service. The GSPM understands that this is a worthy profession to engage in and we can help the school validate political careers as being important and worthwhile.”
Gerard and Paster recently met with Arterton for their first organizational meeting. Paster said that their first full-council meeting will be in April, “and from there we will move forward.”