The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Judith Rodin

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Judith Rodin until we are able to commission a full entry.

Forbes Magazine

In 1994 Judith Seitz Rodin became the first permanent woman president of an Ivy League school when she took the helm of the University of Pennsylvania. Rodin began her relationship with UPenn as an undergraduate and led the Women’s Student Government through its merger with the Men’s Student Government to create a coeducational organization. She graduated from UPenn in 1966 and earned a PhD in psychology from Columbia in 1970, focusing throughout her career on the concept of resilience: how people, organizations, and cities recover and adapt after crises. She began teaching at Yale in 1972, eventually serving as chair of the psychology department and dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences before becoming provost in 1992. In 1994 she left Yale to become dean of UPenn, and over the next ten years created academic and community programs that massively increased both its endowments and the number of yearly applications. In 2005 she left UPenn to become president of the Rockefeller Institute, from which she retired in 2016. She has also served on the boards of numerous corporations, including Comcast and Aetna. In 2012, after Hurricane Sandy, she was appointed by the governor of New York to co-chair a commission on preparing the state’s infrastructure for future climate change disasters. She continues to work with organizations around the world on managing the impact of climate change.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Judith Rodin." (Viewed on October 7, 2022) <>.


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