Former Board Chair
David N. Dinkins is Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at the Columbia University School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA), serves on its Advisory Board, and hosts its Annual Dinkins Leadership & Public Policy Forum. In 2003, the David N. Dinkins Professorship Chair in the Practice of Urban & Public Affairs was established at Columbia University.
The 106th Mayor of the City of New York, Mr. Dinkins began his public service career in 1966 as a member of the New York State Assembly. He was president of the New York City Board of Elections, and served as City Clerk for 10 years before his elections as President of the Borough of Manhattan in 1985 and Mayor of the City of New York in 1989.
Mayor Dinkins instituted “Safe Streets, Safe City: Cops and Kids,” the model criminal justice plan for reducing crime and expanding opportunities for the children of New York City. He also established the Beacon community centers that offer New Yorkers a mix of social services ranging from recreation and job training in public schools after school hours.
Mr. Dinkins is a founding member of the Black & Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus of New York State, the Council of Black Elected Democrats of New York State, and The One Hundred Black Men. He was vice president of the United States Conference of Mayors and is a Member-at-Large of the Black Leadership Forum.
He serves on the board of several non-profit and charitable organizations, many of which assist children and young people — Association to Benefit Children; Children’s Health Fund; The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund; Posse Foundation; Coalition for the Homeless, and USTA Serves.
He is chairman emeritus of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS and the Constituency for Africa (CFA), and serves on the steering committee of the Association for a Better New York and the New York Urban League Advisory Council. He serves on the board of New York City Global Partners and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Advisory Board of the International African American Museum. He is an Honorary Life Trustee of the Community Service Society of New York, an Honorary Trustee of the Friends of Harlem Hospital and a Lifetime Member of the NAACP.
Mr. Dinkins graduated with honors from Howard University with a B.S. in mathematics in 1950, and received an LL.B. from Brooklyn Law School in 1956. He served in the United States Marine Corps during WWII and maintained a private law practice before entering public service.
Born in Trenton, New Jersey, on July 10, 1927, Mr. Dinkins was a long-time resident of Harlem and currently resides in New York City with his wife, Joyce Burrows Dinkins. They have two children – David Jr. and Donna Dinkins Hoggard – and two grandchildren – Jamal Hoggard and Kalila Dinkins Hoggard.