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David
Dinkins
Professor in the Professional Practice of Public Affairs
International Affairs Building, Room 1430
212-854-4253

Biography

David Norman Dinkins served as NYS Assemblyman, President of the NYC Board of Elections, City Clerk and Manhattan Borough President before being elected 106th Mayor of the City of New York in 1989.

As the first (and only) African American Mayor of NYC, major successes of note under his administration include: “Safe Streets, Safe City: Cops and Kids”; the revitalization of Times Square as we have come to know it; an unprecedented agreement keeping the US Open Tennis Championships in New York City for 99 years – a contract that continues to bring more financial influx to New York City than the Yankees, Mets, Knicks and Rangers COMBINED – comparable to having the Super Bowl in New York for two weeks every year! The Dinkins administration also created Fashion Week, Restaurant Week, and Broadway on Broadway, which have all continued to thrive for decades, attracting international attention and tremendous revenue to the city each year.

Mayor Dinkins joined Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) as a Professor in the Practice of Urban Public Policy in 1994.  He has hosted the David N. Dinkins Leadership & Public Policy Forum for nearly 20 years which welcomed Presidential Candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton as Keynote Speaker in 2015 and looks forward to hosting US Attorney General Loretta Lynch in April 2016.  Dinkins is a founding member of Candidate Clinton’s Hillary for New York Leadership Council’ and the ‘African American Mayors for Hillary Council.’  Notable in 2015, the landmarked, Centre Street hub of New York City Government was renamed: the David N. Dinkins Municipal Building in October, and the David Dinkins Archives & Oral History collection was opened by Columbia University Library in December.

Mayor Dinkins is an active participant on numerous organizational boards – with his primary focus on youth, he also maintains regular engagements as a featured speaker or award recipient around the country.  In 2013, Mayor Dinkins became a first time author when, A Mayor’s Life: Governing New York's Gorgeous Mosaic, was published.  A memoir which chronicles the life of this devoted public servant as a New Yorker who remains in love with his city.

Born in Trenton, New Jersey, on July 10, 1927, David Dinkins graduated with honors from Howard University in 1950 with a B.S. in mathematics and an LLB from Brooklyn Law School in 1956.  He is a recipient of The Congressional Gold Medal for his service as a Montford Point Marine in the United States Marine Corps, during World War II.  David N. Dinkins resides in New York City with his wife of 62 years, Joyce Burrows Dinkins. 

 

Research & Publications