Event examines historical significance of executive office
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – A panel featuring three former governors will highlight a conference to celebrate the history of the office of New Jersey’s chief executive and publication of an updated edition of The Governors of New Jersey, 1664-2010.
Former governors Christine Todd Whitman, Jim Florio and Brendan Byrne will describe the role media played throughout their respective administrations, and Steve Kornacki, host of MSNBC’s Up, will moderate during “The New Jersey Governor: From the Age of the Town Crier to Twitter.” The forum is sponsored by The New Jersey Historical Commission and Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics’ Center on the American Governor, and is scheduled Saturday, Nov. 16 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Douglass Campus Center, 100 George St., in New Brunswick.
Michael Birkner, Franklin Professor of Liberal Arts and professor of history at Gettysburg College, will offer the keynote address on the constitutional powers of New Jersey’s executive office and the governors who personally shaped the state’s history. Birkner; former Eagleton researcher Donald Linky; and Peter Mickulas, an editor at Rutgers University Press, the publisher, edited the revised edition. The book, first published in 1982, includes essays on the state’s governors who served from the latter part of the 20th century to the present.
The commission provided funding for the new edition, which will be available in winter 2014.
The conference also will feature a second panel on the evolution of the policies of the office of the state’s chief executive during the past 350 years. Participants include Barbara Salmore, Marc Mappe, and John Wefing.
Salmore is a political analyst and co-author of New Jersey Politics and Government: The Suburbs Come of Age, which examines the policies of administrations toward education, the environment, quality of life issues and growth of a multicultural society.
Wefing is the Distinguished Professor of New Jersey Law and History at Seton Hall University. His recent volume, The Life and Times of Richard J. Hughes, explores the influential public service of the two-term New Jersey governor.
Mappen, a former Rutgers administrator and lecturer who also served as executive director of the state’s historical commission, is the author of There's More to New Jersey than the Sopranos and a new book, Prohibition Gangsters: The Rise and Fall of a Bad Generation. He is also the co-editor and author of the award-winningEncyclopedia of New Jersey.
Eagleton’s Center on the American Governor seeks to promote research and discussion on the role of the governor in the United States to increase understanding of the office and to inform and improve present and future state executive leadership. The center is building an extensive virtual archive and sponsors academic activities and public forums on issues relating to the office of the governor across the country, as well as the administrations of select governors in New Jersey and other states.
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