Henry S. Bienen was appointed to the Chicago Board of Education in May of 2011 by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Mr. Bienen was elected the 15th president of Northwestern University on June 13, 1994. He took office on January 1, 1995 and retired from Northwestern University on August 31, 2009. Currently he serves as President Emeritus of Northwestern University.
Mr. Bienen was the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University prior to his appointment at Northwestern.
A political scientist with interests in political and economic development, comparative politics, civil-military relations, and U.S. foreign policy, Mr. Bienen began his association with Princeton University in 1966 as an assistant professor. He was named associate professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton in 1969 and professor of politics and international affairs in 1972. He was appointed the William Stewart Tod Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton in 1981 and the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in 1985.
Mr. Bienen is one of the first three university presidents awarded the Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award for innovative leadership in higher education. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Mr. Bienen chairs both the board of Ithaka Harbors and Rasmussen College, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and serves on its executive committee. He also serves on the board of Ryan Specialty Group and is on the executive committee of the Steppenwolf Theatre, Gleacher Investment Bank and Grosvenor Fund of Funds. He was a member of the Argonne National Laboratory's Board of Governors, and served on the board's executive, nominating and auditing committees.
Mr. Bienen received a bachelor's degree with honors from Cornell University in 1960 and a master's degree from the University of Chicago in 1961. He was awarded a PhD from Chicago in 1966. Mr. Bienen was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane letters, from Northwestern University in June of 2009. He received the University of Chicago Professional Achievement Alumni Award in 2000 and the 2008 Niagara Peace & Dialogue Award from the Niagara Foundation in 2008.
Mr. Bienen and his wife, Leigh, a senior lecturer at Northwestern University School of Law, have three daughters, five grandsons and a granddaughter.