New York, NY (June 19, 2017)—The Academy of American Poets is pleased to announce four new members have joined its Board of Directors: Thomas Kean, Tess O’Dwyer, Elda Rotor, and Drew Schiff. They are joining the other 15 current Directors of the organization, who have championed poets and poetry for more than three generations.

“We are thrilled to have Drew, Elda, Tess, and Thomas joining the leadership of the Academy of American Poets. In addition to being innovators in their respective fields, they each have a passion for poetry that will enrich our organization and its efforts,” said Jennifer Benka, Executive Director and President of the Academy of American Poets.

Thomas Kean served as the Governor of New Jersey from 1982 to 1990. He was named by President George W. Bush to head the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. The Commission’s work culminated with the release of the 9/11 Commission Report. From 1990 until 2005, former Governor Kean served as President of Drew University. During his one-year tenure, he focused on shaping Drew into one of the nation’s leading small liberal arts universities by stressing the primacy of teaching, the creative use of technology in the liberal arts, and the importance of international education. Former Governor Kean is the author of The Politics of Inclusion (The Free Press) and is coauthor of Without Precedent (Alfred A. Knopf). He writes a regular column for The Star Ledger with former Governor Brendan Byrne and appears as a regular commentator on NJTV News. Former Governor Kean currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Carnegie Corporation of New York, Vice Chairman of the Environmental Defense Fund, and on the Board of the Seeing Eye. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Art & Sciences, and is the Vice Chairman of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. He holds a BA from Princeton University and an MA from Columbia University Teachers College, and he has served as a trustee of both institutions.

Tess O’Dwyer provides strategic planning and fundraising counsel to leaders of the nonprofit sector. Her client roster includes cultural museums, performing arts companies, and social justice agencies. Prior to her consultancy, Ms. O'Dwyer served as Vice President for Cultural Affairs at the Americas Society, Director of Development at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Associate Director of Individual Giving at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. Her fundraising operations were ranked Top 10 by the Association of Art Museum Directors in a survey of 200 museums nationwide. With a Masters in English from Rutgers University, Ms. O'Dwyer co-edited Review: Art and Literature of the Americas and translated Latin American literary classics by Alberto Blest Gana and Giannina Braschi.  Winner of the Columbia University Translation Center Award, she serves as a Board member of Harvard University’s Cultural Agents Initiative, The Evergreen Review, and PEN American Center.

Elda Rotor is Vice President and Publisher for Penguin Classics. She oversees the U.S. editorial program including the works of John Steinbeck, Arthur Miller, Shirley Jackson, William Golding, and the Pelican Shakespeare series. She has created and edited several series including Penguin Civic Classics, Penguin Horror, Penguin Drop Caps, and the Penguin Orange Collection. In 2013, Ms. Rotor co-produced, edited and narrated Poems By Heart from Penguin Classics, named one of the Best Apps of the Year by Apple. For Penguin Books, she edited the New York Times-bestselling The Inaugural Address by Barack Obama, The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth Century American Poetry edited by Rita Dove, The Penguin Guide to the United States Constitution by Richard Beeman, and The Art of Language Invention by David J. Peterson. Previously, she worked at Oxford University Press. She received her BA from George Washington University. She has published poems in journals and anthologies including The Literary Review, The Nuyorasian Anthology, and Flippin’: Filipinos on America. She is a member of the Advisory Board for Kundiman.

Dr. Andrew Schiff joined Aisling Capital in September of 1999 and currently serves as one of the Managing Partners. Prior to Aisling Capital, Dr. Schiff practiced internal medicine for six years at The New York Presbyterian Hospital, where he maintains his position as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine. Dr. Schiff currently serves as a director of ARMGO Pharma, PowerVision, and ZELTIQ Aesthetics, and as a Board observer of Zavante Therapeutics. He is a longtime supporter and Board member of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. Dr. Schiff received his MD from Cornell University Medical College, his MBA from Columbia University, and his BS with honors in Neuroscience from Brown University.

About the Academy of American Poets

The Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. The organization produces, one of the world’s most popular websites for poets and poetry; National Poetry Month; the popular Poem-a-Day series; American Poets magazine; resources for K-12 educators; an annual series of poetry readings and special events; and awards the American Poets Prizes.