For twelve years prior to becoming President of The New School, Bob Kerrey represented the State of Nebraska in the United States Senate. Before that he served as Nebraska’s Governor for four years.
Educated in pharmacy at the University of Nebraska, Kerrey served three years in the US Navy. After his military service, he started a chain of restaurants and health clubs in Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas.
Kerrey entered the race for Governor of Nebraska with no prior political experience and was elected as a Democrat in a heavily Republican State. After serving a single four-year term, he returned to business.
Upon the death of Nebraska’s senior United States Senator, Kerrey became a candidate for the U.S. Senate. He was elected in 1988 and re-elected in 1994. He chose not to run for re-election a third time because of the offer to be President of The New School and his desire to return to private life.
Kerrey is the author of When I Was A Young Man: A Memoir (Harcourt Books, 2002). He served as a member of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, currently leads a five year writing challenge sponsored by The National Commission on Writing in America’s Schools and Colleges, is co-chair with Newt Gingrich of The National Commission for Quality Long-Term Care, and is a member of the advisory board of the United States Government Accountability Office and the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board.
In May 2005 Bob Kerrey received the Robert L. Haig Award for Distinguished Public Service from the New York State Bar Association, and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from New York Law School.