April 11, 2020 – Professor Ruth B. Mandel, who escaped the Holocaust with her family and devoted her life to promoting democracy and civic engagement, died this morning. Her death at age 81 was caused by ovarian cancer.
“This is very sad news at a difficult time,” said John J. Farmer, Jr., director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics. “The loss of Ruth will be felt not just by Eagleton, by Rutgers, and by The National Holocaust Museum, but by the thousands of students, colleagues, and friends whose lives she has touched in her inimitable, deeply caring way. The community – the family, really – that Ruth built and nurtured here at Eagleton wants nothing more at this moment than to gather to celebrate her life and to mourn. Although the current public health emergency prevents us from meeting in person, I assure you that we will offer opportunities for virtual gathering, and will come together in person on a brighter day to celebrate Ruth’s presence in all of our lives.” Read Full Article
The New York Times‘ obituary for Mandel recognized her lifelong passion and commitment, referring to Mandel as “a voice for women in politics.”
At the time of her death, Mandel was Board of Governors Professor of Politics at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and a Senior Scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics. She stepped down in August, 2019 as director of Eagleton after 24 years of distinguished leadership; before that, from 1971-1984, she was a founder and director of CAWP.
An interview with Ruth Mandel from the Institute for Women’s Leadership
This video is part of the Women’s Education and Leadership Digital Collection at Rutgers. The project is a continuation of the work started by the Institute for Women’s Leadership’s 2016 documentary film, From the Boarding House to the Boardroom: 250 Years of Women at Rutgers, commissioned as part of Rutgers University 250th anniversary celebration.
Professor Mandel had an incredible talent for developing innovative research and programs, and for building lasting institutions. At a time when women’s political participation was not considered a topic worth exploring, Ruth founded the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), persisting over decades to establish it as the nation’s preeminent source of knowledge on women in politics. She continued her groundbreaking work as Director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics until August, 2019. One of the IWL consortium’s founding directors, Ruth had a deep and personal commitment to capturing women’s leadership experiences in their own words. She shares reflections on her own story in this intriguing interview for the Women’s Education and Leadership Digital Collection at Rutgers.