|Paul LeClerc - Biography|
Paul LeClerc has been Chair of the Advisory Board to the Columbia Maison Francaise since March 2010, and was a Visiting Scholar in the Department of French in 2011-2012. In April 2012 he was named by Columbia University President Lee Bollinger as Director of the Columbia Global Center / Europe, housed in Paris in Columbia's Reid Hall building. Dr. LeClerc will direct the center mostly from Columbia's campus in New York City.
Paul LeClerc is President Emeritus of the The New York Public Library, which he presided from 1993 until his retirement in June 2011. During his tenure at the NYPL, Dr. LeClerc oversaw the merging of the branch and research library systems, led more than $500 million in capital projects, created notable programs and exhibitions, and increased by more than twofold the Library's endowment.
Prior to presiding The New York Public Library, Dr. LeClerc was President of Hunter College, the largest public institution of higher education in New York City and the flagship college within the City University of New York system. Before Hunter College, he served successively as University Dean for Academic Affairs, and Acting Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for CUNY/City University of New York, and also Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs of Baruch College.
Dr. LeClerc earned his Ph.D. with distinction in French literature from Columbia University in 1969, writing his dissertation on Voltaire. He has maintained strong ties to his alma mater as a long-standing member of the Maison Française Advisory Board and now its Chair. Dr. LeClerc is the author or co-editor of five scholarly volumes on writers of the French Enlightenment and his contributions to French culture earned him the Order of the Academic Palms (Officier) in 1989 and the French Legion of Honor (Officer) in 2012. Dr. LeClerc has received honorary doctorates from Oxford University, the University of Paris III-La Nouvelle Sorbonne, and Brown University, among others, and he is currently a trustee of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Trust, the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation, the American Academy in Rome, Union College, and The National Book Foundation. President Clinton appointed him to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is also a member of the American Philosophical Society.