Stephen Berger '59 returns to the Board of Trustees

Steven Berger '59 against a black background

Stephen Berger '59

Stephen Berger ’59, entrepreneur, educator, and acclaimed public servant, has been re-elected a member of the Brandeis Board of Trustees. During Berger’s first term as a trustee from 1994 to 2003, he served as chair of the board’s finance committee.

Berger is renowned for more than 50 years of influential executive leadership on Wall Street and in the public sector at the federal, state and local levels. Chairman and co-founder of Odyssey Investment Partners LLC, he has served as CEO of both private and public organizations, and as a board member, corporate director and private equity investor.

“I am delighted that Stephen Berger has agreed to rejoin the board,” said Brandeis President Ron Liebowitz. “His distinctive combination of corporate finance experience and years of leadership guiding transformation change in the public sector will benefit Brandeis greatly. We are fortunate to once again be able to rely on Steve’s unique perspective.”

Berger’s legacy project was a $6 billion capital plan to modernize iconic New York landmarks including John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and the World Trade Center. He also served as executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Under President Jimmy Carter, Berger was chairman of the board of directors of the U.S. Railway Association, where he led Conrail’s emergence from bankruptcy and the revitalization of railway service throughout the Northeast and Midwest regions. From 1977 to 1983, he served as Professor of Public Administration at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

In early 2005, former Governor George Pataki selected Berger to chair the New York State Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century. This investigative study, often described as the Berger Commission, resulted in the first major restructuring of New York’s healthcare delivery system. Berger was also a member of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Team from 2010-2011, which proposed a restructuring of Brooklyn’s hospitals and primary care facilities.

“Steve’s visionary capacity and inspirational commitment to his alma mater will ensure Brandeis remains at the pinnacle of liberal arts higher education, said Lisa R. Kranc ’75, chair of the Brandeis Board of Trustees.

Berger has received numerous awards for his celebrated public service and business acumen. He was recently selected by New York’s City & State’s Health Power 100 for leadership in addressing the healthcare crisis during the Coronavirus pandemic. Berger was named to Crain’s New York Business’s Top 5 Hall of Fame and received the United Hospital Fund of New York’s Special Tribute Award for his work on improving healthcare in New York state.

In addition to his impact on industry, Berger is recognized for his advocacy work and generous philanthropy in support of the arts, education, healthcare and conservation. He serves on several corporate and public-sector boards of directors, including the Metropolitan Opera where he is a member of its finance committee.

Berger graduated magna cum laude with honors in history from Brandeis. He has remained active in alumni leadership, having chaired the gift committee for his 35th Reunion and serving as regional chair of the annual fund from 1994 to 1995.

Berger lives with his wife, retired banking executive Cynthia Wainwright, in Manhattan and Dutchess County, New York. They have two daughters, Robin and Diana.

Categories: Alumni, General

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