Jay Hershenson


The City University of New York is the leading public urban university system in the nation. Senior Vice Chancellor and Board Secretary Hershenson's portfolio includes the development and implementation of CUNY's external relations programs, including governmental, media and community relations, marketing, communications and CUNY-TV and the administration of the Board of Trustees' agenda, meetings and records. He has served as Vice Chancellor since 1984 and has worked in senior level administrative positions for eight CUNY Chancellors and with over 100 CUNY trustees since the mid-1970's. He has made a lifelong commitment to education and, in particular, to the use of higher education to positively transform lives.

Current Professional Commitments and Community Service Activities include:

  • CUNY Chief of Staff, the New York City Regional Economic Development Council, created by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
  • Member, New York City Comptroller's Advisory Council on Economic Growth through Diversity and Inclusion
  • Member, Ogilvy and Mather Diversity Advisory Board
  • Member, Board of Directors of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Foundation for Investor Education
    • Chair, SIFMA Marketing and Public Relations Committee
    • Member, SIFMA Nominations & Governance Committee
    • Member, SIFMA Executive Committee
  • Member, Board of Directors, Hispanic Federation
    • Co-Chair, Hispanic Federation's Sustainability Fund
  • Member, Board of Directors, Jewish Community Relations Council of New York Inc. (JCRC-NY)
    • Member, JCRC-NY Marketing Committee
  • Member, League of Women Voters Education Fund Advisory Board
  • Member, New York State Board of Regents/ University of the State of New York Technology Policy and Practices Council
  • Founding Member, New York State Hispanic Economic Development Council
  • Member, The New York Board of Rabbis Lay Advisory Committee
  • Member, Board of Trustees of the Louis Armstrong House Museum
    • Member, Steering Committee, Louis Armstrong International Music Festival
  • Honorary Board Member, Colombian Education Fund
  • Chair, The CUNY Working Task Force on Strengthening Educational Opportunities for Mexicans and Mexican Americans
  • Member, The Dominican American National Roundtable Advisory Board
  • Honorary Board Member, The Anti-Defamation League's New York Regional Board and Former Vice Chairperson

Senior Vice Chancellor Hershenson served on Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio's Transition Subcommittee for Education; the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs' Consumers Council, appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg; and was a member of the Steering Committee of the One NYC One Nation Initiative, a partnership between the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, The New York Community Trust and One Nation. He previously served as Senior Advisor for Communications to the 2010 New York City Charter Revision Commission; the Executive Director of the Committee for Public Higher Education; New York City Regional Director of the New York Public Interest Research Group, Inc.; Unit Director of the United Fund of New York; a member of the United Negro College Fund Scholarship Committee; and a member of the Board of Directors of The New York City Council of Churches.

Prior local, national and state-wide public service: appointment by former President Jimmy Carter to the National Advisory Committee on Education; appointment by former Governor Hugh L. Carey as one of five Commissioners on the Temporary State Commission on the Future of Postsecondary Education and the Task Force on State Aid to Education; appointments by Senator Kenneth P. LaValle and former Assembly Speaker Stanley Fink to the State Consumer Advisory Committee; and as Chair of the New York State Standardized Testing Advisory Board. He served as a member of The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Commission on Communications and Marketing and also on the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) Council on University Relations and Development. He co-chaired the Committee on Education for Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

He received an M.A. in Urban Studies and a B.A. in Communications, Arts and Sciences and University Administration from Queens College, CUNY, after transferring from Queensborough Community College, CUNY. He was an adjunct faculty member in the Hunter College and Queens College Departments of Political Science. In 1974, he was elected and re-elected in 1975 to serve as the Chairperson of the University Student Senate of CUNY and became the first elected student trustee on the University's Board of Trustees.

Senior Vice Chancellor Hershenson has received numerous awards and recognition from various organizations over the past several years for his over four decades of tireless work promoting academic excellence and educational opportunity.  He will be honored at the 18th Annual Conference of the Dominican American National Roundtable, the premier national advocacy organization based in Washington, DC, mobilizing and fighting for the advancement of Latinos and Dominicans in the United States.  He will also receive an award at the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, Inc. New York Chapter at their upcoming annual scholarship gala. Earlier in the year, the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute presented him with their 2015 Bella-Fella Award, the New York Board of Rabbis honored him with the 2015 Humanitarian Award, he received the Visionary Leader Award from the Jewish Community Relations Council and was honored by the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation at their 8th annual gala for his dedication to and support of the Chinatown Community.
In May 2014 he was honored with the Education Leadership Award at the National Puerto Rican Day Parade's Educational Leadership Banquet, and also that month he accepted the Friend of National Organization of Italian American Women (NOIAW) Award on behalf of the University; he received the Legacy Award at the 2013 New York State Senate Leadership Unidad Latina Conference and the Louis Award at the 2013 Louis Armstrong House Museum's annual gala. In June 2013 he was honored by the Latino Center on Aging with the Effective Leadership Award at their 21st Golden Age Awards Annual Banquet and was granted the Yuiza Recognition Award for his assistance in coordinating the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, Inc. at their 2013 Mid-Year National Conference. He is the Co-Chair of the 2015 CUNY Dominican Institute Gala.

In April 2012, Mr. Hershenson received the Legacy Award (video) by the Hispanic Federation at their annual gala for his steadfast commitment to the Latino Community. In June 2012 he received the Distinguished Leader in Education 2012 Award by Education Update. In the April 26, 2010 issue of City Hall, he was named one of the twenty most influential unelected officials in New York City government and was honored by the Puerto Rican Bar Association Scholarship Fund in 2010 with their Outstanding Achievement in Academia Award. He was honored by the New York Immigration Coalition in 2010 at their 6th annual Builders of the New New York awards ceremony for his tireless dedication to increasing access to educational opportunities for immigrants in New York.

Senior Vice Chancellor Hershenson was the Grand Marshal of the Mexican Day Parade in New York City in 2009 and received the Mixteca Diaspora Award for his leadership in working with the Mexican and Mexican-American Community to help provide access to educational opportunities. In 2008, he was awarded the Dr. Antonia Pantoja Leadership Award by ASPIRA, Inc. at their Ninth Annual Circle of Latino Achievers Luncheon. He was presented with the Community Partner Award by Alianza Dominica Inc. at their third annual gala. He was honored as the 2008 recipient of the Marvin D. "Swede" Johnson Achievement Award for his exemplary dedication to CUNY and his outstanding contributions to state government relations on the University's behalf. The "Swede" Award was jointly granted by: the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE); the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC); the American Association for State Colleges and Universities (AASCU); and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) (Video).

In 2007, Senior Vice Chancellor Hershenson was named Deputy Marshal for the National Puerto Rican Day Parade and honored by One Hundred Hispanic Women, Inc. at its annual gala. In 2006, the Bronx Dominican Day Parade Inc., along with Casa Cultural Dominicana del Bronx N.Y. Inc., awarded him for his continued support of the Parade and its student scholarship program. He also received the Community Service Award at the 2006 annual meeting of the Dominican American National Roundtable. He was given the 2006 National Education Award by the National Hispanic Corporate Achievers and received the 2006 "Man for All Seasons Award" from The New York City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He was honored in 2006 by CUNY's Asian American/Asian Research Institute for his support of the Asian American/Asian community.

In 2005, he was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO). That same year marked the first time he was Padrino Duartiano Internacional of the Bronx Dominican Parade, an honor that continued to be extended to him for many years, and he was the Grand Marshal for Education.

Senior Vice Chancellor Hershenson has pioneered major public service partnerships between CUNY, media organizations, and corporate leaders. Together with the New York Daily News, he proposed and supervised the planning and implementation of twelve "Citizenship NOW!" call-ins over the last ten years, assisting nearly 125,000 immigrants. He initiated the "Voting Rights and Citizenship" 2005 calendar and curricula project, partnering CUNY with The New York Times, JPMorgan Chase, TIAA-CREF and The LaGuardia and Wagner Archives at LaGuardia Community College/CUNY. He is the Senior Project Director for "Women's Leadership" (2006), "A Nation of Immigrants" (2007), "Let Freedom Ring" (2008), "City Life" (2009), "Investing in Futures: Public Higher Education in America" (2010), "Health in America" (2011), "The Unforgiving Economy" (2012), "Inventing the Future" (2013), "Supreme Decisions" (2014), and "Spreading the News" (2015) calendars and curricula, again with the Times, corporate and archival partners.

He has also been honored for his work in support of CUNY Colleges. Here are some examples: in May 2014 he received the Education Lifetime Achievement Award from Hostos Community College at their annual gala in support of his unwavering commitment and extensive work on behalf of students, their families and community over many decades; he received the 2003 Medgar Evers College Presidential Medal for his over 25 years of work on behalf of the College, including his help in securing support for the new $140 million academic facility — one of many major construction projects he helped CUNY to obtain; he received the 2009 Bronx Community College Legacy Award for his work on helping to obtain the $100 million North Instructional Building; and in 2005 he received the Queensborough Community College Fund Partners for Progress Alumni Partner of the Year designation. He is the Executive Producer of the Emmy Award winning television shows "Nueva York," the CUNY-TV magazine program about Hispanic communities in New York City, and "Study with the Best," and the Emmy-nominated "Science & U!" His continuing collaborations with education colleagues, governmental officials, journalists, community leaders, and the business and labor communities are a "work in progress."

Updated October 2015