Rebecca M. Blank, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been named the next president of Northwestern University, the school announced.
Blankthe university's first woman president in the school's 170-year historywill become Northwestern's 17th leader effective next summer.
She is a well-known researcher on poverty and the low-income labor market and has served as an economics expert in three presidential administrations. Her appointment as Northwestern's next president marks a return to the University, where decades ago, she was the first tenured woman in the economics department.
The 34-member search committee unanimously recommended Blank to the board of trustees. The committee included a diverse mix of members from across Northwestern's stakeholder groups, including trustees, faculty, students, staff and alumni leaders. The faculty and students represented the broad domain of schools at Northwestern and included undergraduate, graduate and professional student representation.
Blank will succeed University President Morton Schapiro.