Goldblatt gift supports Middle East lecture at alma mater

NEW PALTZ -Howard Goldblatt of North Bethesda, Md., has made a substantial multi-year gift pledge to the Dean’s Discretionary Fund of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (LA&S), the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz announced today.

The gift will be used to help sponsor a lecture on campus next spring by former Ambassador Dennis Ross, a leading expert on the Middle East, which Goldblatt was instrumental in helping to arrange. In addition, his gift will support other LA&S speakers over the next five years.

Goldblatt currently serves as the director of government affairs at the Washington-based Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. A cum laude political science graduate from SUNY New Paltz’s class of 1973, Goldblatt went on to earn a master’s degree in political science from New York University. He has been active with the SUNY New Paltz Foundation and currently serves as a member of the advisory board for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

“Mr. Goldblatt is enormously generous with his time, talents, and resources,” said James Schiffer, Dean of LA&S. “He is always eager to help the college and to enhance the learning experience of our students. He stands as a fine example of the positive impact that an alumnus can have on the college. We are deeply appreciative of this gift in particular, but more generally of all he is doing for us.” Dean Schiffer explained that Goldblatt was helpful in securing Ambassador Ross for his visit to campus and lecture on April 16, 2013.

Ambassador Ross served as the director of policy planning in the State Department under President George H. W. Bush, was the special Middle East coordinator under President Bill Clinton, and was a special adviser for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia (which includes Iran) to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the Obama administration. He is currently a member of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. For more than 12 years, he played a leading role in shaping U.S. involvement in the Middle East peace process and dealing directly with the parties in negotiations. A highly skilled diplomat, Ambassador Ross was instrumental in assisting Israelis and Palestinians to reach the 1995 Interim Agreement; he also successfully brokered the 1997 Hebron Accord and facilitated the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty.

Goldblatt said that he was pleased to be of assistance to his alma mater.

“SUNY New Paltz plays an important role in my life,” Goldblatt said. “I was enormously fortunate to attend and I am deeply proud to be an alumnus. SUNY New Paltz – and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences – is on an impressive trajectory, and I am happy to be able to help in some small way.”