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Leonard Ortolano appointed interim director of Stanford's Haas Center for Public Service
Leonard Ortolano, who has served as director of Stanford's Program on Urban Studies for 23 years, has been appointed interim director of the university's Haas Center for Public Service by Provost John Etchemendy.
Ortolano, who has been a member of the Haas Center's Faculty Steering Committee since 1986, succeeds Nadinne Cruz, who stepped down in June. Ortolano will serve as interim director while a national search for a permanent director is conducted. That search is expected to be completed this fall.
"I am delighted that Len will be serving as interim director of the Haas Center," said Etchemendy. "His exceptional experience and deep commitment to service learning will help us build on the center's already strong foundation during this period of transition. The Haas Center is a Stanford treasure, and no one knows better than Len the value of service learning for Stanford students and for those they serve."
The Haas Center, established in 1985, is viewed as a model for service learning by educators worldwide. The center is home to more than 40 student service organizations and a range of university programs through which hundreds of students annually join staff, faculty, policymakers and community members in local, state, national and international service efforts.
Ortolano, the UPS Foundation Professor of Civil Engineering at Stanford, served as director of the Program on Urban Studies from 1980 to July 1 of this year. In that position, he worked closely with Haas Center staff to establish a community organization track within the Urban Studies major and the Urban Summer Fellowship program for Stanford undergraduates. In addition, he collaborated with Cruz to establish a sequence of courses for Public Service Scholars, who are students preparing senior honors theses that combine research and public service.
After earning his doctorate in water resources management at Harvard in 1969 and working as an environmental consultant in Connecticut, Ortolano came to Stanford to build a research program in environmental planning and management within what is now the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His recent research includes projects on the role of nongovernmental organizations in water and environmental management in India and China. He also supervises ongoing research that focuses on the enforcement of environmental laws and regulations in developing countries. He has been an adviser to environmental ministries in several countries and is currently working with the World Bank to improve its approach to integrating environmental considerations into the formulation of loans to support development policies.
"The first three directors of the Haas Center -- Catherine Milton, Tim Stanton and Nadinne Cruz -- have helped create an institution that stands as a model for many other universities interested in combining public service and education. I am both pleased and honored to have the opportunity to further their work," Ortolano said.