Long-time staff member Jeff Wachtel to retire

Jeff Wachtel
Jeff Wachtel, executive director of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, will retire in August.

After working at Stanford for nearly 35  years, JEFF WACHTEL, executive director of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, has announced plans to retire at the end of August.

Wachtel, who served as senior assistant to President John Hennessy from 2000 to 2016, helped Hennessy establish the program, which provides full scholarships for graduate study at Stanford. The program recently announced its second cohort of global scholars.

Hennessy, the Shriram Family Director of Knight-Hennessy Scholars, said Wachtel has made innumerable contributions to Stanford and to the scholarship program.

“Jeff has contributed to the lives of many people in the university, always with humility, kindness and the highest integrity,” Hennessy said. “That’s why he has so many friends across the Stanford community.”

Two years ago, Stanford honored Wachtel with a Kenneth M. Cuthbertson Award for Exceptional Service to Stanford University.

The award, which was presented during the 126th Commencement ceremony, honored Wachtel “for his care and concern for individuals, deep humanism and problem solving skills, and commitment to the university,” as well as “his distinguished service to Stanford, ingenuity in meeting university objectives and exceptional technical and emotional intelligence.” He was also commended for his contributions to Cardinal Service, the university’s public service initiative.

Wachtel, who plays double bass with the Peninsula Symphony and has played with the Stanford Symphony Orchestra, first joined the Stanford community as an undergraduate student.

After earning bachelor’s degrees in urban studies and psychology at Stanford, Wachtel earned a master’s degree in city planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and a law degree from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.

Wachtel joined the Stanford staff in 1985 as the managing director of subdivisions in Faculty Staff Housing, a division of the Office of the Provost. He left that position in 1988 to help establish Stanford Continuing Studies, which now offers approximately 550 courses a year, attracting more than 16,000 adult students. He served as associate dean and administrative director of Stanford Continuing Studies and Summer Session until 1995, when he became the associate director for academic affairs at the Institute for International Studies – now known as the  Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

When Hennessy became provost of Stanford in 1999, Wachtel became associate provost, and the following year transitioned with him to the Office of the President. He also served as secretary of the Board of Trustees from 2003-2011.