Obama appointee will teach, develop new national institute for elected officials
Jerry Abramson, President Obama’s Director of Intergovernmental Affairs -- previously Kentucky’s lieutenant governor and Louisville’s longest-serving mayor -- is joining Bellarmine University next week as an Executive in Residence.
Dr. Doris Tegart, Bellarmine’s interim president, said Abramson will teach courses on leadership and civics and be available as a guest lecturer in other classes.
He will also develop and direct a new institute for local government leadership, which will train elected local government officials from across the nation, including city council presidents and officials serving large urban counties.
Working with organizations including the National League of Cities and the National Association of Counties, and drawing on his own extensive network of contacts, Abramson will develop seminars for elected officials that will take place on Bellarmine’s campus.
For Abramson, this is a return to Bellarmine; he previously served as an executive in residence in 2011, before he was elected lieutenant governor.
“I’m excited to return to Louisville and be back on a college campus, working directly with young people,” said Abramson. “I’m looking forward to bringing my experience in local, state and federal government to Bellarmine’s students, and helping local governments across the nation innovate and better serve their communities through a new institute that I’m developing.”
Tegart said Abramson “is one of the most dynamic and energetic public servants in our city, commonwealth and nation, and I’m excited to welcome him back to Louisville at Bellarmine. He will be a remarkable asset for Bellarmine’s students, with his deep understanding of public policy issues across our academic offerings, including business, health care, education, environmental studies, communication, and the arts and sciences.”
For more than two years, Abramson has overseen the Obama administration’s domestic agenda with state, city, county and tribal elected officials across the country.
From 2011 through 2014, he was Kentucky’s 55th lieutenant governor, serving alongside former Gov. Steve Beshear. He served 21 years as Louisville’s mayor, first from 1986 to 1999, then returning for two additional terms, from 2003 to 2010, as the first mayor of Louisville’s consolidated local government.
Abramson has also served as a city alderman and a counselor to former Kentucky Gov. John Y. Brown, Jr., and as an attorney in private practice.
Abramson holds a bachelor of science in business economics from Indiana University and a law degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
He has served as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and has been recognized as America’s Local Public Official of the Year by Governing magazine, one of the nation’s top mayors by Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report, and as Kentucky’s best civic leader by Kentucky Monthly.