Alice Stone Ilchman, an economist, political scientist, and expert in international affairs, was president of Sarah Lawrence College from 1981 to 1998. She was the longest-serving president in the history of Sarah Lawrence, and during her tenure the college experienced tremendous growth: an increase in endowment from $3 million to $30 million, the construction of a new science building and sports center, and the establishment of ten faculty chairs and three new overseas programs.
Prior to serving at Sarah Lawrence, Ilchman was dean of the college at Wellesley from 1973 until 1978, when she was appointed assistant secretary of state of educational and cultural affairs by President Jimmy Carter. As assistant secretary of state, she managed exchange programs and the Fulbright program.
Ilchman earned a master’s degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. After completing her doctorate, she directed a Peace Corps training program in India and taught at the University of California, Berkeley.
Ilchman served on numerous boards, including the Committee on Economic Development, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and Save the Children USA. She was a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation for 13 years and served as chair from 1995 to 2000.