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SU Board of Trustees elects Goh, honors Menschel
The Syracuse University Board of Trustees met in Syracuse Nov. 4-5 for their Fall 2004 meeting. Goh Kun HON ’01, former prime minister of South Korea and former mayor of Seoul, was named a voting member of the board; Goldman, Sachs & Co. limited partner and SU Trustee Emeritus Robert B. Menschel ’51 was named an honorary trustee.
Goh has served two terms as prime minister of South Korea; he has also been acting president and was formerly the mayor of the capital city.
In addition to serving as prime minister from 1997-98 and from 2003-04, Goh was mayor of Seoul from 1988-90 and from 1998-2002. He was president of Myong Ji University from 1994-97, a member of the Korean National Assembly from 1985-88 and governor of Jeonnam Province from 1975-79. He has also held several high ministry positions in the national government, including transportation and agriculture and marine affairs.
Goh has won international acclaim for his fight to reduce corruption in public service in Korea. His commitment cost him his appointed mayorship of Seoul in 1990, when he refused to yield to political pressure and approve a questionable development proposal. In 1998, when the office became an elected one, he won his job back and continued his war on corruption in new and innovative ways.
Among his most noteworthy anti-corruptions is the Online Procedures Enhancement for Civil Applications (OPEN), a system for public monitoring of citizen applications to city government-zoning and permit requests, for example-which reduces opportunities for city employees to demand payoffs. Goh’s system has been adopted by other South Korean government units and has received positive recognition from international monitoring bodies. As a result, he was named by the Fordham Institute for Ethics and Economic Policy as one of the world’s eight leading anti-corruption public officials. He is the recipient of the 2001 Global Integrity Award from Transparency International.
In 2001, when Goh was on campus to receive his honorary degree from SU, he gave a symposium on “Transparency Through Information Technology: Seoul’s OPEN System.”
Early in Goh’s long career in public service, he led the Saemaul (New Village) Movement, a rural development and modernization program that encouraged local leadership and self-direction and has since been copied throughout Asia. During his tenure as Minister of Home Affairs in the 1980s, he led the development of Korea’s reforestation policy and later served as president of the Coalition of Environmental Movements. As mayor, he initiated a “10 million trees of life” program in Seoul City and sought more aggressive emissions standards, projects that have led to a significant greening of the city. In 1999, the Korean Women’s Federation recognized him with its Certificate in Recognition of Contribution to Women’s Empowerment.
Goh earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in urban planning from Seoul National University in 1960 and 1971, respectively. He was a research fellow at Harvard University in 1983 and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984. In 1992, he received an honorary degree from Wonkwang University.
Menschel, who was a voting board member for 23 years, became a Trustee Emeritus in May. He joins the select group of honorary trustees who are recognized by the board for their significant contributions to the University: Alfred R. Goldstein HON ’85; Donald E. Newhouse ’51; Dorothea Ilgen Shaffer ’33, HON ’90; and Martin J. Whitman ’49.
As a trustee, Menschel served on the executive and investment committees of the board. He has also supported many ventures at the University, including the University Lecture Series; the Safire Chair; The Robert B.
Menschel Media Center; Light Work, the artist-run photography organization; and Light Work’s Robert B. Menschel Photography Gallery, located in the Schine Student Center.
Menschel is a limited partner in Goldman, Sachs & Co., which he joined in 1954, becoming partner in 1966. Before joining Goldman, he was a specialist on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The founder of Goldman’s institutional department, Menschel was partner in charge of institutional sales from 1967-78. He became a limited partner in 1979.
In 1999, he was honored with the Martin J. Whitman School of Management’s Jonathan J. Holtz Alumnus of the Year award. He was awarded an honorary degree from SU in 1991 and received the University’s George Arents Pioneer Medal in 1980 for “excellence in business, excellence in life.”
Menschel is active in cultural, civic and religious institutions in New York City and elsewhere. He is president of the Museum of Modern Art, chair of the museum’s photography committee, and has served as a member of its board’s finance, investment and marketing committees. He serves or has served as a trustee of the Dalton School, Guild Hall (East Hampton), Congregation of Emanu-El and the American Jewish Committee. He also was a member of President William J. Clinton’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and the board of trustees of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J.
He graduated from SU in 1951 with a bachelor of science degree, which he completed in three-and-a-half years.