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Shelley Berkley to oversee Nevada, California schools in Touro University system


Julie Jacobson / AP Photo

Then-Rep. Shelley Berkley talks with moderator Mitch Fox before debating Republican Sen. Dean Heller in October 2012 in Las Vegas. Berkley lost the Senate bid. She has now been appointed CEO and senior provost of Touro College & University’s Western Division.

Updated Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 | 2:25 p.m.

Former Democratic congresswoman Shelley Berkley has been appointed to lead the Nevada and California campuses of the New York-based Touro College & University System.

Berkley will take the helm next month, replacing Dr. Michael Harter as the new CEO and senior provost of Touro’s Western Division. Harter started working for Touro in 2004, joining the Henderson campus at its inception. He was promoted in 2008 to oversee Touro’s Nevada and California schools.

The former congresswoman was picked after a national search for the position. Her appointment was approved earlier this month, and school officials plan to make the announcement today.

“(Berkley) is an accomplished professional, visionary, humanitarian and leader who has nobly served her country and state,” Touro President and CEO Dr. Alan Kadish said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to her building upon the great successes we’ve enjoyed in Touro’s Western Division and the Touro System as a whole.”

Berkley, a 50-year resident of Nevada, was the first person in her family to attend college. She graduated from UNLV with a degree in political science and then graduated from the University of San Diego’s School of Law. She worked as an attorney before launching her political career, which included being elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1998; she represented Nevada’s 1st Congressional District from 1999-2013. Prior to her election to Congress, she served as a member of the Nevada State System of Higher Education’s Board of Regents for eight years.

“I have spent my entire career dedicated to issues related to education and health care and am honored to have been given this remarkable opportunity,” Berkley said in a prepared statement. “I share Touro’s commitment to improve the quality of education worldwide and look forward to working with the dynamic faculty, staff and students.”

Touro is a private, Jewish school system founded in 1970 with additional campuses in the New York area and in Berlin, Jerusalem, Moscow, Paris and Florida. Its Henderson-based school system in Nevada specializes in medical studies.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said it was "wonderful news for Nevada that Shelley will continue her service to our state as CEO and Provost at Touro University. Her enthusiasm for her constituents and her work is infectious. Improving our education system has been a passion of hers and I know she will do great things at Touro."

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