President at Columbia University
Grayson Kirk, founding member of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees (1954-1979), was an influential academic leader. Dr. Kirk earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1930 and spent the next decade teaching at the University of Wisconsin–Madison before taking a position as an Associate Professor of Government at Columbia in 1940.
During World War II, Dr. Kirk began a long association with the U.S. Federal Government when he served in the Security Section of the Department of State’s Political Studies Division. He became involved in the formation of the United Nations Security Council, attending the Dumbarton Oaks Conference and the United Nations Conference on International Organization where the United Nations Charter was signed. Dr. Kirk was appointed the position of University Provost at Columbia in 1949 and became acting president of the University in 1951. He assumed the presidency of Columbia in 1953 and retired in 1968.