International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Dr. George Rupp, Former President and CEO

George Rupp was president of the International Rescue Committee from July 2002 through August 2013 and led the agency's life-saving work on behalf of people uprooted by war and conflict in countries around the world. (David Miliband is the IRC’s current president and CEO).

Before joining the IRC, Dr. Rupp was president of Columbia University. During his nine-year tenure, he focused on enhancing undergraduate education, on strengthening the relationship of the campus to surrounding communities and New York City as a whole, and on increasing the university’s international orientation. He also completed both a financial restructuring of the university and a $2.84 billion fundraising campaign.

Prior to his time at Columbia, Dr. Rupp served as president of Rice University, where in the course of his eight-year tenure, applications for admission almost tripled, federal research support more than doubled, and the value of the Rice endowment increased by more than $500 million to $1.25 billion. Earlier, he was the John Lord O’Brian Professor of Divinity and dean of the Harvard Divinity School. Under his leadership, the curriculum of the school was revised to address more directly the pluralistic character of contemporary religious life.

Dr. Rupp serves on the boards of the Committee for Economic Development, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Institute for International Education, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Josiah Macy Foundation. He is also co-president of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.

Born in New Jersey of immigrant parents, Dr. Rupp studied and conducted research for extended periods in Europe and Asia. He was awarded an A.B. from Princeton University in 1964, a B.D. from Yale Divinity School in 1967, and a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1972. He is the author of numerous articles and five books, including Globalization Challenged: Conviction, Conflict, Community (2006). George Rupp and his wife Nancy have two adult daughters, both anthropologists, and six grandchildren.