Newsmakers

FedFac

Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger ’71LAW has joined the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. . . . The recent appointment of Frederic Mishkin, Alfred Lerner Professor of Banking and Financial Institutions at Columbia, to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors added momentum to Fed chair Ben Bernanke’s goal of allowing central bankers to set explicit targets for controlling inflation.

Rag times

Tribune Company forced Los Angeles Times editor Dean Baquet ’78CC to resign after he publicly resisted additional job cuts. . . . New editor in chief of The Village Voice, David Blum, a professor at the J-school, wants the weekly newspaper “to be a must-read, like it once was.”

On-air personalities

The Environmental Protection Agency delivered a new air-quality assessment and cleanup plan for the neighborhood surrounding the World Trade Center under pressure from activists, including Paul Stein’74GS,’79LAW, health and safety committee chair, Public Employees Federation, Division 199. . . . Peter Lehner ’84LAW is the new executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, whose 1.2 million members and 300 lawyers help to enforce safeguards like the CleanAir Act.

Los consejeros

Economist Georgina Kessel ’89GSAS has been named Mexico’s first female energy secretary under president-elect Felipe Calderón. . . . Norman Bailey ’55SIPA, ’62GSAS, a professor at

the Institute of World Politics, is now the mission manager for Cuba and Venezuela at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Beliefs

The Kuwait-based media company Teshkeel, headed by Naif Al-Mutawa ’03BUS, has launched The 99, a comic-book series about superheroes who personify the 99 attributes of God in Islam.

Canonized

The National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest artistic honor, has been awarded to two City University of New York professors, including Gregory Rabassa ’54GSAS for his translations of more than 50 books by Latin America’s greatest writers. . . . In 2003, television mogul and former CEO of Metromedia John W. Kluge ’37CC, ’88HON endowed the Library of Congress’s international John W. Kluge Prize for lifetime achievement in the study of humanity (a subject that Alfred Nobel forgot). This year, professor emeritus of history at Duke University John H. Franklin ’70HON, one of the first scholars to explore the role of African Americans in the nation’s history, shared the $1 million prize with Yu Ying-shih, a professor emeritus at Yale.

Shining in the sun

Carol Gluck ’77GSAS, George Sansom Professor of History and Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia, received Japan’s highest civilian honor, the Order of the Rising Sun, for her contributions to the development of Japanese studies.

Dragoons and dragons

Actor Jesse Bradford ’02CC plays Rene Gagnon, one of the three surviving flag raisers, in Clint Eastwood’s epic film of the Battle of Iwo Jima, Flags of Our Fathers. . . . Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson bought the film rights to the Naomi Novik (’00SEAS) fantasy series Temeraire, described as “a reimagining of the epic events of the Napoleonic Wars with an air force — an air force of dragons.”

Not-as-needy causes

With his $31 billion donation to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, investor Warren Buffett ’51BUS capped Business Week’s annual list of 50 Most Generous Philanthropists. Ranked fifth were former Golden West Financial Corp. co-CEOs Marion and Herbert Sandler’54LAW, who aided medical research on asthma and diseases such as malaria with donations of some $1.3 billion.

Ruling bloc

Former reporter Toomas Hendrik Ilves ’76CC recently became president of Estonia, joining Mikhail Saakashvili ’94LAW of Georgia, Valdas Adamkus of Lithuania, and Vaira Vike-Freiberga of Latvia in the ranks of Eastern European presidents who either worked or were educated in North America.

The accidental prime-timers

The telegenic astrophysicist and director of Hayden Planetarium, Neil deGrasse Tyson ’92GSAS, is the new host of the PBS program NOVA scienceNOW. . . . The Lifetime channel recently premiered Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy, a film based on a memoir by Geralyn Lucas ’94JRN, the company’s director of corporate communications.

Once, twice, sold!

Barnaby Furnas’s (’00SOA) painting Heartbreak Ridge (2002) recently sold for $520,000 to an unidentified telephone bidder at Sotheby’s. . . . Art gallery dealer Otto Naumann ’73GSAS auctions his collection of old masters for an expected $2–3 million at Sotheby’s January 25.