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BREAKING: Obama Appoints Phil Hanlon as UN Secretary General

Obama Hanlon.jpgIn a move almost as surprising as Jim Kim’s appointment to head the World Bank, President Obama has appointed Phil Hanlon as Secretary General of the United Nations.

Hanlon has only been at the College for less than three years — his departure mirrors almost exactly Jim Kim’s 33-month stint as Dartmouth’s President — but his tenure has received good notices in the press, even though this space has not always held him in high esteem. The New York Times reports:

In a decision that struck many observers as unexpected, President Obama announced today that Dartmouth President Philip J. Hanlon would be his choice to replace Ban Ki-moon as Secretary General of the United Nations. “Philip Hanlon’s skills as a diplomat, orator and groundbreaking thinker make him an obvious choice to head up the UN,” said the President in a ceremony in the Rose Garden at which he introduced Hanlon. “I look forward to Phil taking on some of the world’s seemingly intractable problems.”

Hanlon thanked the President profusely. “Though my heart will always be in Hanover,” said the 1977 graduate of Dartmouth, “I can’t turn down President Obama’s call to work for peace, diversity and inclusivity.”

Hanlon earned a doctorate at the California Institute of Technology in 1981, and he spent 27 years at the University of Michigan, rising to the position of Provost, before being chosen as Dartmouth’s President in 2013.

In an interview on Dartmouth’s campus, Economics Professor Bruce Sacerdote applauded the choice, “Phil is one of the most charismatic people I know. He’s a great speaker who will do a fine job leading the UN. He’s an amazing manager, too.” Dean of the Faculty Mike Mastanduno echoed Sacerdote, and stated, “Phil is a great guy. He has always supported me. It is the least that I can do to support him in the same way.”

Dartmouth students were equally enthusiastic. Socia Climer ‘16 said of Hanlon’s appointment, “This continues Dartmouth’s tradition of grooming leaders for the international stage.” Fellow student William Brownose ‘17 wished Hanlon well, “Phil will approach problems thoughtfully and cautiously. He’s a fantastic leader.”

How to respond to this astounding event? For myself, I can only say that I expect that Phil will do as well at the UN as Jim Kim has done at the World Bank.

Addendum: No official announcement has been made as of yet on the choice of an interim President to replace Hanlon; however rumor is rife among members of the faculty that the Trustees will continue their uninterrupted string of brilliant choices and pick either Carolyn Dever or Denise Anthony.

Addendum: Curiously, The D has yet to report anything about Hanlon’s appointment.

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