Ken Iwama is the College of Staten Island’s founding Vice President for the Division of Economic Development, Continuing Studies, and Government Relations. In addition to providing diverse educational programming for 4,000 pre-college, professional certificate, and matriculated students, the division supports faculty research and innovation, government relations, corporate and foundation engagement, specialized student career services, student residential life, workforce development, auxiliary services, and community-based centers and programming. Ken’s division has led the college’s strategic priority in re-engaging with the community of Staten Island, one of the five great boroughs of New York City, which has resulted in unprecedented resources flowing to the college to grow the educational and research environments needed to support and enhance academic excellence. Of particular note, Ken secured approximately $22 million for major facilities and infrastructure projects as well as academic initiatives supporting the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, Division of Science and Technology, School of Health Sciences, and the School of Business. Ken is currently overseeing the major expansion of the college’s Tech Incubator to create the first innovation center in the borough.
Ken previously served as Chief of Staff and Deputy for two College of Staten Island presidents, and was the college’s Director of Diversity and Compliance. With an extensive background in education law and labor law, prior to working at the college Ken was General Counsel for the State-Operated School District of Jersey City. As the first school district in the nation subject to takeover by a state due to its struggles in meeting state constitutional education standards, Ken was a senior member of the state-appointed intervention team, which ultimately was successful in raising performance indicators and commencing the district’s return to local city control.
Ken has presented on higher education issues at national conferences and seminars, and has served with numerous higher education/legal organizations, including the Advisory Committee for the Journal of College and University Law and the Committee on Legal Education for the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the New York City Tech Talent Pipeline Academic Council, and was chair of the Administrative Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association. Ken is also actively involved in community organizations highlighted by his service as co-chair of the Freshkills Park Alliance for the Freshkills Park, which will become the second largest public park in New York City when completed. Ken was also appointed by the governor to serve on the Blue-Ribbon Panel to study the integration of the Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities with the College of Staten Island
Ken holds a BA in English from the University of New Hampshire, an MA in Labor and Employment Relations from the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations, and a JD from Seton Hall Law School.