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End of an era, New Haven edition

New Haven mayor John DeStefano, who took office just months after Rick Levin ’74PhD, will end his 20-year run this year, just months after the Yale president steps down.

The two chief executives have transformed the institutions they lead and—crucially for both—have vastly improved town-gown relations.

DeStefano, first elected in 1993, is the longest-serving mayor in New Haven history. Downtown retail and restaurant life have revived during his tenure, in part because of Yale's increased role as landlord and property manager. DeStefano is credited with brokering a deal between Yale and its unions in 2003, helping to end decades of labor strife. The city still faces significant problems, including a troubled school system whose number-two leader is a Yale alumnus bent on reform.

Levin announced in August that he will step down as Yale president this summer. The university's governing board swiftly appointed then-provost Peter Salovey ’86PhD as president-elect.

As DeStefano formally announces this afternoon that he will not run for reelection, there is no such obvious successor. Of the candidates who have already declared, one—Justin Elicker ’10MBA, ’10MEM, a member of the city's Board of Aldermen—is a Yalie. Other candidates are sure to emerge.

Filed under John DeStefano, Rick Levin, Peter Salovey, Justin Elicker
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