Stephen L. Schechter, Ph.D.

Dr. Stephen Schechter is currently Professor of Political Science in the Department of History, Law, and Government, at Russell Sage College in Troy, New York where he also serves as Professor and former Director of the M.A.T. Social Studies Program, and Director of the Council for Citizenship Education.

Professor Schechter received his B.A. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 1967 and his Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh in 1972. Prior to joining the Sage faculty, he has been on the faculties of the University of Umea (Sweden), Temple University (Philadelphia), and the State University of New York at Albany.

From 1986 to 1990, Professor Schechter served as Executive Director of the New York State Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution which initiated many programs and events for schools and communities throughout the state.

The Council for Citizenship Education which Professor Schechter now directs is a legacy of that Bicentennial Commission. Under the auspices of that Council, Professor Schechter has been involved in many educational projects in civics and history in New York State and elsewhere around the world.

Professor Schechter is the author or editor of more than 20 books on American constitutional history. His books include Well Begun: Chronicles of the Early National Period, Roots of the Republic, and Contexts of the Bill of Rights which he co-edited with Pulitzer prize nominee Richard B. Bernstein.

He has a special interest in American and comparative federalism. He has worked for federal, state, and local governments. He assisted President-elect Ronald Reagans Federalism Transition Team, and he worked closely with the Reagan White House on federalism issues. He also worked closely with the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.
He directed one state commission and served as research director of another, the New York State Commission on the Capital Region. He has served as chairman of a county commission (the Rensselaer Bicentennial Commission) and vice-chair of a city commission (the Albany Charter Commission).

In political science, Professor Schechter founded the Section on Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations in the American Political Science Association. When he served as Section Chair, it was the largest section in the Association.

He is the founding editor of the Publius Annual Review, started in 1976, as a review of the 10 most important issues each year for American federalism and intergovernmental relations. He also co-directs the Cities of the Prairie research project which has published three volumes on the political development since 1945 of a dozen medium-size cities.

He also has a keen interest in civic education. He is the primary author of New York States Core Curriculum for its 12th grade course, Participation in Government. He also founded the New York State Consortium of Civic Learning housed at the New York State Bar Association. He also has served as co-editor of the Social Science Record, the official journal of the New York State Social Studies Council.

He also works on civic education and Education for Democracy Act programs in the Middle East, Eurasia, and Russia. He has served as a semi-permanent advisor to the U.S. Information Agency; and in 2004 he was part of a U.S. delegation to Iraq.

He has co-directed Civitas-Russia for 12 years with the American Federation of Teachers and the Teachers Newspaper of Russia. This partnership trains 6,000 yearly and reaches 100,000 students each year.

Since 2002 he has directed Civics Mosaic, an international civic education exchange program that receives an annual budget of approximately one million dollars from the United States Department of Education and is assisted by the U.S. Department of State.

Locally, Professor Schechter has started several community development projects in Troy. Most recently, he established created the Colleges housing program in Troy. It has raised funds in the private sector to facilitate the sale and rehabilitation of dozens of homes in the neighborhood surrounding Russell Sage College.

Currently, with Margaret Branson of the Center for Civic Education and Thomas Vontz at Kansas State University, he is writing a reference work (high school and above) on comparative government. Undertaken as part of Civics Mosaic, the book is titled Exploring Political Ideas, and it will be published in 2009 by CQ Press, a subsidiary of Congressional Quarterly, Inc.