NEWTON, MA | December 22, 2005
EDC’s Board of Trustees announced today the selection of Dr. Luther S. Luedtke, president of California Lutheran University, as the organization’s new president and chief executive officer. Luedtke will succeed Janet Whitla, who is retiring in March after 25 years as EDC’s president.
“The EDC Trustees are delighted to welcome Dr. Luedtke to EDC,” said Deborah Wadsworth, Chairman of the EDC Board of Trustees. “Our search was extensive and we are pleased to have found in Dr. Luedtke the blend of experience, integrity, compassion, and scholarship that will ensure EDC’s continued effectiveness in the years ahead.”
Luedtke, 62, has been president of CLU for 14 years. Under his leadership, the university has seen major growth in enrollment, faculty, campus facilities, and financial resources and the establishment of several new undergraduate and graduate programs—including an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and an International MBA. Between 1992 and 2005, the CLU operating budget has more than doubled, net assets have quintupled, and the endowment has increased seven-fold.
Prior to becoming president of CLU in 1992, Luedtke worked for two decades at the University of Southern California, where he held a series of professorial and administrative positions. He has been a Fulbright Professor in Germany, director of the American Studies Research Centre in India, and Resident Scholar with the U.S. Information Agency in Washington, D.C., as well as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Education, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars and other governmental bodies. Luedtke received his bachelor of arts degree summa cum laude from Gustavus Adolphus College in his native Minnesota and his Ph.D. in American civilization from Brown University.
I am elated to join the EDC team,” said Luedtke, who will begin his tenure as EDC’s president and CEO in early April. “The EDC community of researchers, policy analysts, and development specialists provides a rare and much needed bridge between the academy, government, philanthropy, and a world of need.”
Whitla joined EDC in 1966 and became president in 1981. During her tenure, EDC’s revenues have increased from $4.5 million in 1981 to more than $100 million in 2005. Founded in 1958 by faculty from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, EDC is now one of the world’s leading nonprofit education and health organizations, with 650 employees and 335 projects, both in the U.S. and in 50 countries throughout the world. After leaving EDC, Whitla plans to write and to continue her work as a board member of several nonprofit organizations, including the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Cambridge College, and The Handel and Hayden Society of Boston.