NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—One of the high-powered members of Rutgers University’s Board of Governors has been tapped to join a federal board to advise US President Joe Biden.
The White House announced on November 22 that Mark Angelson, a corporate executive who lives in New York but also leads the $4 billion State University of New Jersey, will join the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board (PIAB).
The PIAB’s Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB), is charged with overseeing “the compliance of the “intelligence community” with the United States Constitution, laws, executive orders, and Presidential directives.
The PIAB is one of the only entities with oversight of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). As we reported, the CIA has maintained ties to Rutgers University for over 60 years.
According to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) website, the PIAB consists of up to 16 members selected from distinguished citizens who are supposed to come from “outside the government.”
While Angelson is not part of the federal government, his Rutgers board position is considered a state government role in New Jersey.
Current information about the PIAB is hard to find so it’s unclear if and when the board meets. The White House Press Office did not respond to multiple inquiries from New Brunswick Today.
There is no current PIAB website online but old versions from the administrations of Barack Obama and George W. Bush remain archived and available. The DNI website links to a supposed PIAB website is currently broken, taking visitors to a White House page that says: “404 / Page Not Found”.
Angelson was first nominated to the Rutgers position by then-Governor Chris Christie, before being re-nominated by current Governor Phil Murphy in 2021.
In addition to his role at Rutgers, Angelson is Chair of the non-profit Institute of International Education and an adjunct Professor of Mergers and Acquisitions at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
According to his biography on the school’s website, Angelson was also the Vice Chairman of Biden’s foundation and “has worked prominently on behalf of President Biden since 1986.”
The White House noted that Angelson “had a lengthy and distinguished career as an international lawyer in each of Singapore, New York, and London.”
Over the years, Angelson has headed up various companies including the NewPage Corporation, RR Donnelly, and MidOcean Partners. He currently serves on the board of Quad Graphics, a printing company that does business with Rutgers.
“I’m a director of Quad/Graphics. All my other engagements are not for profit,” reads Angelson’s October 2019 ethics forms, obtained by New Brunswick Today.
Angelson is also one of the more than 5,000 “members” of the controversial think tank known as the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as several elite financial networks including the Economic Club of New York, the Chicago Club, and of the Pilgrims (London and NYC). He is also a “Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce.”
Angelson previously held the role of deputy mayor during the notorious administration of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Emanuel’s bid to become the US Ambassador to Japan encountered significant opposition, in part due to the Emanuel administration’s lengthy cover-up of a 2014 police murder in Chicago. Biden eventually appointed him, and Emanuel was approved by a US Senate vote of 48-21 before he assumed the Ambassador role this March.
The PIAB is currently chaired by retired another Biden pick, Navy Admiral James A. “Sandy” Winnefeld, Jr. On May 2, Biden announced his intent to appoint Winnefeld and three other PIAB Board members, including Obama’s Director of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.
The Biden administration announced another PIAB appointment in June, that of former US Senator Evan Bayh, plus another two appointments in August and one more in October, before announcing Angelson’s appointment a week ago.
It’s unclear who, if anyone, remains on the PIAB from the era of ex-President Donald Trump, but Biden’s group of appointees would appear to constitute a clear majority of the board’s seats once Angelson has formally joined.
The White House did not respond to New Brunswick Today’s request for the list of current PIAB and IOB members.
According to the White House, the PIAB is “an independent element” within the Executive Office of the President, one that “exists exclusively to assist the President by providing the President with an independent source of advice on the effectiveness with which the Intelligence Community is meeting the nation’s intelligence needs and the vigor and insight with which the community plans for the future.”
Angelson’s tenure at Rutgers has been both eventful and controversial.
In 2018, the author of this article sued Angelson and several of his colleagues for holding positions on the Rutgers board without residing in New Jersey. He lives in New York City, according to Rutgers.
Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson, sitting in Mercer County, ruled that it was okay for Angelson and the others to reside out-of-state in a decision handed down in August 2020, more than two years after the case was filed.
While that case was pending, Angelson was elevated to become Chair of the board.
During his time as Chair, Angelson ushered in the return of football coach Greg Schiano, the arrival of new University President Jonathan Holloway, and a controversial plan that displaced a New Brunswick public school to facilitate a Rutgers expansion plan.
The way Angelson has run the public comment portion of the Rutgers meetings has led to the filing of a bill in the New Jersey Statehouse, and a second lawsuit from this reporter.
In late 2019, Angelson introduced controversial new rules that made it harder for people to speak at the board’s public meetings, and limited their speaking time to just two minutes each. That move prompted a State Senator to introduce legislation that would have required the board to hear more public comments.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Angelson clashed with callers from the public in the board’s remote meetings, including this reporter, refusing to answer any questions.
On June 22, 2021, Angelson ordered one of the board’s faculty representatives, Troy Shinbrot, be removed from a public meeting after a dispute over how Angelson handled our public comments.
Shinbrot resigned his position over the ordeal, and later teamed up with this reporter to sue the board. While Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Alberto Rivas was critical of how the board’s meetings were run, he ultimately ruled that they had not violated the state’s Open Public Meetings Act.
Earlier this year, Angelson relinquished the role of Chairman of the Rutgers board and became Vice Chairman. He currently leads the board’s Intercollegiate Athletics Committee.
The White House did not respond to our questions about Angelson’s pending appointment, and his eligibility for the federal role.
Angelson also did not respond to questions, including if he will resign his Rutgers position.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.