Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Blog

By Nasser Siadat

2012 Summer Intern

Mitch Daniels, one of the nation’s most influential Arab Americans, is taking on a new role. The two-term governor of the State of Indiana will serve as the 12th president of Purdue University. Daniels will remain in the Indiana Statehouse for more than 6 months, beginning his new job in January as his term ends and a new governor is sworn in.

“No institution of any kind means more to Indiana today or tomorrow as Purdue University,” said Daniels in a statement issued by the Office of the President-elect.  “I hope to become an audible and credible voice for the critical role of higher education in the nation’s future.”

Having delivered the GOP response to President Obama’s latest State of the Union address, many Republican supporters had hoped he would jump into the race for the party nomination. Daniels, after all, is no stranger to the White House. The governor served as Chief Political Advisor to President Ronald Reagan and Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush. Despite the further speculation by political analysts that placed Daniels on Mitt Romney’s short-list for the vice presidency, his appointment at Purdue has certainly closed the door on discussion surrounding the 2012 race.

When questioned on the extent to which he will involve himself in partisan politics this campaign season, Governor Daniels told reporters he would be taking part in "no campaigning, no commenting about anybody's campaigning – in the state or out state or anywhere else – no fundraising, nothing. I won't be a delegate to the national convention.” Daniels has stated publicly that he will use this time to focus on his family.

The governor’s ancestry traces back to Syrian emigrants that arrived at Ellis Island in 1905. In recognition of his effective leadership and commitment to co-existence, Daniels was awarded the Najeeb Halaby Award for Public Service at the 2011 Khalil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards. 

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