Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections Online

For Participating Institutions

Derek Shearer and Ruth Goldway Papers

Brown University Library

Box A
Brown University
Providence, RI 02912
Tel: 401-863-2146

Biographical/Historical note

Born in New York City 1945, Ruth Yannatta Goldway is the daughter of David Goldway and Rosalyn Hersh. Her father once served as chairman of the editorial board of Science and Society, a quarterly journal of Marxist scholarship. She attended the Bronx High School of Science before going to the University of Michigan. After earning her Bachelor of Arts, she received her Masters in English literature from Wayne State University. Having moved to California, Goldway served as assistant to the director of the state Department of Consumer Affairs. During the 1970s she lectured on the role of women in government, Finnish culture and society, urban planning, and consumerism at universities and professional associations throughout the United States, Europe, Australia and Japan. She eventually became friends with liberal activist and politician Tom Hayden, who supported her candidacy for Santa Monica city council. In 1978 she led the Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMRR). Ruth Yannatta Goldway was elected council member and mayor of the city of Santa Monica from 1979 to 1983. In addition, she helped to found California's system of statewide farmers markets and expanded citizen representation on state regulatory boards. She served as Founder and Chairperson of the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation from 1983-1994.Her career shifted into the world of higher education when she became director of public affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. From 1991-1994 Goldway served as manager of public affairs for the Getty Trust, the largest arts and education foundation in the United States. During this time she received a small part in the 1993 movie Dave, playing the Secretary of Education in the cabinet of fictional President Bill Mitchell. Goldway and her husband, Derek Shearer, were friends of Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Shearer was appointed the United States Ambassador to Finland in 1993. The couple remained in Finland until 1997, during which time Goldway authored several articles for the Finnish magazine Gloria, organized seminars on womens issues and assisted in the promotion of American products and services. Her memoir of her overseas experience, Letters from Finland, was published in Finland in 1998. She is on the board of Tree People, the New Visions Foundation, and the USC Center for Sustainable Cities. Goldway is a founding member and chair of a networking and mentoring organization, Women in Logistics and Delivery Services Ruth Yannatta Goldway has the distinction of being the longest-serving presidential appointee currently in Washington. She was first appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1998 to the Postal Regulatory Commissions predecessor (the Postal Rate Commission), and twice was reappointed by President George W. Bush. President Barack Obama appointed her chairman of the Commission on August 6, 2009.

Biographical/Historical note

Derek Shearer was born in Los Angeles, California on December 5, 1946. He was married to Ruth Goldway and had three children, Julie, Anthony, and Casey. Shearer received his B.A. in 1968 from Yale University and his Ph.D. in Public Policy from the Union Graduate School. His father, Lloyd Shearer has been one of the leading journalists in the United States. Derek Shearer currently resides in Pacific Palisades, CA. with his wife Sue Toigo and two dogs, and two cats. Shearer founded the International and Public Affairs Center (IPAC) at Occidental College in Los Angeles and served as its first Director. In addition, he has taught courses on domestic and international economics and politics, public policymaking, and public and private sector management. He was appointed Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs in February, 1993. In 1994 President Bill Clinton nominated him to be United States. Ambassador to Finland. Among his many accomplishments were the creation of the administration's coordinated strategy to the Nordic-Baltic region and the hosting of the Clinton-Yeltsin summit in Helsinki. After diplomatic service, Ambassador Shearer was a fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute and then at the Woodrow Wilson Scholars Center in Washington, D.C. He was also a visiting Woodrow Wilson fellow and ambassador-in-residence at a number of colleges. He served as a foreign policy adviser to Vice President Gore during the 2000 Presidential campaign and to Senator Hillary Clinton in the 2007-2008 Presidential primary. He endorsed and supported Senator Obama in the general election. Ambassador Shearer's articles on foreign affairs and public policy have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, and many weekly and monthly publications. He has authored numerous scholarly and policy articles in books and journals and has lectured at leading universities in Europe, Asia, and Australia, including speaking tours for the United States government in China, Japan, Greece, Australia, and the Baltic States, Chile, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, Syria, Peru and Bolivia. n addition, he also taught at the University of Maryland, Tufts, and UCLA, as well as at Occidental. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an United States and Japan Leadership Fellowship, and a Swedish Bicentennial Fellowship, among other honors he is listed in Whos Who in the World, Whos Who in America, and other such publications. Shearer is also a senior fellow at the Center for Public Diplomacy located at the University of Southern Californias Annenberg School. He also served a political advisor to the United States military, and was the moderator of the Chiefs of Defense meetings for United States Pacific Command in Honolulu in 2005, and for Central Command in Tampa, Florida in 2008. Earlier in his career, he was an official in state and local government in California. His public policy books include Economic Democracy (co-author Martin Carnoy), A New Social Contract (with Carnoy and Rumsberger), Putting People First, 1992 Program of the Clinton-Gore campaign (with Magaziner, Reich, et al), and the Public Policy Reader (edited with Lee Webb). President Clinton followed Ambassador Shearer's recommendation to create a National Economic Council in the White House to coordinate overall economic policy.