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Ruth Farkas


FARKAS, RUTH (née Lewis; 1906–1996), U.S. sociologist and diplomat. Farkas was born in New York and gained degrees in education from New York University (B.A. and Ed.D.) and Columbia (M.A. in sociology, 1932). She was a sociology instructor at the New York University School of Education from 1945 to 1955, and in 1962, she was appointed director of the William Allison White Psychoanalytical Institute, and became chairman of President's Advisory Council of the New York University Graduate School of Social Work.

As a sociologist and educator she came to the attention of Secretary of State Dean Rusk and was appointed a member of the Executive Committee of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO and of the Department of State Foreign Service Selection Board. She was also consultant sociologist to the U.S. delegations to the International Conference on Eradication of Illiteracy in Iran (1965) and the International Conference of the Status and Rights of Women in Helsinki (1967). She served as chief delegate to the Conference of the Pan-Pacific Southeast Asia Women's Association in Australia in 1961 and in New Zealand in 1972. Farkas was a member of the President's Special Education committee for Dissemination of Human Rights and of the President's Committee for the Handicapped. She served on Governor Rockefeller's New York State Women's Advisory Council and on the Council of the Child Study Association of America, and was the recipient of a number of awards for work with the handicapped and the aged. From 1965 she served as Consultant for Personnel and Public Relations of Alexander's Incorporated, founded by her husband, George Farkas.

She was involved in many philanthropic activities through the Role Foundation, which she established in 1967. Farkas served as United States ambassador to Luxembourg from 1973 to 1976. In 1982 she was honored by Columbia University's Teachers College with a Distinguished Alumni Award.

Sources:A. Morin, Her Excellency (1995).

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