Joseph A. O'Hare, S.J.

Associate Editor, America, 1972-75, 2003-09
Editor in Chief, America, 1975-84

Father O'Hare's long association with America began in 1972 after returning from several years of service in the Phillipines. After serving as editor in chief from 1975-84, he was named president of Fordham University and remained there until 2003. Father O'Hare returned to America in 2003 to serve as an associate editor. He retired in 2009 and is now involved in pastoral work.

Father O'Hare received received numerous accolades for his work at America. In 1976, 1978, 1981 and 1984 his column, "Of Many Things" was recognized by the Catholic Press Association in its annual awards as the Best Regular Column originating in a magazine. He was born in New York City in 1931 and entered the Jesuits in 1948 and was ordained in 1961. His early training as a Jesuit took place in the Phillipines where he also taught at the Ateneo de Manila University from 1955 to 1958 and again from 1967 to 1972. He earned a doctorate in Philosophy from Fordham University (1968).

While president of Fordham University, Father O'Hare served as chair of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) and chair of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU). He is a former trustee of the Asia Society and was part of a study mission to the Philippines sponsored by that Society in 1986. He is the vice president of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

From March 1986 until December 1989, Father O'Hare served on the newly-established Mayor's Committee on Appointments, a five-person citizen's committee charged with interviewing and recommending candidates for New York City commissions. He also was a member of the Charter Revision Commission of the City of New York chaired by Richard Ravitch (1986-1988). In April 1988 Mayor Edward I. Koch appointed him chair of the Campaign Finance Board, a five-member non-partisan board created to oversee a new law on voluntary public financing of municipal elections established by the City Council and Mayor Koch in February 1988. He has been reappointed to this position twice by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in January 1994 and in April 1999.

Father O'Hare has received numerous honors including 10 honorary degrees. In 1992, he was honored by the Citizens Union with its Civil Leadership Award for his work as founding chairman of the Campaign Finance Board. In 1994 he received the COGEL Award from the Council on Governmental Ethics Law for distinguished achievement in the regulation of government ethics. In 1999, he received the "I Love an Ethical New York Award" presented by Common Cause/NY for his 10 years of service as founding chair of the New York City Campaign Finance Board.