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Dwight Hall at Yale the Center for Public Service and Social Justice announced the appointment of Alex Knopp, Esq. as the organizations new Executive Director and General Secretary on April 24, 2008.

Mr. Knopp is currently a Visiting Clinical Lecturer at Yale Law School. He formerly served two terms (2001-2005) as the Mayor of Norwalk, Connecticuts sixth largest municipality; eight terms as a State Representative in the Connecticut General Assembly (1987-2001); and two terms (1983-1987) on the Norwalk City Council.

Mr. Knopps appointment was made by a unanimous decision of Dwight Halls Board of Directors after a national search.  He succeeds Kathrine Burdick, the former Director of the Family Services Division of the Connecticut Department of Social Services, who is retiring from Dwight Hall after serving for 10 years as Executive Director & General Secretary.  Mr. Knopp will assume the position on July 1.

The Dwight Hall Board is extremely gratified to find in Alex Knopp a new leader who brings a lifelong career in public service, a deep moral and intellectual commitment to social justice and the hands-on experience of a big city mayor able to manage the daily operations of Dwight Hall, said Deborah Rose, Chair of the Board of Directors of Dwight Hall. We are indebted to Kathrine Burdick for her many years of extremely able leadership.

We are delighted that Alex Knopp will join us as a mentor and a guide. His lifelong commitment to public service makes him a fantastic role model for all of us who are just getting started.  His commitment to strategic planning and to intellectual exploration make him a perfect fit for Dwight Hall, said Dwight Hall student Executive Committee Co-Coordinators Amy Rothschild and Eliza Schafler.

Founded in 1881, Dwight Hall is an independent Section 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission is to foster civic-minded student leaders and to promote service and activism in New Haven, Connecticut, and around the world.  Dwight Hall is the only student-run college-based center for public service and social justice in the nation.  Dwight Hall is a non-profit umbrella organization that sustains and supports over 70 student-run member organizations and facilitates communication and training among 3500 student volunteers. Dwight Hall also operates its own programs, supervised by the professional staff and student leaders, which focus on community development, education, and leadership development.


Alex Knopp is currently a Visiting Clinical Lecturer at Yale Law School. He formerly served two terms (2001-2005) as the Mayor of Norwalk, Connecticuts sixth largest municipality; eight terms as a State Representative in the Connecticut General Assembly (1987-2001); two terms (1983-87) on the Norwalk City Council; and as a Legislative Aide to U.S. Senator George McGovern.

Mr. Knopp graduated as the Valedictorian of the 1981 class of the George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. and was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. He was born in Manchester, Connecticut, and lives in Norwalk with his wife Bette, who teaches sixth grade at Nathan Hale Middle School. Their daughter Jessie is enrolled at the University of Connecticut branch in Stamford, and their son Andrew is enrolled at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

Prior to his election as Mayor of Norwalk, Mr. Knopp represented Norwalk in the Connecticut House of Representatives for eight terms, from 1987 to 2001.  He served as House Majority Whip and as House Chairman of the Government Administration and Elections Committee, House Chairman of the Regulations Review Committee and House Chairman of the Select Committee on Housing.

Mr. Knopp was named Legislator of the Year by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Connecticut Association of Municipal Police Chiefs, the Connecticut Firefighters Association, the Connecticut Commission on Children and the Connecticut Union of Disability Action Groups. He received an Unsung Heroes Award from the Norwalk-Westport Chapter of the American Red Cross for Community Service.

Mr. Knopps additional public service includes: appointed by the Speaker of the House to the Board of the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority to help reform the organization after the Enron scandal; represented Norwalk on the South Western Regional Planning Agency; elected by his colleagues to serves as the Treasurer and Secretary of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities; served as one of Connecticuts representatives to the Connecticut-New York Bi-State Long Island Sound Commission; member of the National Conference of State Legislatures Task Force on Election Reform; member of the Governors Task Force Against Bullying; and appointed by the Judges of the Superior Court as Legal Counsel for the Attorney Grievance Committee of the Stamford-Norwalk Judicial District.

Former Mayor Knopp has served on the boards or advisory committees of numerous non-profit organizations, including the Norwalk YMCA, the Norwalk NAACP, the Norwalk Senior Center, the Soundwaters Business Environment Roundtable, the Norwalk Symphony, the Regional Plan Association, 1000 Friends of Connecticut, Norwalk Smiles Dental Clinic, and the Mid-Fairfield Child Guidance Center.