Ami Dar, Idealist founder, to Deliver Keynote Address at CUNY SPS Commencement Ceremony

The CUNY School of Professional Studies is delighted to announce that Ami Dar, founder and executive director of, will deliver the keynote address at the School’s Commencement ceremony on June 7th at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.

Built in 1996 with $3,500, Idealist has become one of the most popular nonprofit resources on the Web, with information provided by 90,000 organizations around the world, 70,000 daily visitors, and a staff of 60 in New York, Buenos Aires, and Portland. Its mission is to “connect people, organizations, and resources to help build a world where all people can live free and dignified lives… independent of any government, political ideology, or religious creed…guided by the common desire of our members and supporters to find practical solutions to social and environmental problems, in a spirit of generosity and mutual respect.”

In an interview with, Dar addresses questions which echo the missions of CUNY and public higher education generally: “How do we make sure that every person in the world who wants to make a difference has an opportunity to do so? What now gets in the way of people who want to get involved? What gets in the way of people who want to connect? And how do we create mechanisms, anything from a bulletin board to more complex things, that will allow people to connect around any issue that concerns them?”

Also an Ashoka Fellow and member of the Board of Directors of the Nonprofit Finance Fund and, Dar was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Peru and in Mexico, and lives in New York.

The CUNY School of Professional Studies (SPS) serves New York City’s dynamic marketplace by providing timely, innovative and high-quality programs of study designed to address new or unmet needs.  Drawing on CUNY’s nationally and internationally renowned faculty and practitioners, as well as industry and education partners, SPS offers a wide range of graduate and undergraduate programs, including CUNY’s first fully online degree programs.

Press Contact:
Laura Jack