Albert Landa

Albert Landa, born Abraham Willie Landa in 1927, was a public relations executive at The New School from 1960 to 1985. He played a central role in developing the school into the university we know today, and securing its financial base.

Arriving at the New School in 1960, Landa first served as its Director of Public Information. He was later appointed Vice President for Development and Public Relations. From 1979 until his retirement in 1985, his title was Vice President.

During the 1960s, the school faced financial and, consequentially, existential crisis. As a result, school officials decided to expand enrollment by adding new divisions and programs. [1] Landa is credited with many of these expansions, playing an important role in several institutional mergers. In particular, he led the development of the Center for New York City Affairs into the Graduate School of Urban Policy – today the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy. Landa also helped facilitate the New School’s merger with Parsons School of Design in 1970. In 1978 he led the acquisition of the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, which became a division of Parsons until separating again in 1991.

In an oral history interview conducted in 2017, Jonathan Fanton—President of The New School from 1982 to 1999—describes Landa’s contribution to The New School as “magnificent,” crediting him along with New School for Social Research dean Allen Austill with saving and defining the university. [2]

After retiring from The New School in 1985, Landa served as executive director of the New York Academy of Art and as a member of the selection committee for the George Polk Awards for excellence in journalism. He died in Manhattan in 2008.

Many records generated by Albert Landa during his tenure at the School are held by the New School Archives. The collection is comprised of six series, representing activities related to most of the major divisions and institutes of the university. Materials relate primarily to the development of new programs, building projects, fundraising, and public relations.


[1] Hevesi, Dennis. “Albert Land Dies at 80; Helped the New School Develop.” New York Times obituary (February 3, 2008).

[2] Audio interview with Jonathan Fanton by Julia Foulkes with Mark Larrimore and Wendy Scheir, May 5, 2017, The New School Oral History Program, NS.07.01.01, The New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, NY.


Albert W. Landa, photographed by David Levy. The New York Times. Web Feb 3, 2008.