Maxine Isaacs, an accomplished public policy practitioner and scholar, graduated from Skidmore College as an American Studies major in 1969. She received a master's degree in international public policy from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a Ph.D. in policy studies from the University of Maryland.
She is a lecturer on government at Harvard College, where she leads a freshman seminar titled "American Presidential Campaigns and Elections 1960–2008," and an associate at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. She has taught at the Kennedy School and Harvard College since 1994 and also has taught at George Washington University.
Isaacs is board chair of the Women's Foreign Policy Group and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is a trustee of the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Trust for the National Mall, Arlington's Signature Theatre, and the American Associates of the [Royal] National Theatre.
Isaacs began her career as press secretary for Ohio Congressman Louis Stokes in 1970. In 1973 she joined the press team of Walter Mondale, working with him in his roles as senator from Minnesota, vice president in the Carter administration, and presidential candidate. She served as press secretary and deputy campaign manager, Mondale for President, in 1983–84. In 2002 she managed Mondale's campaign for senator from Minnesota following the death of Senator Paul Wellstone in a plane crash.
She launched her third successful career as a theatrical producer at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Va., where she has been involved for many years and is currently a trustee. The theatre sent Glory Days to Broadway in 2008.
Isaacs has been a Skidmore trustee since 2005, serving as chair of the Academic Affairs Committee and co-chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. She has returned to campus to speak to students on several occasions and recently led a panel on the Obama Presidency at her class reunion.