Salem Reiner can sum up his expertise in three words: revitalizing urban areas. It's a skill he's honed over 12 years in the public and private sectors and now, he says, is "thoroughly excited" about bringing to the world of academia.
A university and its surrounding communities have a very symbiotic relationship, says Reiner, who last week assumed the post of coordinator of community relations, succeeding Bret Schreiber, now interim director of the Office of State Relations. The two entities gain strength from each other. "When you look at the needs of each," he says, "the work is multidimensional--I like that."
His office in Abel Wolman House provides a perfect vantage point for his position, he says. The university's North Charles Street building has as its neighbors the Baltimore Museum of Art, mom-and-pop retail shops, quaint row houses, penthouse apartments, some neighborhoods that are strong and some that are now not so strong. "This university is the central point where they're all interacting."
Reiner was raised in an academic world, courtesy of two scholar parents, and received his master of government administration degree from the Fels Center of Government at the University of Pennsylvania. At St. Lawrence University as an undergraduate, he majored in sociology. His career began in 1989 in the government consulting division of Ernst & Young and has since taken him to the office of Pennsylvania state Sen. Hardy Williams, the City of Trenton (N.J.) Division of Economic Development and the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development. Most recently, at Hunter Interests Inc. in Annapolis, Md., he worked on high-profile consulting projects for clients across the country.
At Hopkins, Reiner will serve as the conduit between the university and its neighbors, responding both internally and externally to community issues and concerns.
Meg Sonneborn, interim executive director of Governmental Relations, to whom Reiner reports, says, "Leadership is committed to being a good neighbor. We hope to strengthen the existing relationships with the community that have been developed and nurtured by Bret."
Salem Reiner, she says, was a perfect fit for the job. "He not only has the right blend of community relations and economic development experience, but he has an outgoing personality and is a good communicator."