John Jay College Names the Alan Siegel Writing Center in Honor of Brand Innovator, Simplification Pioneer and Foundation Trustee

John Jay College Names the Alan Siegel Writing Center in Honor of Brand Innovator, Simplification Pioneer and Foundation Trustee

John Jay College Names the Alan Siegel Writing Center in Honor of Brand Innovator, Simplification Pioneer and Foundation Trustee

On September 18, John Jay College will honor Alan Siegel, Trustee of the John Jay College Foundation and President and CEO of Siegelvision, with the dedication of the Alan Siegel Writing Center. The establishment of this Center recognizes his commitment and contributions to building a world-class communications program for the College. Siegel, one of the best-known figures in branding and a pioneer behind simplified communications in business, the professions and government, developed the College’s brand identity keyed to the theme of “Fierce Advocates for Justice.”

“We are very grateful for Alan Siegel’s generosity as well as his contributions to the College’s new brand identity. His dedication and vision have helped to communicate and solidify John Jay’s position as the preeminent leader in educating for justice,” said Jeremy Travis, President of John Jay College. “His support of The Siegel Fellowship will help students master their writing skills, making the dedication of our Writing Center in his name very fitting.”

The Writing Center has three main components:

  • The Siegel Fellowship, a five-semester program run by Professor Dara Byrne and focusing on strategic communications both private and public, made possible by a transformative gift by Mr. Siegel. The program will address strategic internal and external communications issues, developing effective presentations, clear writing techniques and measuring impact of their work. Fellows will present their creative work to a panel of experts at the end of each semester.


  • The Alan Siegel Writing Center provides tutoring and writing consultation to all undergraduate and graduate students. Trained tutors work with students on conceptual and sentence level skills, rules of grammar and style. The Center emphasizes formulating a thesis, organizing and developing ideas, documenting American Psychological Association (APA) style, evaluating evidence and revising a paper, and content specific to various disciplines. State-of-the-art computers, grammar/writing software and a small, specialized library of books on writing are available. The Center offers numerous writing-oriented workshops as well as intensive CUNY Proficiency Exam (CPE/ACT) preparation. All activities are conducted by faculty and staff and will be open to all students.


  • The Center will produce an annual symposium for all John Jay students and the public featuring distinguished academics, communicators, corporate and government executives, and researchers to explore strategic communications issues, developing a unique voice, and connecting with key academics.


Over five decades, Siegel has been both a pillar of the establishment and provocative iconoclast while building Siegel+Gale, one of the leading global brand consultancies. In 2011, he created Siegelvision, a new company focused on solving tough branding and communications problems for purpose-driven organizations. He has worked with a wide range of prestigious companies and organizations including Xerox, American Express, the National Basketball Association, Caterpillar, 3M, the U.S. Air Force, Dell, the Girl Scouts, Phoenix House, the Legal Aid Society, Carnegie Mellon University and the New School.

In the 1970s Siegel, who has a lifelong interest in law and justice, developed a groundbreaking writing course for lawyers, Writing Contracts in Plain English, at Fordham University School of Law where he was on the adjunct faculty for ten years. Siegel served on the executive committee of the Document Design Project, which was funded by the National Institute of Education, where he worked on simplifying government regulations. In addition, Siegel was an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University, where he conducted research and was the founder and co-director of a popular graduate program, The Communications Design Center. Siegel also served for six years as president of the Advisory Council for the College of Art, Architecture and Planning at Cornell University.

Forbes named Siegel’s presentation at the TED Conference as one of the top five TED talks for entrepreneurs. He has appeared nationally on TodayPBS News HourCBS and ABC News 

and CNN.

Siegel has written extensively on branding and the importance of simplicity as a competitive advantage for The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalAcross the Board and The National Law Journal. His latest book, Simple, co-written with longtime colleague Irene Etzkorn, was released in 2013 to critical acclaim and named a “Best in Business Book of 2013” by Booz & Company. It has since been published in the United Kingdom, South Korea, Brazil, Hungary and Russia.

About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information,