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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Throwback: When a president’s assistant made GW’s top-paid employees list

The assistant to former University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg was listed as a key employee in tax filings released by the University. Hatchet File Photo.

Updated: June 10, 2014 at 11:32 a.m.

While spending a weekend poring over old tax filings, The Hatchet found some numbers that would make any college student consider applying for an assistant position.

Helene Interlandi, former University secretary and assistant to former University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, was included on a list of GW’s top-paid employees for fiscal years 2007 through 2009, when she made between $179,000 and nearly $190,000.

While working for Trachtenberg, Interlandi handled several tasks unique to her position, including finding a home for the hippo that the former University president tried to give to his wife, but is now an unofficial GW mascot.

Interlandi still works for Trachtenberg, who serves as president emeritus and a professor of public service. Trachtenberg himself was the assistant to a college leader, Boston University’s former president John Silber, in the 1970s.

“This is the person who gets to see you when your guard is down, in private moments when you don’t have your public face on,” Trachtenberg told the Chronicle of Higher Education in 2000.

Trachtenberg earned a reputation for increasing GW’s tuition during his tenure to attract wealthier students and improve the school’s rankings. GW was the first university to charge students more than $50,000 for total cost of attendance.

University President Steven Knapp’s assistant has not been listed on tax forms since Knapp took office in 2007.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
Due to an editing error, The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Helene Interlandi was listed among GW’s highest-paid employees during fiscal years 2009 and 2010. She made the list in fiscal years 2007, 2008 and 2009. We regret this error.

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