Title Bar
Greenhouse Photo

Alumni Profile

Service for Greenhouse Leads to the White House

Since his first days at FDU, Dennis Greenhouse, BA’72 (T-H), has gravitated toward politics. Little did he realize that his journey would lead him to the White House and the United States Department of Justice. Along the way, he has made a difference for the public he serves.

A psychology major, Greenhouse was involved in many activities as a student but nothing inspired him more than politics. He joined the student union board as a freshman, and became president in his senior year. “Politics was always in my blood.” he says. He especially recalls meeting Vice President Hubert Humphrey who came to FDU in 1968. Greenhouse also served on the student congress and was an officer in his fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE). His political involvement at FDU taught him the art of compromise and of building consensus to achieve solutions.

After a career in banking, Greenhouse was elected as the state auditor of Delaware and became a member of the State Board of Pardons in 1982. It was there that his interest in fighting drug abuse was sparked. “I saw and learned how drugs came into play in society and learned that 80 percent of crimes involve drugs,” he says.

Elected New Castle County (Del.) executive in 1989, Greenhouse created the county’s community partnership, an inclusive and effective drug-abuse prevention effort. The program was selected as a national model and resulted in his being honored with the National Council of County Executives Award. “The program’s purpose was to form partnerships with law enforcement, clergy, business, labor and education, and develop ways for citizens to make their communities crime-free,” Greenhouse states. “This partnership had a positive effect on reducing crime in these neighborhoods and in providing children with drug prevention and educational programs. It brought together many groups in an effort to make neighborhoods better places to work, live and raise families.”

“To effect change and have a positive influence on a community always has been my goal.”
— Dennis Greenhouse,
BA’72 (T-H)

He also served as chair of the National Association of Counties’ Justice and Public Safety Committee, where he had the opportunity to exchange ideas about crime fighting, prevention and early intervention issues with federal, state and local officials nationwide.

“I believe that we are moving forward with substance abuse policies,” he says. “Since 1979 drug use in this country has dropped 50 percent. The one area where we still have a major concern is drug use by young children. Today more eighth-graders are using drugs than high school seniors. We have policies to combine the efforts of law enforcement along with the prevention and treatment communities.”

In 1997, Greenhouse was named the assistant associate director of the Bureau of State and Local Affairs, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy in Washington, D.C. He worked with state, local and federal law enforcement and elected officials on drug policies including prevention and education efforts; on compiling and assessing drug facts and figures on the enforcement of drug policies; and speaking to national organizations around the country.

After two years with National Drug Control Policy, Greenhouse was promoted to principal deputy director for community-oriented policing services at the United States Department of Justice. “I still work closely with local elected officials,” he says, “but now I am able to help communities.” In his new role, Greenhouse serves as an advocate for the community policing of streets by putting more police officers on the beat. He is also involved with introducing technology into law enforcement that allows police officers to perform other duties.

Greenhouse has used his influence and shown great enthusiasm in many other efforts. He served as president of the National Council of Elected County Executives, a member of the advisory board of the Police Athletic League of Delaware, a representative of the National Association of Counties to the American Bar Association Special Committee on Substance Abuse, and a member of the boards of directors of Family and Workplace Connection and the Boys and Girls Club.

Greenhouse’s efforts have been widely recognized. His many awards include the Government Award of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (Wilmington, Del., chapter), 1995; the Arthritis Foundation of Delaware’s 1994 Lifetime Achievement Award; the B’nai B’rith International Distinguished Achievement Award in 1992; and the State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police “President’s Award.”

The awards and recognition are not enough for Greenhouse. “To effect change and have a positive influence on a community always has been my goal,” says Greenhouse, “It’s a great feeling to be able to make a difference like that.” A feeling that, no doubt, he will continue to experience.


FDU Magazine Directory | Table of Contents | FDU Home Page | Alumni Home Page | Comments