Campus News

Dr. John Louis Flateau: beloved professor, public servant, political strategist

Remembering John Flateau

A lifelong public servant, community activist, political strategist and a dedicated mentor throughout his decades-long career at Medgar Evers College, Dr. John Louis Flateau has passed away, his family announced.

Dr. Flateau served as a beloved professor and chair of the Department of Public Administration at Medgar Evers College, while also the director of the Dubois Bunche Center for Public Policy.

He was also the former dean for both MEC’s School of Business and Office of External Relations.

“We are heartbroken to learn of Dr. Flateau’s passing and send our deepest love and sympathies to his family, friends, colleagues and former students,” said Dr. Patricia Ramsey, MEC’s president.

“His impact on not just the Medgar Evers College community, but the greater Brooklyn and New York communities, is profound and unparalleled.  In response to a congratulatory email that I sent him for being honored by the Vanguard Independent Democratic Association (VIDA), he replied, ‘Thank you President Ramsey! Holding up the banner for Medgar!-John.’  His level of dedication to this campus is unmatched, and our Medgar Evers College family is better because of his perspective on the world.  I am blessed to have known him for the less than three years that I have served as President, and will miss his encouraging words and regular emails, keeping me abreast of local, state, and national matters.”

Dr. Flateau called up this group, by name, to stand with him during his acceptance speech for the VIDA award. (Courtesy photo)

A lifelong learner, Dr. Flateau led by example when it came to his students, earning a Phd in Political Science, Public Policy and American Politics from CUNY, while also obtaining Masters degrees in Philosophy in Political Science, Public Administration and Political Science, Urban Policy. He secured his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from New York University’s Washington Square College.

But it was what he did with this education that made Dr. Flateau a community pillar — for students or even those looking to run for Congress.

Dr. Flateau’s resume was impeccable, showing his servant’s heart from a young age and prior to joining Medgar Evers College in 1994. A look at his career path is aspirational to many:

  • Deputy Secretary for Intergovernmental Relations, New York State Senate (2009-10)
    Chief of Staff to Mayor David N. Dinkins (1991-93)
  • Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for the NYS Empire State Development Corporation (1983-1990)
  • Executive Director, NYS Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus, New York State Legislature (1975-1982)
  • District Council 37, AFSCME Education Department (1971-74)
    NYS Division for Youth, Harlem Youth Worker (1978-79)
  • Brooklyn Catholic Diocese, Summer Youth Program director (1968-72)

But beyond his professional accomplishments, Dr. Flateau became well-known for his public service, where he took on a number of key roles, including this partial list:

  • Member, NYS Legislative Task Force On Demographic Research and Reapportionment
    Commissioner, New York City Districting Commission
  • Member, Redistricting Advisory Group, NYC Board Of Education
  • Chairman, US Census Advisory Committee on the African American Population
    National Steering Committee., Census Information Centers
  • Co-Chair, NYC Black Advisory Committee, Census 2000
  • Chairman, Board Of Trustees, Community School Board 16, Brooklyn

Dr. Flateau’s impact on every corner of the community was recognized by a plethora of local political figures on Sunday.

“I am extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. John Louis Flateau – a cerebral giant, acclaimed educator and dedicated public servant for the city and state of New York,” said Jumaane D. Williams of the Office of the Public Advocate in an official statement released on social media.

“His long tenure as a professor, administrator and dean at Medgar Evers helped shape the lives of countless students, and his work in both the city and state government helped advance justice and equity for communities across New York. As a former commissioner of the NYC Districting Commission, he helped ensure our districts accurately reflect the population and demographic changes of our city. Without his work, I’m not sure I would be where I am today.

“Dr. Flateau was a tremendous leader that uplifted and inspired his community, and his enormous contributions will have a lasting impact for many years to come.”

Dr. Flateau’s public service was only overshadowed by his dedication to community service, where he was involved with a plethora of organizations, including:

  • American Society For Public Administration;
  • American Political Science Association;
  • American Association Of Political Consultants;
  • Population Association Of America;
  • National Forum For Black Public Administrators;
  • NAACP Brooklyn Branch;
  • Community Board 3, Brooklyn;
  • Citizens Union, Board Of Directors;
  • Chairman of the Board: Achievement First Endeavor Charter School;
  • Vannguard Urban Improvement Association;
  • Bridge Street Development Corporation;
  • DELBAC Inc., Board of Directors,, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter;
  • Senior Board Of Stewards, Bridge St. AWME Church;
  • Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, Inc., Academic Advisory Board;
  • Chairman, Medgar Evers College Community Council;
  • NY Voting Rights Consortium;
  • Majority Coalition Of Redistricting Professionals

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn and U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader, offered his insight into Dr. Flateau’s lasting impact.

“Deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. John Flateau, a brilliant strategist, electoral tactician, scholar and community leader,” said Jeffries said in an official statement released on social media.

“An important part of a powerful movement led by the late, great Al Vann, Dr. Flateau helped to usher in an era of Black political empowerment in Central Brooklyn in the 1980s and 1990s that positively transformed the community and lives on to this day.

“May Dr. Flateau forever rest in power.”

Dr. Flateau is survived by his wife, Lorraine; his two sons, Marcus and Jonathan, and their families; and four siblings, Anne, Alice, Adele and Richard.


In remembrance of the late Dr. John Louis Flateau, the family has released further details about his funeral arrangements, including a live streaming option on Zoom, as well as Repast information and donation centers.

Here are the funeral details:

Wed. January 10, 2024 

Visitation: 9:00 – 10:00 am 

Funeral: 10:00 am 



Bridge St. AWME Church 

277 Stuyvesant Ave. 

Corner of Jefferson Ave.  

Brooklyn, NY 11221 


Live stream on Zoom 

Meeting ID: 845 7581 8216
Passcode: 655080 


REPAST directly after funeral 

Time: 1-4:00 pm (approximately) 

Location: Medgar Evers College-CUNY 

AB-1: Academic Building-1  

1638 Bedford Ave., corner of Crown St. 

Brooklyn, NY 11225 

Dining Hall, 2nd floor 

Campus Map & Directions: 


In LIEU of flowers, the family has requested to please send donations to: 

Medgar Evers College Educational Foundation 

Mail to: Sharon Bartell, Medgar Evers College 

1150 Carroll St. - Suite 400. Brooklyn, NY 11225 

Memo line: In Memory of Dr. John Flateau 

Bedford Stuyvesant Early Childhood Development Center 

Tel: 718-455-4806, 5585 – Ms. Sofia Vega