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Dr. Kerry Healey Named Babson College’s Next President

President-elect Healey returns to her academic roots, bringing decades of public leadership as well as vast global experience and connections to Babson.

Babson College today announced that Dr. Kerry Healey, former Lt. Governor of Massachusetts and leading advocate for the expansion of women’s rights and higher education in Afghanistan, has been selected the first woman to lead the College. Dr. Healey was elected to the post earlier tonight by a vote of the Babson College Board of Trustees. Dr. Healey will assume the presidency on July 1, 2013. She was introduced at a press conference on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 11 a.m. (EDT) in Babson’s Reynolds Campus Center.

Commenting on the appointment, Joseph L. Winn, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said, “The Trustees of Babson entered this presidential search with the confidence that comes from being in a position of strength and with a determination to find a leader who could build on the momentum of the recent past and with a clear vision of what we could be in our Centennial year of 2019 and beyond. At Babson, our mission is to shape entrepreneurial leaders who create economic and social value everywhere and we believe that Entrepreneurship of All Kinds is a powerful force for positive change in the world. We aimed high and found a leader in Dr. Healey who has lived Babson’s entrepreneurial based mission and who has a global network of relationships which can only add to Babson’s reach and influence. From founding non-profit organizations that help transform societies and creating new approaches to solving social issues, to teaching students to lead real institutional change and launching a TV show to put a spotlight on innovation, Dr. Healey’s entrepreneurial leadership has made an impact in the U.S. and across the globe.”

“Her achievements in academia, government, and humanitarian efforts across the globe speak to the impact she can make in any environment and to the extensive relationships and connections she has cultivated,” continued Winn. “Her leadership expertise and powerful global network make her uniquely qualified to lead Babson at this pivotal time in the College’s history.”

Dr. Healey succeeds Len Schlesinger, who announced in December 2012 that he would step down after more than five years as Babson’s president at the end of the 2012–2013 academic year.

An academic by training, Dr. Healey is an internationally known and respected leader with nearly three decades experience in academia, government, and international diplomatic and humanitarian work. Widely published on criminal justice issues, Dr. Healey’s academic experience includes several teaching roles in which she helped students translate real-life lessons into knowledge in order to generate and advance change. Dr. Healey has been a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics and Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership, and has taught or lectured at Rutgers University, Endicott College, and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. Dr. Healey holds an A.B. in Government from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in Political Science and Law from Trinity College, Dublin.

Since serving as the 70th Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, Dr. Healey has led numerous diplomatic, humanitarian and philanthropic initiatives here in the U.S. and overseas. Her work has had a special focus on the welfare and advancement of women and children, including leading a national effort to reduce child homelessness for the National Center on Family Homelessness, bringing humanitarian aid to schools for the disabled in Cuba with ACESSO, co-chairing with Ambassador Swanee Hunt the Parity Project, a bi-partisan effort to increase women’s representation in high-level offices, and training female Afghan parliamentarians in Kabul for the International Republican Institute.

Her work took a new direction when she was appointed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a founding member of the Executive Committee of the U.S. Department of State’s Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan (PPP), a position to which she was reappointed in 2009 by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. As Founder and President of the non-profit, which administers the PPP’s Afghan rule of law programs, Dr. Healey has assisted Afghan lawyers in attending top U.S. law schools to study human rights and commercial law and oversees offices in Kabul and Herat. Through the program, graduates and grantees work to promote rule of law, human rights, women’s rights, and provide legal aid. As a trustee of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), she has worked to establish a law school program in conjunction with Stanford Law School and to secure numerous scholarships for Afghan women. She has brought the PPP and AUAF together to start a new initiative that will provide legal advice to Afghan women entrepreneurs.

Further building her global presence and connections, she served as both domestic and foreign policy advisor to the Romney for President Campaign. As Foreign Policy Coordinator she recruited and assembled a team of 250 foreign policy experts and thought leaders from around world. Domestically, she led the effort to identify top candidates for domestic cabinet posts and presidential appointments. Dr. Healey also served as one of 11 National Finance Team Co-Chairs responsible for collectively raising an unprecedented $1 billion in support of Gov. Romney’s campaign. Dr. Healey has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations since 2005.

“I fervently believe that education and entrepreneurship are essential in all spheres of society in order to solve economic and social problems and to create value,” said President-elect Healey. “I am honored and excited to lead Babson in its work to educate and empower entrepreneurs of all kinds knowing they will change the world for the better. Babson uniquely draws from multiple disciplines and resources to help entrepreneurially-minded individuals and organizations support their ideas and ambitions. I am eager to extend Babson’s reach to create even more opportunities to bring the transformational power of entrepreneurship to the world.”

Dr. Healey’s selection follows a rigorous search process, which featured significant input from Babson students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends. To ensure the community’s voice was heard throughout the search process, the Presidential Search Committee held on-campus listening sessions, web chats, and provided an online form for members of the Babson community and beyond to provide input on the qualities and characteristics the committee should seek in identifying the next Babson president. As a result of considerable input from the Babson community and the intensive efforts of the committee, a rich pool of talented candidates was identified. Ultimately more than 170 candidates were considered for the presidency. That list featured candidates from academia, business, government, and beyond and included individuals identified by the Committee, members of the Babson community, and Korn/Ferry International, the search firm working with the College.

The Presidential Search Committee was chaired by Trustee and former New Hampshire governor Craig Benson, a 1977 graduate of Babson College and a member of the College’s Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs, and was comprised of trustees, faculty, and staff who were appointed based on their breadth of expertise and knowledge of Babson and the qualities required of its next president.

“Dr. Healey is a leader in both thought and action,” said Benson. “As a former governor, I have a special appreciation for how Dr. Healey helped successfully lead a 60,000 person operation and a budget which exceeded 25 billion dollars. She was effective by breaking down silos, working with people from different backgrounds and creating innovative approaches to address some of the Commonwealth’s biggest challenges including drug abuse, homelessness, educational excellence and recidivism. In fact, many of the programs she helped create have served as national models. I am thrilled that she now joins Babson to lead the College as it prepares for its centennial in 2019.”

Raised in Florida, Dr. Healey attended Harvard College on a substantial scholarship going on to earn her Ph.D. at Trinity College, Dublin, as a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar. From an early age she understood the intrinsic link between education and opportunity and throughout her career has worked tirelessly to pursue excellence in education and support financial aid and scholarship programs for students. In fact, under the Romney-Healey Administration, Massachusetts’ schools were ranked No. 1 in the nation for the first time in both English and Math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The Romney-Healey Administration also established the John and Abigail Adams Scholarships to provide greater access to public higher education for Massachusetts’ top students. Further, Dr. Healey led a bi-partisan effort with former State Senator Steven Tolman to found three Recovery High Schools to support education for formerly drug-addicted youths.

Dr. Healey assumed a broad range of responsibilities as Lt. Governor, including leading the administration’s successful efforts to combat drunken driving, address homelessness, and increase penalties for perpetrators of child abuse, gang violence, sexual assault and domestic violence. She was the point person responsible for working with mayors and town leaders in 351 municipalities. She also partnered with Gov. Romney to craft first in the nation health care reform legislation. Prior to entering public service, Dr. Healey worked for more than a decade as public policy consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice for the Cambridge-based think tank, Abt Associates, Inc.

Dr. Healey’s commitment to fighting homelessness, which began with her establishment of Massachusetts’ first Interagency Council on Homelessness, has been recognized both locally and nationally by Housing Families, Inc., Wellspring Inc. and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which awarded her the “A Home for Every American” Award in 2006. Her international humanitarian work has been recognized by the Red Cross (International Hero Award, 2012) and Empower Peace/Women2Women which honored her with the “Torchbearer Award” in 2011 for advancing the status of women worldwide.

Dr. Healey is a regular contributor to public radio, with commentaries appearing on WGBH’s Local Voices and WBUR’s Cognoscenti on-line opinion page. In 2010, she was the creator and host of Shining City, a television series showcasing New England’s cutting-edge scientific and social innovation which aired on NESN.

Following tomorrow’s press conference, President-elect Healey will be introduced to the Babson community at a series of on-campus events involving faculty, students and staff.

About Babson College
Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds™. The College is a dynamic living and learning laboratory, where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society—while at the same time evolving our methods and advancing our programs. We shape the leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to create economic and social value. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value. For information, visit www.babson.edu.

By Michael Chmura, mchmura@babson.edu | 3/24/2013 9:30 PM