Update on Presidential Search Process

To the Wheaton Community,

In response to President Hanno’s decision to step down as president of Wheaton College later in the 2021 calendar year, the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees has initiated a search process to ensure the successful recruitment of a leader who will articulate and advance the vision for Wheaton’s future. This process will be guided by a Presidential Search Committee, in partnership with an executive search firm with expertise in higher education, and will require important input from across the Wheaton community.

As Chair and Vice Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, we write today to update you on the creation of the search committee and the identification of the search firm, and to provide some information on the course of action to identify Wheaton’s next leader, including your participation in that effort. While much of our work will remain confidential throughout the search to ensure that we attract the very best candidates, we will regularly provide updates and have created a Presidential Search page on the Wheaton website where we will post most recent information: wheatoncollege.edu/go/presidentialsearch

The Presidential Search Committee includes an outstanding group of talented Wheaton trustees, alumni, faculty, staff, and students who bring diversity of experience, expertise, and opinion to guide this critical effort. In addition to ourselves, we are pleased to announce that the following members of our community have agreed to serve on the committee:


Monique Lee Bahadur ‘80
Emerita Trustee

Gene Begin
Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Nancy Beth Carlson ‘77
Trustee
Vice President, Aviation and Marine Global Business Unit, ExxonMobil (Retired)

Richard Chait
Emeritus Trustee
Harvard University Graduate School of Education

Ryan A. Letada ‘08
Trustee
CEO, NextDayBetter

Dipankar Maitra
Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Winter Jade Werner
Associate Professor of English

Diane C. Nordin ‘80
Emerita Trustee
Partner and Director of Fixed Income, Wellington Management Company, LLP (Retired)

Chris B. Paquet ‘03
Trustee and Member, Wheaton Alumni Board of Directors
Assistant Commissioner, New York City Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response

Shaya Gregory Poku
Dean for Equity, Social Justice and Community Impact

Courtney Shurtleff
Director, Alumni Relations

Sarah Simkevich ‘22
Majors: Secondary Education, English
Minors: Music Performance

Victor Trepanier ‘22
Majors: U.S. History, Political Science

Elena Wong ‘07
Trustee and Member, Wheaton Alumni Board of Directors
West Coast Director of Admissions, Drew University

Brenda Wyss
Professor of Economics


As the result of a competitive RFP process, our partner in the search process will be the global leadership advisory and search firm, Russell Reynolds Associates, which has an extensive education practice, having conducted over a thousand education assignments. Our team will be led by Anne Coyle, who belongs to the firm’s Nonprofit Sector and specializes in the Higher Education Practice. Anne has over 20 years of experience in higher education and executive search and is quite familiar with Wheaton, having led both the search for President Hanno in 2013-14 and for Provost Renee White in 2015-16. Joi Hayes-Scott, a member of the firm’s Nonprofit Practice with a specialization in the higher education space, will also lend her expertise to the search. They will be further supported by Danielle Bennett, Senior Project Coordinator and Dayna Keene, Researcher.

The process will now begin with a careful assessment of Wheaton’s distinctive character and the opportunities and challenges that the institution faces. As part of this assessment, the Presidential Search Committee welcomes your thoughts and is in the process of planning Zoom forums for a wide variety of constituencies where you will have the opportunity to voice your views on the characteristics our next president should possess, along with your suggestions for Wheaton’s next leader. The schedule of these sessions is in development and more information will follow. At a future date, a survey designed to solicit your views on the search and to contribute to our shared understanding of Wheaton’s future will also be available.

The Presidential Search Committee welcomes your thoughts and suggestions throughout the search process. Your advice about Wheaton’s distinctive character, the goals that we should set as an institution for the next ten years, the challenges we must overcome, and the opportunities we have ahead of us would be most helpful. Please direct your comments and suggestions, in confidence, to the Presidential Search Committee at presidentialsearch@wheatoncollege.edu. We would also appreciate nomination of potential candidates, which should be sent to our search firm at Wheaton@russellreynolds.com.

Thank you for your support and help in the months ahead. We will continue to provide updates on the progress of the search, all of which will be posted to the college website. We very much look forward to hearing from you.

Janet Lindholm Lebovitz ‘72
Chair, Wheaton Board of Trustees
Chair, Presidential Search Committee

Andrew D. Lounder ‘05
Senior Director, Programming and Council Engagement
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges
Vice Chair, Presidential Search Committee