Biography of Lynn Pasquerella

One of the benefits of studying at a women’s college was being able to look at issues from the perspective of a community of women. That opportunity shaped my commitment to women’s education…. I believe that our commitment to women’s education and leadership must extend beyond the academy into the extramural community to change the lives of women around the world in order to provide the access that we’ve been privileged to receive.
—President Lynn Pasquerella

Lynn Pasquerella, a celebrated philosopher and medical ethicist, assumed the presidency of Mount Holyoke College on July 1, 2010. Her appointment marks a homecoming for Pasquerella, who enrolled at Mount Holyoke in 1978 as a transfer student from Quinebaug Valley Community College.

While working full-time to support herself, Pasquerella majored in philosophy and graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Mount Holyoke in 1980. A native of Connecticut, Pasquerella was the first in her family to graduate from college. Encouraged by her Mount Holyoke professors to pursue graduate study, she received a full fellowship to Brown University, where she earned a Ph.D. in philosophy.

From 1985 to 2008, Pasquerella taught philosophy at the University of Rhode Island. In 2004, she became associate dean of URI’s graduate school and, in 2006, was named vice provost for research and dean of the graduate school. In 2008, she joined the University of Hartford as provost and chief academic officer.

Pasquerella has written extensively in the areas of medical ethics, theoretical and applied ethics, metaphysics, public policy, and the philosophy of law. She also is a passionate advocate for women’s education and credits her training as an ethicist with helping her reach beyond the academy to engage communities—both locally and around the globe—on issues of women’s empowerment. Previously, she was the principal investigator on a $3.5 million National Science Foundation grant to promote the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, and math. Since 2008, she has served as project leader for a research team with the Africa Center for Engineering Social Solutions, working to improve the lives of women in an AIDS-ravaged section of Kenya.

Pasquerella is married to John Kuchle, a biologist and photographer. Their twin sons are in college: Spencer at Hampshire and Pierce at Mitchell.

Curriculum Vitae