Sanborn Named President’s Chief of Staff

Jennifer Sanborn, who most recently served as director of the Women’s Education and Leadership Fund (WELFund) at the University of Hartford, has been named chief of staff for Mount Holyoke President Lynn Pasquerella.

As chief of staff, Sanborn will coordinate the myriad activities involving the president’s office, from helping Pasquerella carry out strategic initiatives, to ensuring the timely flow of information to and from the president’s office, and preparing presentations on a wide array of topics for various audiences.

Sanborn will act as a liaison with other officers, trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumnae, and the off-campus community. As such, the chief of staff will be an extension of Pasquerella’s presence, ensuring that all College constituencies are heard by the president’s office and responded to quickly.

Though the title may be new, Sanborn will fill the role that Complementary Program Development’s Jesse Lytle held as executive assistant to former President Joanne V. Creighton.  

“I am very excited that Jennifer is joining the Mount Holyoke community,” Pasquerella said. “She will play a critical role, not only within the president's office, but in the College as a whole by helping facilitate strategic initiatives emerging from the task forces as part of the current strategic planning process.

“Jennifer is an extraordinary advocate and articulate proponent of women's education and leadership,” Pasquerella continued. “As the director of the Women's Education and Leadership Fund, Jennifer inspired and empowered students, faculty, staff, and alumni through innovative programming and initiatives.”

This will be the second time Pasquerella and Sanborn have worked on the same campus; they were colleagues at Hartford when Pasquerella served as the university’s provost and chief academic officer.

In her role as the founding director of Hartford’s WELFund, Sanborn helped shape and implement the fund’s mission “to advance each woman’s potential” by offering grants, scholarships, and leadership development programs to University of Hartford students, staff, and faculty.

Before coming to Hartford, the Eastern University and Syracuse graduate worked for ten years at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, where she served in a variety of leadership capacities in the college’s campus life department, the Filene Center for Work and Learning, and the Marshall Intercultural Center.

"I am excited to join the Mount Holyoke community in furthering its commitment to educational excellence for women who truly represent the world's diversity, and who graduate to lead on the world's stage,” Sanborn said. “Having spent a decade working next to Wheaton College's Mary Lyon Hall, and directing for the next five an organization that is a legacy to Hartford College for Women--originally known as Mount Holyoke in Hartford--I feel a strong affinity for Mount Holyoke's history, mission, and vision for the future."

Given their shared history and commitment to the advancement of women’s education, Sanborn also has a strong affinity for the work of President Pasquerella.

"Over the past year as president, Lynn has articulated her personal commitment to women's education, liberal education, and access,” Sanborn said. “These values translate into practices at Mount Holyoke, creating a powerful synergy between institution and leader. I look forward to serving Lynn and the entire Mount Holyoke community in shaping a shared future."

Sanborn is currently completing a master of arts degree in spirituality at Hartford Seminary and was recently selected to serve a three-year cycle as vice president, president, and past president of the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut. She lives in Tariffville, Connecticut, with her husband, Matthew Burch, and their children, Kyra and Lucas Sanborn-Burch.

Sanborn’s first day as President Pasquerella’s chief of staff was September 1.