The search for Mount Holyoke's twentieth President
Updated: February 7, 2023
Updated: February 7, 2023
Board Chair Karena V. Strella ’90 announces the results of the presidential search.
The Presidential Search Committee provides updates on the search for Mount Holyoke’s twentieth president, including the start of the interview phase and details about the evaluation process.
The Presidential Search Committee updates the community on the summer’s listening sessions and the upcoming interview process.
The Presidential Search Committee has posted the presidential position profile, and applications and nominations are now being accepted.
The Presidential Search Committee updates the community on the listening and learning phase and reminds constituents of upcoming sessions.
The Presidential Search Committee announces the availability of a survey & listening sessions with all the College’s constituencies beginning this summer.
Ashanta Evans Blackwell ’95, Trustee; vice president and deputy general counsel, Teach for America
Jaime DeCaro, associate director of Student Involvement
Adam Falk, incoming Trustee; president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Lasya Priya Rao Jarugumilli ’23, social thought and political economy major, physics minor; president, Student Government Association
Kavita Khory ’84, Ruth Lawson Professor of Politics; Carol Hoffmann Collins Director of the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives
Anne McKenny ’79 (vice chair), Trustee; retired engineering manager, General Motors Corporation
Natasha Mohanty ’03, Trustee; engineering leadership, Stripe
Suparna Roychoudhury, associate professor of English; chair, Faculty Conference Committee
Wendy Rua ’94, Teaching and Learning Initiatives program coordinator, co-chair, Staff Council
Karena Strella ’90, Chair of the Board of Trustees; retired partner, Egon Zehnder International
Mona Sutphen ’89 (chair), Trustee; partner and head of investment strategies, The Vistria Group
Elizabeth Weatherman ’82, Trustee; special limited partner, Warburg Pincus
André White, assistant professor of biological sciences
Yihan Zhang ‘25, politics major; board member, International Students Organization Committee
Ashanta Evans Blackwell ’95 (she, her), Trustee, is Vice President, Deputy General Counsel at Teach for America, Inc. After graduating from Mount Holyoke, she taught with Teach For America in Greater New Orleans, her hometown. This experience confirmed her desire to spend her professional life impacting equity. After attending Vanderbilt University School of Law, she clerked for Justice Fred L. Banks, Jr. at the Mississippi Supreme Court and for the Honorable William J. Hibbler of the Northern District of Illinois. Blackwell also practiced as an Assistant Inspector General with the Offices of the Executive Inspector General for the State of Illinois in her professional career. Her support for educational equity extends to her volunteer roles. She is the current Board Chair for Gestalt Network Community Schools and has served on boards for the College Initiative and the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago. Blackwell has also served in numerous roles with the Alumnae Association, in Committees and on its Board, since graduation.
Jaime DeCaro (she, her) is the Associate Director of the Office of Student Involvement in the Division of Student Life. Her work focuses on co-curricular engagement through encouraging student leadership and participation in student organizations, advising student groups, and facilitating campus community traditions. She collaborates with campus partners to plan and implement large campus programs and manages Embark, the division's student engagement platform, which she also implemented. In her twelve years at the college she has served three terms on Staff Council and has been a member of several campus-wide committees including the CCRG (Child Care Review Group), CCRFP (Child Care RFP Committee) and the Student Employment Advisory Committee.
Adam F. Falk (he, his), an incoming Trustee of the College, is President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Falk served as President of Williams College from 2010 through 2017 and, from 2006 to 2010, as the James B. Knapp Dean of Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, where he had been a member of the physics faculty since 1994. A theoretical physicist whose research is focused on elementary particle physics and quantum field theory, Falk is the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed papers covering a variety of topics. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Falk serves on the advisory board of Culture of Respect and is a past trustee of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Lasya Priya Rao Jarugumilli ’23 (they, she, he) is a special major in Social Thought and Political Economy with a nexus in Law, Public Policy, and Human Rights. An international student from Mysuru, India, they currently serve as the President of the Student Government Association, co-chair of the Leadership Retreat Planning Committee and program chair of the Interfaith Living & Learning Community. She is passionate about InterGroup Dialogue, and works with the Office of Community and Belonging as a MoZone Peer Social Justice Educator. They are also a tour guide for Mount Holyoke’s Office of Admissions and a Special Projects Fellow of the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students.
Kavita Khory ’84 (she, her) is the Ruth Lawson Professor of Politics and Carol Hoffman Collins Director of the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives at Mount Holyoke College. A scholar of international relations, she specializes in the politics of South Asia, political violence, nationalism, and migration. She is the editor of Global Migration: Challenges in the 21st Century (Palgrave MacMillan, 2012). Khory’s recent research and publications examine migration and refugees in South Asia, India’s role in global governance, and Baloch nationalism. She has served on numerous college committees, chaired the departments of Politics and International Relations, and led curricular initiatives including teaching with the case method. She received the Mount Holyoke Faculty Award for Teaching in 2017.
Anne McKenny ’79 (she, her), Trustee, Co-Chair of the “Before MHC”/Enrollment Committee, and Vice Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, is retired from the General Motors Corporation, where she served for 39 years. She started at GM as an engineer in vehicle emissions testing, quickly rose to engineering manager, and ultimately oversaw the corporation’s global IT systems and applications for propulsion system development, testing and certification. Higher education is a longstanding value in the McKenny family, which has sent four generations to Mount Holyoke. Her great-grandfather founded Cleary University, where McKenny currently serves as a trustee. She is also a board member and vice president of the MLM Charitable Foundation, serves as an elder in her church and has served as a class volunteer since shortly after graduation.
Natasha Mohanty ’03 (she, her), Trustee and Co-Chair of the “Before MHC”/Enrollment Committee, is an engineering leader at Stripe. Previously, she co-founded FEM Inc. and served as the company’s vice president for technology. She also worked for more than seven years at Google as an engineering lead. When not coding, Mohanty is actively involved in efforts to increase the presence of women in technology. She has supported the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship, mentored women from the Middle East as part of the State Department’s TechWomen program as well as been in the selection committee for the program, and served as a coach for seventh-grade girls in a Mountain View, California, middle school’s Entrepreneurship Program. Soon after college, she spent a summer training teachers and school staff on computer skills in Maasai Mara, Kenya. She is currently a mentor at the Hackbright Academy, an organization that teaches young women to code,
Suparna Roychoudhury (she, her) is an associate professor of English at Mount Holyoke College. A Shakespeare scholar who specializes in the history of science, philosophy, and cognitive theory, she originally trained and worked as a software engineer. She is the author of Phantasmatic Shakespeare: Imagination in the Age of Early Modern Science (Cornell, 2018), and she serves on the editorial board of English Literary Renaissance. Since joining MHC in 2012, she has taught a variety of courses on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature as well as contemporary transnational literature. As a recent chair of the Faculty Conference Committee, her work has been to articulate and translate into action the voice of the faculty. She believes that a sustained commitment to the liberal arts, especially the humanities and the arts, calls for creative collaborations across institutional, disciplinary, and cultural divides.
Wendy Rua ’94 (she, her) is the Program Coordinator for the Teaching & Learning Initiative, a role she began in August 2017. Elected to Staff Council in 2019, she is currently the Staff Council Co-chair. Rua is a proud MHC alum ('94), with a B.A. in Psychology & Education. Her previous employment history includes experiences in social work and in the public school system. She is currently an elected official for the Town of Agawam, where she has served as a School Committee member since 2011.
Karena Strella ’90 (she, her), Chair of Mount Holyoke College’s Board of Trustees, is a retired partner of Egon Zehnder International, a leading global executive recruiting and talent management firm. Strella has deep expertise in talent management and CEO succession; at Egon Zehnder, she led the development of the firm’s model for assessing leadership potential. Previously she was Co-Managing Partner; U.S, Global Practice Group Leader, Life Sciences; Managing Partner California and US Practice Group Leader Life Sciences. Prior to Egon Zehnder, Strella worked for the Permanente Company, Massachusetts General Hospital and Johnson & Johnson. She has been a speaker for CNBC, SAIS Global Conference on Women in the Boardroom, and Wall Street Journal’s Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society. Strella has also participated in Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit.
Mona Sutphen ’89 (she, her), Trustee and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, is partner and head of investment strategies at the purpose-driven private equity firm The Vistria Group. She has worked at the intersection of geopolitics, policy and markets for more than two decades, previously serving as partner at Macro Advisory Partners and as managing director at UBS Group AG. Sutphen also has a lengthy résumé in public service, serving as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy during the Obama Administration and on the National Security Council during the Clinton Administration. She currently serves on the boards of the International Rescue Committee, Human Rights First, Spotify, Pattern Energy and Putnam Mutual Funds. She is co-author of The Next American Century: How the U.S. Can Thrive as Other Powers Rise and is an executive producer of several films including HBO’s 2021 documentary, “Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union.”
Bess Weatherman ’82 (she, her), Trustee and Chair of the Investment Committee, is special limited partner of Warburg Pincus, a leading global private-equity firm concentrated on growth investing. Joining the firm in 1988, she spent a 28-year career focusing primarily on investment activities in the healthcare sector. She served as a member of the Executive Management Group from 2001-2016 and led the firm’s Healthcare Group from 2008-2015. Weatherman has twice been named to the Forbes’ Midas List recognizing the 100 most highly-regarded dealmakers in the venture capital industry. In 2014 she was the recipient of the Women of Power and Influence Award from the National Organization of Women. In addition to serving on Mount Holyoke’s Board of Trustees, Weatherman is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University, served on the Advisory Council of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and is a former Trustee of Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, NY.
André White (he, his), Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, specializes in neuroscience, drug-seeking behavior, epigenetics, and memory. He currently studies the molecular mechanisms that underlie cocaine-associated behaviors. His work investigates the complex environmental and genetic factors that facilitate addictive behaviors in rodents. He seeks to use his research to inform therapeutic and policy approaches to combating addiction. His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, such as Nature Communications, Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Neuropsychopharmacology and Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education. He is dedicated to facilitating student learning in the classroom and in his laboratory. He is particularly committed to using his research to train students to think critically about neuroscience, addiction, and ethics.
Yihan Zhang ‘25 (she, her) is completing her first year at Mount Holyoke, double majoring in Politics and Psychology with a nexus in Law, Public Policy, and Human Rights. She is an international student from Beijing, China, and served as board members in two subcommittees in the Student Government Association: Student Conference Committee (SCC) and International Student Organization Committee (ISOC). Zhang will be a SAW mentor in the Mount Holyoke's Speaking, Arguing and Writing center next fall.
The Presidential Search Committee will work with the external search firm to attract a diverse candidate pool, evaluate the candidates and recommend the most qualified candidate to the Board of Trustees.