From the Board Chair and Search Committee

To the Williams Community,

Michael R. Eisenson, Class of 1977, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee and the board of Trustees
Michael Eisenson ’77

It is my honor and pleasure to inform you that on Sunday, March 11, the Board of Trustees appointed Maud S. Mandel as the 18th president of Williams College. President-elect Mandel, who will begin her tenure at Williams on July 1, 2018, currently serves as Dean of the College and Professor of History and Judaic studies at Brown University.

You can learn more about President-elect Mandel by watching a video interview we’ve posted on the special announcement website, where you’ll also find her CV and other information about her scholarship and career.

I could not be more excited about welcoming Maud Mandel to the college. She has a distinguished record as a scholar, a teacher and an academic leader, and has demonstrated throughout her career a deep and abiding affection for the students, faculty and staff who together create a great academic enterprise. She embodies the values at our core and will provide outstanding leadership as we continue to pursue our shared aspirations for Williams.

I want to thank the members of the Presidential Search Committee for their extraordinary work leading to this terrific result for Williams. We were privileged to meet many exceptional people in the course of our search, and all of us on the Committee, and on the Board of Trustees, were truly inspired by President-elect Mandel during the selection process.

We look forward to welcoming President-elect Mandel for a visit to campus in early April, and will provide details as soon as the agenda is confirmed. In the meantime, you can begin to get to know her by exploring the materials on the announcement website.

Congratulations to President-elect Mandel, and best wishes to all of us as we begin this next chapter in the extraordinary history of Williams College.

With warm best regards,

Michael Eisenson ’77
Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Chair, Williams College Board of Trustees


Presidential Search Committee members also shared their thoughts:


“I am honored and excited to welcome Maud Mandel to Williams! Her warm personality and strength of spirit will position her well to listen to voices from across the Williams community and unite us through the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. I know that she will lead the college forward with great success.”
—Ben Gips ’19, member of the Presidential Search Committee

“I am absolutely overjoyed to welcome Maud Mandel to our Eph family as our 18th president. She promises to be an excellent leader—trusted and well-respected—with a profound appreciation for Williams’ history and an excitement for our future. She is warm and sincere, humble and humane. Deeply engaging and collaborative, she is committed to ensuring that everyone thrives on campus, and I am confident that she will lead our Society of Alumni forward toward our bicentennial and beyond.”
—Jordan Hampton ’87, president of the Society of Alumni and member of the Presidential Search Committee

“Williams conducted a comprehensive search. Among the many highly qualified candidates we talked to, Maud Mandel stood out for the intensity of her passion for the liberal arts and her deep appreciation for what makes Williams special. As an alumnus, parent and board member, I’m very pleased with the outcome. I’m confident that Maud will easily relate to the many constituencies that any Williams president needs to serve, and I look forward to working together to perpetuate excellence at Williams.”
—O. Andreas Halvorsen ’86, Williams trustee and member of the Presidential Search Committee

“I’m so happy to have Maud Mandel joining us as our 18th president. She stood out from the beginning with her intellect, experience, warmth and—most of all—her love of students, faculty and the liberal arts. I’m confident she will lead us to continue to Climb High and Climb Far!”
—Yvonne Hao ’95, Williams trustee emerita and member of the Presidential Search Committee

“Maud Mandel is an excellent addition to the Williams community. She will bring tremendous energy and thought to this presidency as a deeply accomplished scholar and strong advocate for the liberal arts. Our community will continue to thrive and develop under Maud’s leadership, and I’m looking forward to welcoming her to campus.”
—Sarah Hollinger ’19, member of the Presidential Search Committee

“Maud Mandel is an accomplished scholar, respected administrator and an inspiring voice in higher education. The committee found Maud’s passion for liberal arts education infectious and her commitment to deepening and enhancing inclusion and diversity stirring. We are thrilled to have found the ideal person to lead Williams at this point in the college’s history.”
—Ngonidzashe Munemo, Williams associate dean for institutional diversity, associate professor of political science and member of the Presidential Search Committee

“The joy Maud Mandel takes in the complex push and pull of college life is positively inspiring. She is genuine and warm, with deep experience in areas that really matter for Williams. I think she is exactly the right person for this moment.”
—Peter Murphy, the John Hawley Roberts Professor of English at Williams and member of the Presidential Search Committee

“Maud is a wonderful choice to lead Williams. She possesses the core strengths that have served the college well across its long history of change and excellence. She is a selfless, devoted and incredibly accomplished leader, scholar and teacher who takes joy in nurturing and participating in communities of learners dedicated to lifting up others. I look forward to Maud joining the Williams community.”
—Clarence Otis Jr. ’77, Williams trustee and member of the Presidential Search Committee

“Maud Mandel is dedicated not only to the intellectual work at the heart of the liberal arts but also to the personal relationships that make that work possible at a place like Williams. Her enthusiasm for undergraduate education in all its forms, both inside and outside the classroom, is contagious. Her commitment to making that education accessible to all students is inspirational.”
—Kate Queeney ’92, Williams trustee and member of the Presidential Search Committee

“I am thrilled that we will be welcoming Maud and her family to Williams, and I look forward to working with her. Throughout our long and thorough selection process, I have been deeply impressed by her warmth, intelligence and passion for undergraduate education and the liberal arts. Maude exemplifies the values and skills that we prize in the Williams community.”
—Liz Robinson ’90, Williams trustee and member of the Presidential Search Committee

“Maud Mandel is exactly the person to lead Williams going forward. She is an eminent scholar. She has a collaborative leadership style—she has consistently sought out dissenting voices and is transparent about process and decisions. Maud has a passion for working with undergraduates and for making sure all students are able to access all opportunities. She is an exceptionally talented administrator who exudes warmth and humility. I’m inspired by her and so excited to work with her in the years to come.”
—Lucie Schmidt, Williams Professor of Economics and member of the Presidential Search Committee

“At her core, Maud is a teacher and a scholar. She is energized by this work, and it gives her great joy. Her warmth is genuine, and she makes strong connections with people. She understands what it takes to be a successful faculty member, and she will be instrumental in recruiting, including and retaining the very best faculty at Williams.”
—Tom Smith ’88, Williams Professor of Chemistry and member of the Presidential Search Committee

Maud is the clear and compelling choice to lead Williams at a pivotal time in its history. I was impressed with her refreshing vision for the long-term security of our college as well as her sensitive, inclusive commitment to address immediate challenges and opportunities. Warm, energetic and thoughtful, Maud possesses a profound regard for the liberal arts, a vibrant intellectual curiosity, an extensive administrative background and a demonstrated love of learning and the student experience. I am especially encouraged by her eagerness to embrace those “intangibly Purple” qualities and traditions that distinguish Williams as a college and community of unparalleled excellence.
—Martha Williamson ’77, Williams Trustee and member of Presidential Search Committee.

“On behalf of the entire Williams community, especially the staff of Williams College, I extend a hearty welcome to Maud Mandel and her family. Dr. Mandel is an accomplished scholar, teacher and leader. She has a deep appreciation for the role that staff play—in concert with faculty—in the lives of individual students and the success of the college’s overall mission.”
—Chris Winters ’95, Williams Associate Provost and member of the Presidential Search Committee

“I am thrilled that Maud will be our next president! She is an impressive scholar who is clearly energized by her work with undergraduates. She has a deep respect for faculty governance, with a record of collaborative leadership. I am particularly struck by her humility and her ability to listen. I have no doubt that she will strengthen our community.”
—Safa Zaki, Williams Professor of Psychology, chair of the Faculty Steering Committee and member of the Presidential Search Committee