An Invitation to Apply


 Simmons University

Boston, MA

Simmons University (Simmons), a private university in the heart of Boston offering a comprehensive undergraduate education and robust nationally recognized graduate programs, seeks a strategic and inspiring leader as its ninth president.

In 1899, twenty years before the passage of the 19th suffrage amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Simmons was founded by a Boston industrialist with a bold vision: to prepare women for independence and self-sufficiency. Today, this mission could not be more relevant and critical to our societal well-being.

Simmons creates leaders for the 21st century by weaving together practice and theory, art and science, undergraduate and graduate education, and business and innovation. The University is built on the principles of women's rights, social justice, and diversity, equity and inclusion, and develops and empowers leaders to assume impactful roles in the world.

Simmons offers a strong undergraduate education for women and coeducational graduate programs in health sciences, education, liberal arts, library and information science, business, and social work.  For more than a century, Simmons has been preparing women to lead change that impacts communities around the globe. Along the way it has embraced visionary thinking, innovation, and change, adapting to the shifts in higher education while remaining true to its mission. In alignment with its core purpose, Simmons launched one of the first undergraduate women’s studies degree programs for women in the 1960s. Soon after, Simmons created the first MBA program designed specifically for women, with a focus on the organizational behavior of men and women. In the last several years, at a time when new technologies and increased competition have been significant disruptions in the higher education landscape, Simmons has grown high quality, nationally recognized online graduate degree and certificate programs in such areas as nursing, social work, and library science.

The next President will lead  Simmons at an important juncture in its history. In the last decade, under the leadership of President Helen G. Drinan, the institution has strengthened  its financial health while completing an academic redesign, prioritizing and establishing an office focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, pioneering innovative, high-quality online programs, and expanding enrollments and its national brand as a  University with strong graduate programs and a storied undergraduate program for women. Simmons seeks a new President who will build on this considerable success and chart a strategic course for the future aligned with its mission and its distinctive strengths.

This presidency is an exceptional opportunity for an inspiring, forward-thinking, financially astute, equity-minded, and engaging leader who connects deeply with Simmons’s mission. The University seeks a President who can galvanize an academic community, affect demonstrable cultural change by integrating the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion across the institution, apply business acumen to leverage its capital assets and ensure its long term financial sustainability, and engage in significant fundraising activities, including leading a major capital campaign.  Honoring the institution’s past while charting a course for its future is central to the charge for the next President.       

A Presidential Search Committee composed of trustees, faculty, students, and staff is working with Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist with this recruitment. All inquiries, nominations/referrals, and resumes with cover letters should be sent electronically and in confidence to:

Vivian Brocard, Rebecca Swartz or Karen McPhedran

Isaacson, Miller

263 Summer Street, 7th Floor

Boston, MA 02210

Consistent with the University’s goals to achieve diversity at all levels of university leadership, Simmons encourages nominations and applications from individuals in traditionally underrepresented groups and those dedicated to building a culture of inclusive excellence at Simmons.

The University is committed to equal opportunity for all persons regardless of age, ancestry, class, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other status protected by law.