Janet L. Steinmayer became Lesley University’s seventh president in July 2019, having served for the decade prior on its Board of Trustees. She started her career as a corporate lawyer in private practice in New York and served as general counsel of Trans World Airlines, then a Fortune 500 Company and the nation’s seventh largest airline. She later served as President and CEO of Centerplate, Inc., then the fifth largest hospitality company in North America, with over 135 National Football League, Major League Baseball and other sports and entertainment clients. She was also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Appleseed Food Frontiers, a business accelerator and investment firm for expansion stage and artisanal food entrepreneurs.
Immediately prior to taking the helm at Lesley, she served as president of Mitchell College in New London, Connecticut. During her five years at Mitchell, she led a transformational period in which the college built a strong financial foundation, clarified its distinct mission, and developed a campus master plan that illuminates the history of the campus and addresses the future. Under her leadership, Mitchell developed a unique, ability-driven educational experience designed to make higher education accessible to many who might not otherwise reach their potential through formal education. President Steinmayer also fostered strong community partnerships to give students opportunities to learn skills and abilities relevant to today’s workplace.
President Steinmayer has a longstanding commitment to and passion for Lesley informed by her experience both as a trustee and the parent of a Lesley student. Her son is an alumnus of Lesley’s Threshold Program, giving her firsthand knowledge of the university from a family’s perspective. President Steinmayer’s higher education experience also includes 17 years on the board of Bryn Mawr College, her alma mater, where she serves as a vice-chair, and prior service on the Board of Visitors of the John F. Welch School of Business at Sacred Heart University.
Ms. Steinmayer received a Bachelor of Arts with honors in English and History magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College and a J.D. from the University of Chicago. She is serving or has served on the Board of Directors or Trustees of numerous organizations, including the National Center for Learning Disabilities, the NCAA Division III Presidential Advisory Group, the Business Council of Fairfield County, the Fairfield County Community Foundation, the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, and Pequot Chapel. She also is a trustee emerita at the Eagle Hill – Southport School (now the Southport School).