The Lesley University Board of Trustees today named as the university’s next president Jeff A. Weiss, a mission-driven, socially conscious leader who will bring to the university a passionate commitment to experiential learning, a creative and collaborative leadership style, and experience managing and leading complex organizations.
The appointment follows a unanimous vote of the board earlier this month.
Weiss is a founding partner and currently co-leads the Alliance Practice and Healthcare Group of Vantage Partners, an internationally recognized consulting firm. In addition to his work with physicians’ organizations, hospitals, and healthcare systems, he manages Vantage’s senior operations team and leads the board in setting strategy and priorities. In his work at Vantage, Weiss has helped organizations build capacity, work across departments, solve problems and innovate together, all in the context of shared governance or shared decision-making.
“As the university enters its second century, the board is delighted to welcome President-elect Jeff Weiss to the Lesley family,” said Board of Trustees Chair Deborah Schwartz Raizes, a Lesley alumna. “Jeff has a deep respect for Lesley’s mission and values which, when combined with his extensive experience empowering leaders and navigating complex organizations, positions him perfectly to build on our strong foundation and set a strategic direction for our next 100 years.”
“Lesley possesses enormous strengths, from its faculty, administrators, and staff to its students and alumni, from its schools and centers to its programs in local communities and around the world. I am honored and humbled to be joining the university,” said Weiss. “Close to 30 years of work on complex negotiations between and within organizations has taught me the critical importance of listening, building understanding, leveraging difference, joint problem-solving, creative thinking, and clear communication. These are skills which I expect I will draw upon daily as I work with colleagues and students across Lesley, our alumni, in the community, and with our partners.”
Weiss will succeed Dr. Joseph B. Moore as president on July 1, 2016, following Moore’s retirement after nine years of distinguished service. Weiss was introduced to the Lesley University community on Wednesday.
A long-time member of the faculty at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College where he has taught extensively in the MBA program and the Master of Health Care Delivery Science program, Weiss also serves as the faculty designer and facilitator of the new “Leaders to Leaders” program. In addition, he serves on the faculty at the United States Military Academy, where he has been awarded the faculty prize for innovation in teaching, and is also a co-founder and co-director of the West Point Negotiation Project.
Before founding Vantage, Weiss was a partner at Conflict Management, Inc., where he worked on complex negotiations and mediations, and designed and delivered training around the world. Prior to that, he helped found Conflict Management Group (now part of Mercy Corps), a not-for-profit that works with governmental and community leaders to resolve international conflict and effect social change, such as post-apartheid constitutional reform in South Africa and peace negotiations in the Middle East and elsewhere. His work with these organizations has roots in his participation in the Harvard Negotiation Project, of which he was a member while studying at Harvard Law School.
Weiss has published extensively over the past 25 years and most recently is the author of the “HBR Guide to Negotiating.” At present, he is working on a new book on leadership. He is currently working with faculty colleagues at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine on a research project for NASA. He holds an A.B. (magna cum laude) in government from Dartmouth College and a J.D. (cum laude) from Harvard Law School. He is married to Gerri Weiss, a nurse practitioner, and is the father of two adult sons, Samuel and Alec.
Presidential Search Committee Chair Barbara Russell, a member of the Board of Trustees and Lesley alumna, noted, “Thanks to Lesley’s strong academic reputation and solid financial footing, a large number of exceptionally qualified candidates expressed their interest in the presidency. The committee and the board could not be more excited to welcome President-elect Weiss to campus this summer.”
The university conducted an extensive national search led by a 16-member Presidential Search Committee composed of trustees, faculty, staff, and administration. The committee was assisted by Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, an executive search firm specializing in higher education executive recruitment for colleges and universities.