Berklee Announces Susan Whitehead as Board of Trustees Chair

Tori Donahue
February 28, 2017
Press release
Courtesy of Susan Whitehead

Berklee has named Susan Whitehead as the newest Board of Trustees chair. She is the first woman ever to lead the Berklee board. Whitehead's strategic vision for higher education has been instrumental in her role as vice chair of the board since March 2016. She also served a nine-year term from 2004-2013. Whitehead will take over for Jeff Shames, who served as board chair for 10 years. In addition to Whitehead’s appointment, Martin Mannion will serve as the new co-vice chair of the board alongside longtime vice chair Michael Eisenson.

Whitehead is currently vice chair and life board member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT, and a life member of the MIT Corporation (MIT’s Board of Trustees). She also serves on the boards of the Museum of Science and Horizons for Homeless Children. Whitehead previously served as chair of Horizons for Homeless Children, the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, Bayview Correctional Facility in New York City, and the Whitehead Institute.

“Susan cares about the arts and is a proven leader within the Berklee board and beyond,” said Berklee President Roger H. Brown. “Her strong connections to technology and science will support new collaborations, and her passion for students will keep us all focused on what matters most.”

Prior to her time at Berklee, Whitehead was a trial attorney in private practice in Boston, and an assistant district attorney in New York City. She directed a clinical program at Brooklyn Law School, worked for the American Civil Liberties Union in Jackson, Mississippi, and developed a comprehensive education program for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. She received her Juris Doctor from Cardozo School of Law in 1982 and her Bachelor of Science from Cornell University in 1976.