Berklee Appoints Roger H. Brown President
Entrepreneur and Early Childhood Educator named President of Berklee College of Music
Bachrach Portrait Photographers
BOSTON, February 6, 2004 Berklee College of Music, the world's largest independent music college and premier learning lab for contemporary music, named today as its new president a prominent entrepreneur in early childhood education whose company has created on-site child development centers for IBM, UAW/Ford, Sony Pictures Entertainment, MIT, Johns Hopkins, the United Nations, and the European Commission, among numerous other Fortune 500 corporations, leading universities, hospitals and government agencies.
Effective June 1, 2004, Roger H. Brown becomes the third president and the first who is not a member of the Berk family in Berklee's 59-year history. Brown is the founder and executive chairman of Bright Horizons Family Solutions the world's leading provider of employer-sponsored child care and founder of two non-profit foundations serving the needs of homeless and other disadvantaged children.
Brown, who is also a musician, succeeds Lee Berk, who is retiring at the end of the academic year after a 25-year tenure as president. Berk's father, Lawrence, founded the College in 1945 and named it for his son.
Under their leadership, the College pioneered jazz as both an academic discipline and a mainstream art form; integrated technology as part of the necessary evolution of music and extension of artistic expression; worked to ensure that a Berklee education is available to student musicians from all socio-economic classes; and served as the launching pad for thousands of professional musicians, scores of whom have been honored for their prodigious talents with GRAMMY® nominations from the Recording Academy.
Allan McLean, chair of the College's Board of Trustees, explained that the Presidential Search Committee worked diligently over the past 16 months to find the individual best suited to head the world's premier college for contemporary music. "Roger was chosen from a very rich pool of applicants. Many highly qualified candidates were interested in continuing the tradition of vision and innovation established by Lee and Larry Berk. We chose Roger because he is a dynamic, creative, and insightful leader whose outstanding amalgam of skills will serve us well as we forge on into the 21st century."
Added Lee Berk: "As the namesake of the College and son of its founder, I know that serving as Berklee's president is a profoundly personal charge. Roger radiates a sense of deep commitment to the college and its mission, and I am confident that he will lead Berklee to greater heights."
Brown praised the Berk family for building an extraordinary institution. "I have the deepest respect for what Lawrence and Lee Berk have created. My goals are to continue the traditions they began: to give our students a place that honors and supports the music they aspire to create; give faculty a fantastic working environment; and keep Berklee in its internationally recognized role as the preeminent laboratory for the creation of contemporary music."
Brown founded Bright Horizons with his wife Linda Mason and a committed group of Boston area parents in 1986. With her, he conceived the mission and strategy, created the business model, raised millions in venture capital, established a board, and directed its growth, including an IPO and a merger to form the largest provider of employer-sponsored child care in the world.
Today, the company has more than $400 million in annual revenues and 15,000 employees at its more than 500 child care and early education centers, serving more than 450 employers and 55,000 children in four countries. Bright Horizons enjoys the country's best accreditation record from the National Association for the Education of Young Children and has been repeatedly selected by Fortune magazine as one of the "Best 100 Places to Work in America."
Brown is also the founder and a board member of The Horizons Initiative, which was launched in 1988 to provide services to homeless and other disadvantaged children. Through the program, 500 trained volunteers work in more than 50 play spaces in Boston area homeless shelters. Based on its success, he founded and is now board chairman of The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, which creates play spaces in homeless shelters in communities across the country where Bright Horizons employees live and work.
Brown co-produced "Bright Spaces," a collection of music featuring such artists as Ziggy Marley, Raffi, Arlo Guthrie, and Sweet Honey in the Rock and benefiting The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children. The CD won the Oppenheim Platinum Award, Early Childhood News Director's Choice Award, Parent's Guide to Children's Media Award and NAPPA Silver Award.
A percussionist, Brown co-wrote, produced, and performed on a series of six music collections for use within the Bright Horizons community. Brown also played drums and percussion for a fusion band in the early 1980s.
Prior to founding Bright Horizons, Brown served as an executive with the Save the Children Federation, for which he created a national famine relief program in the Sudan. He has also been a relief manager in Thailand for CARE/UNICEF and a math teacher in Kenya, as well as a management consultant at Bain & Company.
In addition to his professional responsibilities, Brown is an active leader on numerous corporate, civic and community boards, including Stonyfield Farms Yogurt, Early Education for All, Benchmark Assisted Living, Stand for Children, an advocacy organization founded by Jonah and Marian Wright Edelman, and Council for the Professional Recognition, which offers childhood development associates degrees. He will continue in his capacity as co-chairman of Bright Horizons Family Solutions.
Brown has been honored numerous times for his service to young children, as well as for his entrepreneurship. He holds a bachelor's degree from Davidson College and an MBA from Yale University.