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Search Committee

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Anu Aiyengar ’91
Trustee
Anu Aiyengar is the global co-head of mergers and acquisitions at J.P. Morgan, a member of the Global Banking Management team, and serves on the steering committee of Women On the Move for JPMorgan Chase. Since 1999, Aiyengar has advised both domestic and international clients on more than a trillion dollars of transactions including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures/separations, leveraged buyouts, proxy contests, unsolicited transactions and special committee assignments. Aiyengar was named to Barron’s “100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance” list and American Banker’s “Most Powerful Women in Finance” top 25 list. She holds a bachelor of arts in economics from Smith College and a master’s degree in business administration from Vanderbilt University.

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Deborah Keiko Reeves Berger ’86
Trustee
Deborah Berger is co-founder and board chair of Unbound Philanthropy, an international foundation dedicated to the equitable distribution of opportunity for immigrants and refugees while strengthening the communities in which they live. Before establishing Unbound Philanthropy, Berger worked for J.P. Morgan in New York, Tokyo and London. In 2007 she co-founded The Learning Coalition to assist Hawaii’s public schools by strengthening community-based partnerships, and she also serves on the boards of the Hawaii Community Foundation and Punahou School. Berger holds a graduate degree in law from London Guildhall University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Smith College.

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Darcy Buerkle
Professor of History
Darcy Buerkle is professor of history and served as chair of the department from 2018 to 2021. Currently, she is an elected member of Smith’s Faculty Council. Buerkle teaches courses on European women’s and gender history. Specializing in German Jewish gender history, Buerkle is the author of a number of essays. Her first book, Nothing Happened: Charlotte Salomon and an Archive of Suicide, was published in 2013 by the University of Michigan Press; the University of Wisconsin Press will publish a co-edited volume with Skye Doney titled Belonging and Exclusion: George L. Mosse and Contemporary Europe in fall 2022.

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Mattie Peterson Compton ’72
Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees
Mattie Peterson Compton, Smith College class of 1972, served 40 years as an assistant United States attorney for the District Court in the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, before her retirement in July 2019. During her tenure in the office she served as a line assistant, the deputy civil chief, and the deputy criminal chief of the Asset Recovery Unit. Throughout her career, she has also led a number of nonprofits and has served in various capacities on the board of a number of other nonprofit and civic organizations. The recipient of an A.B. in African American studies from Smith, Compton earned her J.D. degree at the University of Michigan School of Law.

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David DeSwert
Vice President for Finance and Administration
David DeSwert is responsible for all matters related to the financial operation of the college, including budget, financial planning, treasury and accounting. In addition, he has responsibility for human resources, facilities management, dining services, environmental sustainability, campus planning, risk management, nondegree programs and campus safety. DeSwert originally arrived at Smith in 2007 and has since served in a number of finance roles with increasing responsibility. He was named to his current role in 2019.

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Terry W. Hartle
Trustee
Terry W. Hartle is the senior vice president for government and public affairs at the American Council on Education, where he leads the higher education community’s efforts to engage federal legislative and executive branch policymakers on issues including student aid, government regulation and tax policy. Before joining ACE in 1993, Hartle served for six years as education staff director for the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources. He earned a doctoral degree in public policy from The George Washington University, a master’s in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and a bachelor’s degree in history from Hiram College.

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Peggie Ward Koon ’74
Trustee; President of Alumnae Association of Smith College
Peggie Ward Koon is a strategist, consultant, coach and author. The founder and former CEO of Leading Change, LLC, she is former vice president of audience at Chronicle Media, Morris Publishing Group, in Augusta, Georgia. Koon is the author of Leading Change, A Practical Guide for Change Agents; she has written more than 40 published management and technical articles and papers focused on strategic change, leadership, change management, IT and OT automation, and process control. Koon received her undergraduate degree in mathematics from Smith in 1974 and holds a doctoral degree in management information systems from Kennedy Western University.

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Daphne Lamothe
Professor of Africana Studies
Daphne Lamothe is a literary and cultural studies scholar with research and teaching interests in African American, Afro-Caribbean and Black migration and transnational literatures. In addition to serving as chair of the Africana studies department, she is a member of Smith’s programs in American studies and the Study of Women and Gender. Lamothe’s research focuses on literary and cultural representations of Black consciousness formed by migratory and transnational experiences. Her publications explore questions of national and cultural belonging, identity and symbolic geographies within the Black Atlantic imagination.

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Tiffany Lin ’24
Student Representative
Tiffany Lin is an engineering major with a minor in economics. She is a member of Smiffenpoofs, the oldest all-female collegiate a cappella group in the country. Lin is a residence life house community adviser and serves as a mentor leader for the Achieving Excellence in Mathematics, Engineering and Sciences (AEMES) Mentoring Program. She is also on Dean Baishakhi Taylor's COVID Student Advisory Council. Lin graduated from The Lawrenceville School with high honors, and she resides in New York City.

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Susan May Molineaux ’75
Chair, Presidential Search Committee; Vice Chair of the Board
Susan May Molineaux, Smith College class of 1975, is a leading cancer researcher and a drug discovery and development innovator in the biotechnology field. Co-founder, president and CEO of Calithera Biosciences, Molineaux previously co-founded Proteolix and served for two years as that company’s chief scientific officer before holding her current positions. Molineaux earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Smith College and a doctorate in molecular biology from Johns Hopkins University, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University.

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Alison Overseth ’80
Chair of the Board of Trustees
Alison Overseth is the chief executive officer of the Partnership for After School Education (PASE), a nonprofit that works with hundreds of community-based organizations, higher education institutions, and corporate partners to improve the quality of opportunities available to young people living in poverty in New York City. With more than 25 years of experience in the youth serving profession, Overseth directed a management initiative for the Fund for the City of New York. She was a director at The First Boston Corporation, specializing in corporate restructurings, from 1984 to 1992, and is a graduate of Smith College and the Columbia Business School.

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Kate Queeney
Professor of Chemistry
Kate Queeney teaches a range of courses in general, physical and analytical chemistry, and her research currently focuses on the role of surface chemistry and topography on biofilm nucleation. Queeney has served as department chair and as the college’s inaugural faculty director of advising. She has received Smith’s Sherrerd Prize for Distinguished Teaching and has been a recipient of an National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award and a Cottrell Scholar Award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. Queeney earned her bachelor of arts from Williams College, where she served as a trustee, and her doctorate from Harvard University.

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Kimberly A. Scott ’91
Trustee
Kimberly A. Scott ’91 is professor of women and gender studies in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University and the founding executive director of ASU’s Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology. Having successfully secured considerable grant funding to support programs for women and girls of color in STEM, Scott was named as a White House Champion of Change for STEM Access in 2014 by former President Barack Obama. Scott graduated from Smith with a bachelor’s degree in art history and French literature. She holds a master’s degree from Long Island University in curriculum and instruction/elementary education and earned a doctorate in education from Rutgers University in social and philosophical foundations of education.

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Deborah Weinberg ’81
Trustee
Debby Weinberg worked in finance at J.P. Morgan until she left to raise her three children. She serves on the executive committee of the Columbia University Medical Center Board of Advisors. She is the co-founder and chair of the board of the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center at Columbia. She is also on the board of the Waterside School in Stamford, Conn., and previously served on the Board of Dean’s Advisors at Harvard Business School. Weinberg received a B.A. in economics from Smith College in 1981 and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1985.

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Gregory White
Mary Huggins Gamble Professor of Government
Gregory White is the Mary Huggins Gamble Professor of Government and a member of the Environmental Science and Policy Program Committee. He teaches courses on global environmental politics, international relations, North African politics and refugee politics. He has also served as the Eveillard Faculty Director of the Lewis Global Studies Center. He is the former editor of the Journal of North African Studies, and his forthcoming book is Refugees of the Apocalypse: "Climate Refugees" and Environmental Catastrophism. In 2009–11 he received a New Directions Grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation and studied climate and earth science at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

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Elena Palladino
Secretary of the Board of Trustees and Secretary of the College (staff)
Elena Palladino has served as the secretary of the board of trustees since 2015. Palladino supports the operations of the board of trustees and the presidential search. She is a graduate of Simmons University and holds an M.A. in literary and cultural studies from Carnegie Mellon University and an Ed.M. in higher education from Harvard University.