Smith’s 12th president, Sarah Willie-LeBreton, officially began her duties on July 1. Since then, she has, in her words, “hit the ground running,” Here are her reflections on the start of her tenure leading the college.
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Smith Welcomes New Trustees
Deborah Archer ’93
Deborah Archer is associate dean of experiential education and clinical programs and co-faculty director of the Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law at New York University School of Law. Archer is also the president of the ACLU and a nationally recognized expert on civil liberties, civil rights, and racial justice. She is an award-winning teacher and legal scholar whose articles have appeared in leading law reviews. Before full-time teaching, Archer worked as an attorney with the ACLU and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., where she litigated voting rights, employment discrimination, and school desegregation. Archer previously served as chair of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, the nation’s oldest and largest police oversight agency. Archer is a graduate of Yale Law School and Smith College, class of 1993.
Kate O’Brian ’80
Kate O’Brian is president of Scripps News, overseeing both Scripps News, the 24/7 news network, and Court TV. O’Brian’s career in news and journalism spans nearly four decades, spending 30 years at ABC News. As senior vice president for news, she oversaw ABC’s news bureaus worldwide; business, law and justice, medical and investigative units; as well as ABC News Radio and news affiliate relations. When appointed president at Al Jazeera America in 2013, O’Brian became the first woman to run a 24/7 cable news organization and her work has been honored with Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, Emmy Awards and George Foster Peabody Awards, among other awards. In March 2023, O’Brian was honored at the annual Wonder Women of New York event, which recognizes outstanding women executives in media and entertainment. O’Brian graduated from Smith College in 1980.
Ling Yang ’02
Ling Yang is a managing director at The Carlyle Group and co-head of Carlyle Asia Healthcare. Focusing on healthcare, Yang joined Carlyle Asia in 2011. Since joining Carlyle Asia, Yang has led investments into leading healthcare companies in China including Hutchmed, Adicon Clinical Laboratories, Ambiopharm, Microport Scientific Corporation, Meinian Onehealth, and Shenzhen Salubris Pharmaceuticals. She chairs the board of Adicon Clinical Laboratories and is a member of the boards of Ambiopharm and Shenzhen Salubris. Prior to Carlyle Asia, Yang worked in private equity at KKR in Asia and in investment banking at Goldman Sachs in the U.S. Ling Yang graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in economics and computer science from Smith College in 2002 and received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
About Smith College:
Founded in 1871, Smith College opened in 1875 with 14 students. Today, it is one of the largest women’s liberal arts colleges in the United States, educating women of promise for lives of distinction and purpose. Smith enrolls more than 2,900 students from nearly every state and more than 75 other countries to cultivate leaders able to address the complex, urgent problems of today. As a global community of scholars, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, activists and humanitarians, Smith is pushing the world forward. More information at smith.edu.