Trustees Select Presidential Search Committee Chair (A Letter from Board of Trustees Chair and Chair-Elect)

September 8, 2022

Dear Boston University Community,

Selecting the next president of Boston University is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees, and we approach this all-important task with the needs of the entire community in mind. Our search process will be thoughtful, inclusive, and comprehensive. Boston University is seeking a president with the vision, energy, and leadership skills to maintain our current momentum and advance BU’s position as a center of excellence in research, scholarship, and teaching, and a global leader in multi-disciplinary and convergent research. The ideal candidate will also be deeply committed to building and maintaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.

To begin that process, we are pleased to report that Antoinette (Tonie) Leatherberry has been selected to chair the Search Committee for our next president. Tonie, who joined the BU Board of Trustees in 2020, is an engineer who graduated from the College of Engineering in 1985 and went on to assume senior roles at Digital Equipment Corporation and Deloitte & Touche. Over the course of her nearly 30-year career at Deloitte, Tonie played a principal role in setting practices involving leadership development, best governance practices, and organizational diversity initiatives. She also has considerable experience in searches and placements at the CEO level in both corporate and academic environments. Tonie is a member of the Board of Directors at Zoetis, Inc., the world’s largest producer of medicine and vaccines for animals, and at American Family Insurance, one of the nation’s largest insurance companies. Tonie has also been an active member of the BU community, serving on the University Advisory Board, the College of Engineering Advisory Board, and the Black Alumni Leadership Council. She was invited to join the Board of Trustees in recognition of her talent, commitment, and significant accomplishments. Tonie’s leadership acumen, consultative approach, and commitment to BU make her the ideal person to lead the search for our next president.

The Search Committee will be in the enviable position of having the strong platform and momentum of a thriving, world-class university whose scholarship, research, and financial strength have enjoyed an upward trajectory for the past 17 years under Bob Brown’s leadership. Working with Bob, the Board of Trustees has approved the comprehensive 2030 Strategic Plan, with a clearly defined and shared vision of future priorities and strategies. All that puts a great deal of positive energy behind our efforts and will allow us to recruit another excellent president.

In the coming weeks, Tonie will begin a comprehensive search process, which will include consultation with faculty and other stakeholders, including students, staff, and alumni. With Tonie’s guidance, the Board will select a formal Search Committee and will report its full membership to you at the end of this month. The Search Committee will solicit nominations, applications, and inquiries from the community both online and in person as a prelude to interviewing candidates and advancing a nominee to the full Board next spring.

We look forward to the search, Tonie’s leadership, and your participation.


Kenneth J. Feld signature
Kenneth J. Feld
Board of Trustees

Ahmass L. Fakahany signature
Ahmass L. Fakahany
Board of Trustees