Dear Members of The St. Paul’s Schools Community,
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are thrilled to announce the appointment of Jefferson Huang as the inaugural President of The St. Paul’s Schools. The eight-month search attracted a number of outstanding candidates, and Jeff was one of four finalists who visited our campus this fall.
The naming of the first President of The St. Paul’s Schools marks a historic moment for our institutions. Backed by a newly unified Board of Trustees, the President will provide strategic and operational oversight of our schools to ensure we are making the most of the opportunities presented by unification. While working with the Heads to ensure that each school retains its own distinctive culture and gender-appropriate programs, Jeff will assume several important roles: visionary leader, administrative integrator, external ambassador, and quality controller.
Jeff is currently Vice President at Claremont McKenna College, a liberal arts college with 1330 undergraduates in Claremont, California. In his current position, he helps oversee school operations and serves as a senior advisor to the President on all matters related to students. The complexity of this job is amplified by the fact that Claremont McKenna is part of The Claremont Colleges, a seven-school consortium that shares one central-services office and allows students to cross-register for classes.
Jeff has worked at Claremont McKenna for more than 23 years, in roles of increasing responsibility centered around Student Affairs and Admissions. In that time, the school has become one of the most selective liberal arts colleges in the nation. Moreover, Jeff is a seasoned fundraiser who helped lead a $170 million campaign to support financial aid. A gifted communicator and consensus builder, Jeff gives regular speeches to faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents, and trustees, and he prides himself on staying engaged with these groups.
In addition to serving as a senior administrator, Jeff is a scholar of Philosophy who researches and writes extensively on ethics and technology among other issues. An educator to his core, Jeff teaches a course each semester, comes from a family of educators, and is married to a kindergarten teacher. He completed his Ph.D in Philosophy at The Claremont Graduate University, as well as a B.A. and M.A. of Philosophy at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.
Jeff is eager to help define this newly created position at St. Paul’s when he begins on July 1, 2019. With a reputation for innovative and ethical leadership and extensive experience as an administrator and a teacher, he has the breadth of skills needed to guide our schools into the future. As one of his colleagues put it: “His visionary bent is just the way he works.” Importantly, Jeff is well-versed in the culture and structure of independent schools. When his two children, now teenagers, attended Saint Mark's Episcopal School (K–8) in Upland, California, Jeff served as Board Chair and led two search committees for the school. In his Statement of Philosophy, Jeff acknowledged that school leadership is a complex job that often requires tough decisions. The key, he wrote, is to “always have the best interest of children and their families in your heart.”
We would like to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of the Search Committee—expertly led by Elise Butler, SPSG ’83 and Joseph Sutton, SPS ’88. While we both participated in the search, we want to give special thanks to our fellow committee members: David Dunn, Carl Pohlhaus, SPS ’83, Michael Ponsi, SPS ’83, Kelly Nocher Riepe, SPSG ’01, and Nicole Swann. In partnership with consulting firm Carney Sandoe, the team invested a great deal of time and energy over the last several months and we are grateful for their dedication. We also want to thank the various constituent groups who took the time to meet with our finalists and share their feedback, which factored substantially into our final decision.
Over the coming months, you will have several opportunities to meet Jeff and his wife, Catie, and you can learn more about him in this video. Jeff’s first campus visit as President-elect is scheduled for December 11, and we will host a Meet and Greet for faculty, staff, and other community members in the Student Commons at SPSG from 4:00-5:00 p.m. A Transition Committee, chaired by Joe Sutton, is managing the new President's onboarding activities. For now, please join us in warmly welcoming Jeff and his family to The St. Paul’s Schools community.