Joanne Berger-Sweeney

Trinity College
Leadership, Policy, and Communications
Educational and Academic Leadership

 Joanne Berger-Sweeney is the 22nd President of Trinity College. The first African American and the first woman to serve as president of the college since it was founded in 1823, Berger-Sweeney is a champion of a liberal arts education, improving campus equity and diversity, fostering community and global engagement, and preparing students to lead bold and transformative lives. Berger-Sweeney has overseen the creation of both the Bantam Network mentoring program for first-year students and the Career and Life Design Center, and the introduction of Trinity Plus, an innovative liberal arts curriculum. She has strengthened the college’s relationship with the city of Hartford by expanding Trinity’s campus footprint into downtown Hartford, establishing an innovation center and the Liberal Arts Action Lab, part of the Center for Hartford Engagement and Research, and launching an exclusive liberal arts partnership with the global technology firm Infosys. Before coming to Trinity, Berger-Sweeney served as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University (2010–2014). She began her academic career as a member of the Wellesley College faculty, joining in 1991 as an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and later becoming the Allene Lummis Russell Professor in Neuroscience. Her teaching and research career at Wellesley spanned nineteen years, and included serving as director of Wellesley’s Neuroscience Program and as an Associate Dean. Berger-Sweeney has served on the Boards of Hartford HealthCare, the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education, the Capital Region Development Authority, the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and the Luce Foundation. She also serves on the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III Presidents Council as well on the Neuroscience Selection Advisory Board for the Gruber Prize. Her honors include a Lifetime Mentoring Award from the Society for Neuroscience and a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award. In 2022, she was honored by Tufts University for her legacy of transformational Black leadership and also received the Edward Bouchet Academic Leadership Award from the Institute for Cross-Cultural Awareness and Transformative Education. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2018 and serves as a member of the Academy’s Trust.  

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