Hampshire College has just named health and nutrition scholar and social entrepreneur Miriam “Mim” E. Nelson as its seventh president, replacing Jonathan Lash, who announced his retirement last year.
Last year, Lash announced that he would retire by June; Nelson will take on Lash position by July 1, 2018. Hampshire’s Board of Trustees made the appointment around a week ago; formal recommendation from a presidential search committee composed of faculty, students, staff and trustees helped give Nelson the edge over the competition for the position. Two other candidates were also interviewed, but the committee unanimously voted for Nelson, as confirmed by a memo from the school.
Ultimately, they were based on how they would hit on campus and their voice of leadership, as well as proven leadership with concern to leadership and strategy, among other atrributes.
According to MassLive, addressing her by the nickname “Mim,” search committee chairwoman Gaye Hill issued the following statement in tribute to Nelson’s appointment:
“We’re beyond excited to welcome Mim to Hampshire College.”
“She has a gift for empowering communities and the people who shape them. As a humanist and scientist, she has created original scholarly work that has brought meaningful change to the public sphere.”
Who is Miriam E. Nelson?
Nelson is someone who wears many hats. She’s been a best-selling author, a health and nutrition scholar, scientist, researcher, higher education administrator, government policy adviser, and university professor.
While she can now add “president” to her resume, she’s certainly had the impressive background, being the health and nutrition adviser to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Notably, Nelson even has led her expertise to documentaries. She worked as a senior adviser for Michael Pollan’s Emmy-nominated documentary In Defense of Food and chief scientific adviser to PBS NOVA’s Marathon Challenge film.
She had also been based at Tufts University for over three decades, where she had been credited with increasing research, management, and even earned tens of millions of dollars in resources from donors and funding agencies.