James E. Staley of New York City will chair the search for the 15th president of Bowdoin College. Bowdoin Board of Trustees Chair Deborah Jensen Barker — who selected Staley in consultation with other trustees — announced the appointment Monday, April 21, a week after the current Bowdoin president, Barry Mills, announced he will step down from the post in June 2015 at the conclusion of the 2014-15 academic year.
Known as “Jes,” Staley is a member of the Bowdoin Class of 1979 (A.B., economics, cum laude) and a current trustee of the College. He currently serves as managing partner at BlueMountain Capital in New York City.
“Jes has earned his place as a respected member of Bowdoin’s Board of Trustees and as a principled leader in the world of finance,” said Barker. “He understands the importance of the search process and we know that, under his leadership, the search committee will approach the task of identifying Bowdoin’s next president seriously, thoughtfully, and with enthusiasm. We are so fortunate that he has agreed to lead this effort.”
Prior to joining BlueMountain in 2013, Staley spent more than 30 years at J.P. Morgan where he was the CEO of J.P. Morgan’s Investment Bank and CEO of J.P. Morgan Asset Management. He was also a member of J.P. Morgan’s operating and executive committees. In addition to the Bowdoin Board of Trustees, where he serves as chair of the Investment Committee, Staley currently serves as a director of the Robin Hood Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations, Code Advisors, and the Investor Advisory Committee on Financial Markets of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
“I am honored to be asked to chair this search for Bowdoin’s next president,” said Staley. “President Mills has set the bar very high, and because of his outstanding leadership, we know that the presidency of Bowdoin College will draw interest from many outstanding candidates. We have our work cut out for us as we conduct a transparent, expeditious, and comprehensive search, but I am confident we will ultimately identify a leader who will sustain Bowdoin’s ascent and ensure our continued status as one of America’s finest liberal arts colleges.”
According to Barker, the full search committee “will be a group representing the many constituencies of the Bowdoin community.” The committee membership will be announced at the Bowdoin board’s campus meetings on May 8-10.
Staley and his wife, Deby, have two daughters: Alexa, who graduated magna cum laude from Bowdoin in 2011, and Sophia, currently a senior at Brown University.