Lehigh Names Search Committee Co-Chairs as Presidential Search Process Begins

Maria L. Chrin ’87 ’10P and Philip B. Sheibley ’81 ’19P will lead the process to select Lehigh’s 15th president.

Lehigh Campus

The Lehigh Board of Trustees has begun the search process for the 15th president of Lehigh University, following the September 4 announcement that John D. Simon ’19P would step down from his position at the conclusion of the 2020-2021 academic year.

As a first step in the presidential transition, Trustees’ Chair Kevin L. Clayton ’84 ’13P has asked Maria L. Chrin ’87 ’10P and Philip B. Sheibley ’81 ’19P, both longtime members of the board and supporters of the university, to serve as co-chairs for the Presidential Search Committee. As co-chairs, Chrin and Sheibley will select the other members of the Search Committee, establish the framework of the search, enable opportunities for broad community input and provide leadership, vision and regular updates throughout the process.

“I am honored to help lead this search at such an important time in the history of our university,” Chrin said. “John’s many successes during his tenure have positioned Lehigh for even greater success and impact in the years to come, and we have every confidence that we will be able to find a president who can seize on the many opportunities that stand before us.”

Added Sheibley: “Lehigh is a great institution with a strong reputation among our peers, and that standing will surely serve us well as we begin this search process. Even in a time of unique challenge, we have forward momentum as a university, and we are committed to bringing in a leader invested in and capable of furthering our mission.”

Both Chrin and Sheibley have deep ties to the university, and currently serve as vice chairs of the Board of Trustees.

Chrin has served on the board since 2004. She is the founder and managing partner of Circle Wealth Management, LLC, a women-owned, independent investment management and wealth advisory firm based in NYC. Previously, she spent 15 years at Goldman Sachs, where she built a premier practice within the Private Wealth Management Division. She is a member of the Board of Overseers of Columbia Business School. She received a B.S. in Economics from Lehigh in 1987 and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School in 1989.

Sheibley, a member of the board since 2011, is a venture capital investor with a primary focus on the alternative energy and life sciences industries. He is also the chairman of Fiberight LLC, an advanced biofuel company, and serves on the board of directors for a number of his other portfolio companies. He retired as a managing partner with Accenture in 2010, where he was industry director for the Life Sciences industry practice. He earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Lehigh in 1981.

“Lehigh is fortunate to have in Maria and Phil two such distinguished and accomplished alumni to lead this important search, and I thank them for their willingness to serve in such important roles,” said Clayton. “They are deeply committed to this university and its future, and I know they will bring to this process their deep appreciation for and understanding of Lehigh. The university has tremendous momentum and is well positioned for further achievement and prominence.”

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