Lehigh Names Six New Trustees

Lehigh’s Board of Trustees welcomed six new members on July 1 and bid farewell to three outgoing trustees.

Starting three-year terms are appointed trustees Craig Benson ’85; Jeff Bosland ’88 ’22P; Terrence Hahn ’88 ’92G and Richard Verma ’90; and alumni trustees Pat Fischer ’97 ’98G and Robert Buckheit III ’09.

Retiring trustees are Shari L. Aronson ’15P, who was an appointed trustee who served from 2012 through 2018; and alumni trustees John J. Franchini ’97, who served from 2015 through 2018 and Safiya Jafari Simmons, who served from 2015 through 2018.

Also, at the May 2018 meeting, the board’s Committee on Nominations and Trusteeship named Maria L. Chrin ’87 ’10P, to serve one additional term as Corporate Trustee, beginning July 1st, and recommended that the following individuals serve one additional term as Appointed Trustees: Anne L. Kline ’81; James R. Maida ’85 ’17P ’19P; Peter A. Morales ’82; Edward Ramos ’89 and Mark Yeager ’81.

The six new trustees come from a variety of industries and professional backgrounds and were nominated for service based on their respective expertise and their commitment to the university.

“We are pleased to welcome these accomplished individuals to the Board of Trustees," said Chairman of the Board Kevin Clayton ’84 ’13P. “We know that they will bring significant expertise and unique perspectives to this new role. We thank those trustees who are concluding their terms on the board, as well. Their contributions have significantly advanced our university's goals and we are grateful for their dedication and service.”

The new trustees are:

Appointed trustee Craig Benson ’85, of Charlottesville, Va., is the Dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Virginia, as well as the Hamilton Endowed Chair in Engineering. Benson has a Bachelor of Science degree from Lehigh University and a Master of Science in Engineering and a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining the University of Virginia, Craig was appointed as a Distinguished Professor, Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Chair of Geological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was also Director of Sustainability Research and Education for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, leading one of the three cross-campus strategic initiatives. He serves on the Environmental Engineering Committee of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board and ExxonMobil’s Sustainability Advisory Committee. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and currently serves on the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science Dean’s Advisory Council.

Appointed trustee Jeffrey Bosland ’88 ’22P, of Basking Ridge, N.J., is the Senior Managing Director of Cerberus Capital’s Operations and Advisory Company, where he is responsible for advising and driving improvement in portfolio companies in the financial services industry. Prior to Cerberus, Jeff worked for JPMorgan Chase for 12 years, where he was a Managing Director and member of JPMorgan’s Corporate & Investment Bank’s Management Committee.  He most recently served as Global Head of Client Treasury Services, and was previously head of U.S. Public Finance, U.S. Agencies Debt, and also head of Americas Sales and Marketing.  Earlier in his 29-year business career in banking and fixed income sales and trading, Bosland managed U.S. Interest Rate Swaps Derivatives Trading at Bankers Trust Co. and Deutsche Bank, where he also led the U.S. Agencies Debt trading business.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Lehigh University in 1988.  He currently serves on Lehigh’s College of Business and Economics Dean’s Advisory Council.

Appointed trustee Terrence Hahn ’88 ’92G of Nyon, Switzerland, has most recently served as an officer of Honeywell International, Inc. in the role of President and Chief Executive Office of Honeywell Home and Building Technologies since 2016. Following the public announcement in 2017 to spin the Homes and Distribution business, Hahn supported the transition.  Prior to that role, he served Honeywell as President and Chief Executive Officer of Transportation Systems from 2013, based in Switzerland, and as Vice President and General Manager, Performance Materials and Technologies, Fluorine Product, from 2007.  Prior to joining Honeywell, Hahn served in key business, operations and technology leadership roles with Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. for nearly 20 years, with positions based in Taiwan, Malaysia and Canada.  He holds a Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science in materials science from Lehigh and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is a member of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science Dean’s Advisory Council and has been a recipient of the LU Alumni Association Award at his 25th Reunion and also the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Appointed trustee Richard Verma ’90, of Bethesda, Md., is Vice Chairman and Partner at The Asia Group, where he is leading the firm’s growth in South Asia. He previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to India from 2014 to 2017, where he is credited for the historic deepening of bilateral ties. A leading expert on trade and diplomacy in Asia, Ambassador Verma was previously the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs, where he led the State Department’s efforts on Capitol Hill. He worked as Senior National Security Advisor to the Senate Majority Leader and also spent time in the House of Representatives. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, where he served on active duty as a Judge Advocate. His military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal. He holds degrees from the Georgetown University Law Center (LLM), American University’s Washington College of Law (JD), and Lehigh University (BS).

Alumni trustee Pat Fischer ’97 ’98G, of Basking Ridge, N.J., is Senior Director of Enterprise Architecture at Salesforce. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Lehigh in 1997 and then earned a Master of Science degree in economics in 1998 as part of the President’s Scholar Program. While at Lehigh, Fischer was an Iacocca Scholar and involved in the engineering co-op program, working for Unilever. Since graduation, he has remained involved in the Alumni Association, most recently serving as president. He received the Alumni Award in 2017.

Alumni trustee Robert Buckheit III ’09, of Columbia, Md., is the Director of Business Development for ImQuest BioSciences, Inc., a preclinical contract research organization that specializes in infectious disease product development services. In 2009, he graduated with honors, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Lehigh University. In 2013, he obtained a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Medicine from the Johns Hopkins University. Buckheit has served Lehigh as the President of the Regional Alumni club of Baltimore, is the Class of 2009 Correspondent and Reunion Co-Chair, serves as an Alumni Admissions Outreach Volunteer, he is a member of the Lehigh University Board of Directors, and previously served as a member of the Young Alumni Council Executive Council. As an undergraduate, he was President of the Interfraternity Council, President of the Sigma Chi fraternity, an Orientation Coordinator and Orientation Leader, a Presidents Scholar, member of the Alpha Theta History Honors Society, and recipient of the Bosey Reiter Leadership Cup.

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