20th President Announced

In a letter to the Kenyon community on June 15, 2023, the Presidential Search Committee announced that Julie Kornfeld will be the 20th president of Kenyon College.


Dear members of the Kenyon College community,

It is our great pleasure to announce that Julie Kornfeld will be the 20th president of Kenyon College. A highly regarded academic leader and committed educator, Julie earned the enthusiastic support of the search committee for her bold and courageous leadership, and her mix of heart and sense. The Board of Trustees unanimously approved her appointment on June 14, concluding a national search for a president that, by all accounts, is equal to the ambitions of Kenyon’s third century.

Julie comes to Kenyon from Columbia University, where, since 2016, she has assumed increasing responsibility for the university’s academic affairs. She currently serves as vice provost for academic programs and provides strategic leadership for curricular offerings across the university’s undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. Prior to that, she served as vice dean for education at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, where she is an associate professor of epidemiology. She is a former assistant dean, director of education and assistant professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. In each of these posts, Julie has been a champion for interdisciplinary collaboration, curricular innovation and cross-cutting institutional partnerships.

Throughout her career, Julie has removed barriers, built bridges and forged new paths for research, study and real-world impact. Under her leadership, collaboration across Columbia’s schools and departments has flourished, as have its global programs. She is particularly attuned to the ways in which a liberal arts education equips students to address the complex issues that shape civil society. At Mailman, Julie established an undergraduate concentration in public health for Columbia College and Barnard College students and launched unique dual-degree partnerships with Vassar College, Dickinson College and Columbia College, enabling students to complete a bachelor’s degree in a liberal arts discipline and master’s degree in public health in five years. 

A skilled epidemiologist and devoted teacher, Julie has taught numerous courses in public health and medicine and advised students across disciplines looking to improve the health of their communities and our global society. The University of Miami recognized her for outstanding teaching and mentoring.

Julie is deeply committed to ensuring that those working to address the challenges of the world represent the diversity of the world. She helped to establish Mailman’s first Office of Diversity, Culture and Inclusion, and led efforts to examine the equity of the school’s organizational structures. 

Both as an administrator and as a researcher, Julie has a keen understanding of complex systems and the people who influence them. Her colleagues spoke of her great strength in interpreting not just data but the structural, cultural and interpersonal dynamics shaping them. Again and again, the committee was struck by her capacity to set a clear and often bold course, informed by a broad range of evidence and fueled by individuals inspired to contribute to a greater good. Julie noted the same qualities in Kenyon, and liberal arts education at its best.

On the eve of its bicentennial, Kenyon is in a position of historic strength. Our selection of Julie Kornfeld from an outstanding pool of candidates reflects the input of hundreds of faculty, staff, students, alumni and parents on the qualities to seek in Kenyon’s next president — collaboration, courage and optimism, among them. We have every confidence that Julie’s experience will equip her to navigate the complex issues facing higher education, and that her intelligence, openness and energy will enable her to tap into and champion the many strengths of the Kenyon community.

Julie will join us in Gambier on October 1. We look forward to you meeting Julie, her husband, Fred Silverman, and their three children, all educated at liberal arts colleges. In the meantime, we invite you to view this message from President-Elect Julie Kornfeld as she looks ahead to serving as Kenyon’s 20th president.

To learn more about Julie Kornfeld, visit kenyon.edu/20th-president.

On behalf of the Presidential Search Committee, 

Brackett B. Denniston III ’69
Chair, Board of Trustees

Aileen C. Hefferren ’88 H’12
Chair, Presidential Search Committee 

Presidential Search Committee

  • Aileen C. Hefferren ’88 H’12, trustee, search committee chair
  • David W. Horvitz ’74, H’98, trustee, search committee vice-chair
  • Ubongabasi Asuquo ’23
  • Rocco Danese ’23
  • Brackett B. Denniston III ’69, chair of the Board of Trustees
  • Samie Falvey ’96, former alumni trustee
  • Erika Farfan, associate vice president, institutional research
  • Elisabetta Ghisini P’24, trustee
  • Christopher M. Gillen, professor of biology
  • Pamela Feitler Hoehn-Saric ’80 P’10, ’14, trustee
  • Benita Jackson P’18, trustee
  • James Jackson, senior director of campus life
  • Joseph E. Lipscomb ’87 P’19, trustee
  • Pashmina Murthy, associate professor of English
  • D. Matthew Voorhees ’95, trustee