Pamela P. Flaherty, president and chief executive
officer of Citigroup Foundation and a
trustee of The Johns Hopkins University since 1997, was
elected the 15th chair of the
university's board of trustees at the board's annual
meeting earlier this month. She will begin
her six-year term on July 1.
Notably, Flaherty becomes the first woman to chair the
board and the first graduate of
the Nitze School of
Advanced International Studies to hold the position.
Flaherty, who is also a chair of the SAIS Advisory
Council, has served as chair-elect for
the past year. She succeeds Raymond A. "Chip" Mason, whose
term concludes on June 30.
William R. Brody, president of the university, said
that Flaherty has been a "fabulous"
trustee over the past 10 years and has been particularly
impressive in her leadership of the
Finance Committee, which he describes as an immense
responsibility. He also noted that the
historical significance of Flaherty's appointment cannot be
"For these reasons, I was absolutely delighted that my
colleagues on the board decided
to elect her as chair," Brody said. "At this time — as the
university is making a solid
commitment to achieving diversity, particularly in
leadership positions — it is an added bonus
that Pam is a woman. She is a role model and an inspiration
for other Hopkins women. I do want
to stress, however, that Pam is chair because of her
excellence. I am looking forward to
working with her in this position, as she leads the board
and the university into the future."
Flaherty says that she is delighted to be given this
"great responsibility" of leading one
of the nation's most prestigious universities during a time
of immense prosperity.
"This is a tremendous honor. I feel blessed by current
leadership to be named chairman
of the board of trustees," she said. "The university is in
excellent shape, and Chip Mason and
Bill Brody have been a terrific team. Chip has been
generous with his time, his resources and
his wisdom. He is a hard act to follow. The university has
been blessed with great chairs in
recent years: Chip, Mike Bloomberg and Morris Offit. It is
a great tradition."
Flaherty is a native of Webster Groves, Mo., a town
named after American statesman
Daniel Webster, and grew up in the Midwest.
She decided at age 12 that she wanted to become an
ambassador and spent nearly all of
her schooling preparing for that role, she said. She
attended Smith College and spent her
junior year studying abroad in Geneva, and was admitted to
the Foreign Service upon
graduation. However, she instead decided to attend SAIS and
earn a master's degree in
Upon graduating from SAIS, Flaherty considered a
government position, but the ongoing
war in Vietnam and other factors figured in her decision to
look to the corporate world.
She began her professional career at Citibank,
specifically in the company's
International Banking Group, and went on to manage its New
York branch banking business and
to serve as senior human resources officer. Since 1996,
Flaherty has led Citigroup's Global
Corporate Social Responsibility function and been director
of Corporate Citizenship for the
company, which has 325,000 employees in 100 countries.
In January, she was appointed president and CEO of the
Citigroup Foundation, which
currently supports programs in three key areas: financial
education, educating the next
generation, and building communities and entrepreneurs.
Last year, the Citigroup Foundation
awarded $92 million in grants to organizations and
individuals in 85 countries and territories.
Flaherty has participated on the boards of a variety
of nonprofit organizations, including
Local Initiatives Support Corp., ACCION International,
Kenyon College, Colonial Williamsburg
and the Nature Conservancy's Long Island chapter. She is
also a member of the Council on
Flaherty said that her primary priority as chair of
Johns Hopkins is to support President
Brody, the deans and the administration, who are the ones
who lead and manage the university.
Some issues on which she plans to focus are financial aid,
recruitment and retention of top-
notch faculty, diversity and research funding.
"We have had an extraordinary success over recent
years, and we want to continue
that," she said. "Our success can be measured in many ways:
the number of qualified students
who apply and accept, our No. 1 status in research, our
wonderful success in raising funds for
endowment [and] student aid, and the rebuilding of our
infrastructure. As board chair, an
important priority is to maintain the strength and
collegiality of the board by continuing to
attract world-class talent, a critically important
ingredient for continued success."
Flaherty said that the affordability of higher
education is one of the greatest
challenges the university faces and is an issue on which
the board will continue to focus.
Speaking to Johns Hopkins' future, Flaherty said that
she views the university as a
global institution that will continue to attract students,
faculty and researchers from around
the world and make its international reach a competitive
"Hopkins has been smart about expanding globally,
building selectively on its strengths
and taking advantage of specific opportunities. Peabody's
activities in Singapore are an
example," she said, referring to the Yong Siew Toh
Conservatory of Music, a collaboration
between the National University of Singapore and the
Flaherty said that response to her appointment has
been overwhelmingly positive and
supportive. Any advice come her way?
"Probably the most succinct piece of advice came from
our former chair, Mike
Bloomberg," she said. "Every time I see him, he says, with
a big smile on his face, 'Don't screw
The vice chairs of the board, elected on June 4, are
Richard Frary, C. Michael
Armstrong and Mark Rubenstein.