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The Dartmouth
February 21, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Sian Leah Beilock to serve as 19th president of Dartmouth College

Beilock, a cognitive scientist and the current president of Barnard College, will be the first woman president in the College’s history


The presidential search is over: The Board of Trustees has elected Sian Leah Beilock, a cognitive scientist and the current president of Barnard College, as the next president of Dartmouth College, the College announced on Thursday. Following College President Phil Hanlon’s retirement in June 2023, Beilock will become the 19th president and the first woman named to this position in the College’s history.

“It is an immense honor to join Dartmouth, one of the nation’s most storied institutions of higher learning, and I am even more deeply moved by what lies ahead,” Beilock wrote in the announcement. 

Beilock’s selection, which comes on the heels of the College’s 50th anniversary of coeducation, was an “enthusiastic and unanimous” decision by the Board of Trustees, according to Board of Trustees chair Elizabeth Cahill Lempres ’83, Th’84. 

Beilock, a University of California, San Diego alum, received her doctorates in kinesiology and psychology from Michigan State University. She spent 12 years at the University of Chicago, working as a psychology professor, the vice provost for academic initiatives, the executive vice provost and an officer of the University.

As the eighth president of Barnard College, Beilock implemented initiatives that strengthened its STEM research and teaching programs. In addition, Beilock led campus-wide health and wellness initiatives, while also focusing on student diversity — according to the announcement, almost half of Barnard students identify as women of color.

Beilock’s work as a cognitive scientist includes 120 peer-reviewed publications and two books. She received the National Academy of Sciences Troland Research Award in 2017 for her work on anxiety and performance in high-stress situations and is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Psychological Association.

The Dartmouth Board of Trustees led a six-month presidential search, which was composed of 18 members across faculty, staff, students and alumni. In addition, Spencer Stuart, a leadership advisory firm, assisted the committee with the search for a new president. Beilock will assume the presidency on July 1, 2023.