Dr. David A. Kennett has been selected as interim president of Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh for a two-year term effective immediately. The announcement was made Aug. 15 by Charles Frank, chairman of the board of trustees of Mount St. Mary.
Dr. Kennett joins Mount St. Mary from Vassar College where he worked since 1976 and most recently served as the Elizabeth Stillman Williams Professor of Economics. He is a sought-after visiting professor at colleges and universities around the world, an author of many books and papers, and a consultant providing his economic expertise to a broad range of private and public organizations.
“Following a thorough vetting of interim presidential candidates, I am pleased to welcome Dr. Kennett to Mount St. Mary College and look forward to his immediate contributions. His strong academic credentials and impressive list of experiences will be a great asset to the Mount,” Frank said.
“The Board is pleased to have such an accomplished candidate in place prior to the start of the school year, and we look forward to beginning our search committee process for a full-time president.”
Dr. Kennett will be joining Mount St. Mary for a two-year term, which will expire at the end of the 2017-2018 academic year. His first priority is to meet with faculty, staff, administrators and students of the Mount along with community leaders and alumnae before the start of the school year.
“I am very excited to build on the momentum of the Mount by ensuring the continuation of its high standards of academic rigor and the strong values it has always demonstrated,” Dr. Kennett said. “I am deeply committed to always acting in the best interest of Mount St. Mary College and ensuring that we create an environment that drives it forward and continues its growth.”
Dr. Kennett received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Sussex in England. He began his career as an economist for Unilever and Drivers Jonas, both in London, and came to Columbia University to complete his master’s and doctoral degrees. He taught at Fordham University, Queens College and Columbia before joining the Vassar economics department in 1976 and becoming chairman in 1984. He has served as visiting professor at the Economic University of Varna, Bulgaria, as Visiting Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Institute d’Etudes Politiques in Paris, and as a visiting scholar at the University of Sussex and University College London.
He has served as a consultant to the United Nations and the World Bank, as well as to government agencies and municipalities in the United States. At Vassar, he was also director of Asian Studies and director of the International Studies Program.
Mount St. Mary is a private, co-educational, four-year liberal arts college, founded in 1960 by the Dominican Sisters. More than 2,700 men and women are enrolled in more than 50 undergraduate programs and three graduate degree programs.