Leah Rosovsky Appointed Director of Boston Athenæum

Special to the Times

The Boston Athenæum has announced the appointment of Leah Rosovsky as Stanford Calderwood Director, becoming the seventeenth leader in its 213-year history. Rosovsky, who served as Vice President for Strategies and Programs at Harvard University until 2019, will assume her role at the Athenæum later this month.

Following a national search, Rosovsky was unanimously selected at a special meeting of the Board of Trustees on April 30.

Leah Rosovsky, the newly appointed Stanford Calderwood Director of The Boston Athenæum.

Timothy W. Diggins, president of the Board of Trustees, said, “We are delighted that Leah will be joining the Athenæum as its new director. The search committee was impressed by Leah’s achievements in the management of large scholarly organizations, and with the vision and vitality she will bring to the Athenæum. She excels at creating environments that enable people to engage with ideas. Leah will lead the Athenæum in an exciting time of growth and engagement, as it serves members, visitors, and the broader Boston community.”

 “I’m honored to have been selected to serve as the next director of the Boston Athenæum,” said Rosovsky. “The BA has a long, distinguished legacy of leadership and has been a launching pad for so many of Boston’s literary, cultural, artistic, and scientific achievements. Especially in this moment, the chance to serve the greater Boston and New England community by creating a place for learning, discussion, and the study of the arts and humanities feels more important than ever. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to build its future, and I look forward to working with a highly talented group of colleagues.”

Since 2019, Rosovsky has served as the Dean’s Administrative Fellow at Harvard Business School, where she has driven complex projects requiring relationship building, creativity, and execution. As Harvard University’s Vice President for Strategies and Programs from 2013-2019, she led numerous successful initiatives including partnering with senior faculty to raise $20 million and establish the Harvard Global Institute (HGI), enhancing global influence and scholarship; advancing the work of a task force on the prevention of sexual assault; collaborating in the development of a strategy for increasing visibility of the arts; and building consensus and implementation plans to integrate faith traditions into student educational development.

As the Executive Administrative Dean of Tufts University’s School of Arts and Sciences (2006-2013), Rosovsky oversaw a broad range of initiatives in planning, strategy, and resource allocation. Her accomplishments included increasing financial aid funding, leading library renovation planning to meet faculty’s emerging interests in technology-based teaching and learning, and enhancing laboratory space. She also led financial and budget planning that allowed for the creation of 15 tenure-track positions. Prior to that, she held a range of positions with ever-increasing responsibility within Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences between 1995 and 2005.

Before joining the Harvard administration, Rosovsky held senior positions in private organizations. She has also served in leadership positions and advisory roles over many years at Temple Israel, Boston, Massachusetts, as well as the Jewish Women’s Archive in Brookline, Massachusetts, the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia, and the Lahore University of Management Sciences in Lahore, Pakistan. She received her A.B. from Harvard College in 1978 and her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1984.

Rosovsky was selected following a national search by a Board-appointed committee of Trustees, library members, and professionals in relevant fields. At its special meeting, the Board also expressed deep appreciation to Interim Director Amy Ryan for her steadying hand over nine months as the search proceeded, and through key phases of a physical expansion that is adding 19,400 square feet in the adjacent building at 14 Beacon St. and restoring much-needed space for library members in the landmark reading rooms at 10½ Beacon St.

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