Margaret McKenna (academic)
Margaret McKenna is a civil rights attorney and academic and former president of Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. She previously served as president of Lesley University, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation, a professor at Brandeis University, a vice-president at Harvard University, and an official in the Clinton administration.
McKenna received her B.A. from Emmanuel College in Boston, Massachusetts, and her J.D. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She worked as a civil rights attorney early in her career, eventually becoming deputy counsel in the White House and later undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education, where she led the education transition team for President Bill Clinton. McKenna also served as president of Lesley University and was affiliated with Lesley for 22 years. She was also president of the Wal-Mart Foundation from 2007 to 2011, a professor and director at Brandeis University, a vice-president at the Radcliffe Institute of Harvard University, and a vice-chair of the board at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
McKenna was appointed president of Suffolk University in July 2015. On February 5, 2016, she and Suffolk University Board of Trustees Chairman Andrew Meyer, Jr., announced an agreement, formulated in the best interest of the University following a trustees quest to remove the president from her position after seven months in office. Meyer said he would not seek re-election after his term expires in May 2016. Following the election of a new board chair and the adoption of new bylaws, a committee would be formed to initiate a search process for a new, permanent president, and McKenna would step down when a new president takes office in the beginning of the 2017-18 academic year.
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