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Joanne Berger-Sweeney Headshot

Joanne Berger-Sweeney

Joanne Berger-Sweeney became the 22nd president of Trinity College in July 2014. Since that time, Joanne has overseen several major accomplishments, including the completion of the college’s strategic plan, Summit, which will guide Trinity toward its bicentennial in 2023 and beyond. Under her leadership, the college expanded its footprint to Constitution Plaza in downtown Hartford and entered into a partnership with global technology firm Infosys to create educational programs to prepare liberal arts students and Infosys employees for the digital workplace of the future. She also co-chaired Connecticut’s statewide Higher Education Innovation & Entrepreneurship Working Group.  Additional achievements under Joanne’s leadership include the establishment of Trinity’s Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct, the founding of the Center for Caribbean Studies at Trinity College, and the college’s thriving partnership with edX, one of the world’s premier online course platforms. Before coming to Trinity, Joanne served as dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, creating the vision and setting the strategic direction for the university’s largest school. Prior to Tufts, Joanne was a member of the Wellesley College faculty. Her teaching and research career at Wellesley spanned 13 years prior to being named associate dean in 2004. Joanne received her undergraduate degree in psychobiology from Wellesley College and her M.P.H. in environmental health sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. While working on her Ph.D. in neurotoxicology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, she did the proof of concept work on Razadyne, which went on to be the second-most-used Alzheimer’s drug in the world. She completed her postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Health (INSERM) in Paris, France. Joanne serves on many boards in the Hartford region, including MetroHartford Alliance; Hartford HealthCare; (was recently the chair of the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges; the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education; and the Capital Region Development Authority. She is serving as board member on the Henry Luce Foundation, Institute of International Education and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. She also is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society (IBNS), and she is a member of the Committee on Committees of the Society for Neuroscience and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the African American Neuroscience Research Initiative. Joanne is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a Lifetime Mentoring Award from the Society for Neuroscience (2006) and the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award.  In 2017, the Posse Foundation awarded Joanne with the Posse Star and October of 2018 she inducted as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She and her husband, Urs V. Berger, Ph.D., a neuroscientist and a computer scientist, reside in Hartford, Connecticut and are the proud parents of two children.