Presidential Transition

President Helen Drinan ’75MS, ’78MBA will depart Simmons in June 2020.

Simmons has announced the start of a presidential search in anticipation of President Helen Drinan’s long-planned departure in June 2020. The University has enlisted the firm Isaacson Miller to conduct a nationwide search for its next leader and has assembled a search committee consisting of trustees, faculty, alumnae/i, and students who will present final candidates to the Board of Trustees.   

 “Simmons stands strong today because of Helen Drinan’s leadership,” said Board Chair Regina Pisa.

“Helen Drinan is a progressive and transformative leader,” said Board Chair Regina Pisa. “Under her leadership, Simmons has renewed investments in the university’s campus and technology, reconfigured its undergraduate curriculum around leadership development, increased enrollment, and achieved a variety of revenue streams unmatched in similar-sized institutions. Simmons stands strong today because of Helen Drinan’s leadership.” 

Drinan began her presidency in 2008 as Simmons’ eighth president. Simmons was facing severe financial challenges at the time, which was the brink of the nation’s Great Recession. She and her team made tough choices to reduce expenses and began to diversify revenues to strengthen the institution’s financial flexibility. She dramatically expanded Simmons’ reach by being an early adopter of distance learning, launching 12 world-class online graduate degree programs, enrolling students in all 50 states. Drinan also completed a $100 million fundraising campaign, a record for Simmons.  

“It has been my great privilege to serve as president of Simmons,” said Drinan. “I am proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past decade and am eager to continue our work this year. With our engaged and empowered students, world-class faculty, and creative and hard-working staff, there is no limit to what we can achieve here at Simmons.” 

For more information about Simmons University’s presidential search, visit