Presidential Search

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Dr. Elizabeth MacLeod Walls

Elizabeth MacLeod Walls


Dr. MacLeod Walls has a strong history of success. Having served as the president of William Jewell College since 2016, she has significantly strengthened the college’s reputation through major fundraising initiatives, enrollment growth, prudent financial management, and strategic branding and marketing efforts. Additionally, she has led the College with a warm and engaging presence and built a positive morale and community culture on campus.

Under her leadership, William Jewell has raised more philanthropic support than ever before. In addition, Dr. MacLeod Walls has worked closely with the board, cabinet, and larger community to develop a new brand identity, mission statement, strategic plan, and enrollment management strategy to better engage new students and external partners.

She developed meaningful partnerships with an array of organizations—including with American Public Square at Jewell, a nonprofit that fosters civil discourse between and among non-like-minded people—and serves on the boards of the Kansas City Area Chamber of Commerce, the Liberty Economic Development Council, the KC Rising Steering Committee, and the Keystone Community Corporation overseeing Kansas City’s burgeoning Innovation Hub.

Prior to serving as president at William Jewell, Dr. MacLeod Walls served in numerous academic and senior leadership roles at Nebraska Wesleyan University and Bryan College of Health Sciences in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Dr. MacLeod Walls earned her Ph.D. in English Literature and Classical Rhetoric from TCU and her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History from Hiram College, where she earned Phi Beta Kappa. Dr. MacLeod Walls is an alumna of the Harvard New Presidents Program, the Harvard Management and Leadership Program, the ACE Women in Leadership Program, and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Program. She currently serves on the board of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and is active in higher education leadership and advocacy.

Dr. MacLeod Walls is also the author of numerous refereed books and articles on British modernism and its intersections with classical rhetoric and Women’s Studies.  Her collection of the BBC Talks of E.M. Forster, co-edited with Drs. Mary Lago and Linda Hughes (University of Missouri Press), is a groundbreaking study of primary documents of rhetorical import that reveal complex and surprising reactions from literary and cultural figures navigating Britain’s struggle to defeat the Nazis during the Second World War.

Washington & Jefferson College's Board of Trustees has launched a national search for the College’s next president following President Dr. John C. Knapp’s announcement.

Since 1781, W&J has emerged as a leading institution with a storied history of doers, dreamers, and achievers: Senators and Congressmen, Hall of Famers, an NFL commissioner, CEOs, chairpersons, space travelers.

For over 200 years, W&J has produced ethical, well-rounded, and informed leaders in all fields and a strong network of alumni to support the next generation. W&J continues to lead, educating individuals who can interpret, analyze, critique, innovate, and communicate the skills employers will always value most. With a practical and liberating arts and sciences curriculum that reflects our history and looks to the future, we're proud to be one of the oldest colleges in the United States.

Presidential Search Prospectus

We are pleased to share the formal prospectus advertising the search for Washington & Jefferson College's 14th president. Click the button below to learn more about Washington & Jefferson College and the opportunities, challenges, qualifications and personal characteristics we seek in our next president.

Community Input

The presidential search committee welcomes and encourages community input about the search. The search committee hosted listening sessions with students, staff and faculty to gain an understanding of what the campus community is looking for in a future leader.  In addition, the committee has opened up a Community Feedback survey for anyone to provide insight on what characteristics you would like to see in the next president. For questions please email

Listening Sessions were held, providing Students, Staff, and Faculty with the opportunity to share views about the future of W&J and the type of leader that can position the College for future growth and success.

Listening sessions were held virtually:

September 8, 2023 at 4 p.m. for Faculty
September 8, 2023 at 2:30 p.m. for Staff
September 11, 2023 at 8:30 a.m. for Students

An in-person session for Students, Staff, and Faculty - September 12, 2023 at 4 p.m.

Presidential Search Committee Members

Keith T. Ghezzi, M.D. ’77

Chair of the Presidential Search Committee
Member, Board of Trustees

Dr. Keith Ghezzi is a managing director with Alvarez & Marsal Healthcare Industry Group in Washington, D.C. He specializes in operational and financial turnarounds, mergers and acquisitions, performance improvement and interim management for academic medical centers, integrated delivery systems and physician group practices.

As CEO, Dr. Ghezzi led West Penn Allegheny Health System through a successful acquisition by Highmark. He previously served as CEO of Forum Health, COO of Inova Fairfax Hospital, and medical director and COO of George Washington University Hospital. He currently serves on the boards of Luminis Health, Project HOPE and Infinite Legacy. From 2018 to 2022, he was chair of the W&J Board of Trustees.

Dr. Ghezzi is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and an adjunct professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Washington & Jefferson College, an MBA with a concentration in finance from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a medical degree from Georgetown University.

Eva Chatterjee-Sutton, M.A.

Vice President for Student Life & Dean of Students

Joining Washington & Jefferson College as the Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students in July of 2013, Dean Eva brought over 20 years of experience in student affairs. At W&J, Dean Eva has continued her commitment to creating a holistic and robust student experience. To date, this has been marked in part by leading a team in the Division of Student Life whose work resonates with the values of student success and community development. She serves as a member of the president’s senior team. She leads a division of over 90 dedicated staff members who are deeply committed to the mission of W&J.

Committed to the success of the whole student, Dean Eva collaborates closely with colleagues in Academic Affairs and across the institution to craft a robust, caring and developmental student experience. Dean Eva has extensive experience with Title IX, Division III athletics, student conduct, Greek life, student governance, community engagement, residence life, student activities, career services, student leadership, and student health and counseling. She serves as the Facilitator of the NCAA ADR Institute. She is a member of the boards of the Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference and the NASPA James E. Scott Academy.   

Richard T. Clark, B.A. ’68

Emeritus Member, Board of Trustees

Richard Clark enjoyed a 39-year career with Merck, a global leader in the pharmaceutical industry, retiring as chairman in December 2011.

Prior to the role of chairman, Clark also held the positions of CEO and president of Merck and the president of Merck Manufacturing Division. From 2008 to 2009, he was the chairman of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), a group representing the country's leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies. Aside from his work in the pharmaceutical industry, Clark has been a board member for Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP) and Corning. He has served as a W&J Board of Trustees member, including board chairman.

He is the chairman emeritus of Project Hope, an international healthcare organization that supports work in developing countries. Currently, he is the chairman of the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia, the Catholic Institute and Penn Medicine's Cardiovascular Institute Leadership Council.

Clark holds a Bachelor of Arts from Washington & Jefferson College and an M.B.A. from American University. In 2017, he received a Doctor of Humane Letters from Washington & Jefferson College. Clark also served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1972.

Tiffani Gottschall, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics

Dr. Gottschall is an associate professor in the Department of Economics. She is also the current chair of the department. She teaches Principles of Microeconomics, Intermediate Microeconomics, Economics of Gender, Economics of Poverty and Discrimination, and Labor Economics. Dr. Gottschall’s main areas of interest are labor, demographics and income inequality. She also serves as the United Way campaign coordinator and is the faculty mentor for both the football and women’s lacrosse teams.

In the local community, she serves on the Board of Directors for the United Way of Washington County, works with the Washington County Food Bank, and serves as the majority inspector for South Strabane Township for the Board of Elections.

Donna Haley Grier, M.B.A. ’80

Chair & Member, Board of Trustees

Elected in 2013, Grier serves as the chair of the Washington & Jefferson College board of trustees. A retired global finance executive, Grier spent her career at DuPont Company, an agricultural and manufacturing Fortune 100 company.  At DuPont, she held positions of vice president and treasurer and vice president and general auditor/chief compliance officer.

Since her retirement in 2019, Grier has shared her business acumen and leadership experience with various corporate for-profit boards, including Global Advanced Metals and 4BMining.  She hold a bachelor's degree in economics and psychology from Washington & Jefferson College and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Clyde B. Jones III, B.A.

Member, Board of Trustees

Jones was elected to the Board of trustees in 2013.  Retired from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Clyde served a the Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement leading the Museum's efforts to deepen and broaden its engagement with current and prospective donors locally, nationally, and internationally. He was responsible for Individual, Foundation/Government, and Planned Giving as well as The Capital Campaign, Corporate Engagement, and the 150th Anniversary Committee. He joined The Met in July 2015.

Prior to his work at the Museum, Jones was President of the Medical and Health Sciences Foundation, which raises money for the University of Pittsburgh and its clinical partner, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He previously served as Director of Development for New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College and held leadership positions at Lenox Hill Hospital and the New York Civil Liberties Union, among other not-for-profit organizations. He is on the boards of the Pittsburgh Opera, Washington and Jefferson College, and WQED Multimedia. Jones has a BA in theater studies from Pennsylvania State University.

Jason Kilgore, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair Department of Biology

Dr. Kilgore is a professor and chair of the Department of Biology, coordinates the Environmental Science Major, and co-coordinates the Social Justice Studies Program. As a broadly trained plant ecologist and former wetland consultant, he is interested in the regulation of species distributions from local patches of woods to the landscape scale. He and his students use field and greenhouse studies to understand the impacts of invasive species, environmental contaminants, and climate change on growth, survival, community succession, and migration of plants.

As an ISA Certified Arborist, Dr. Kilgore is founder and curator to the W&J Campus Arboretum and manages the W&J Greenhouse and Herbarium. Many students from across campus contribute to the care, management, and monitoring of plants in these projects.

Dr. Kilgore currently serves as the Chair of the Biology Department and on the President's Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He also serves as the faculty mentor to the Varsity Swimming & Diving Team and advisor to the Outdoor Club.

Community service is very important to Dr. Kilgore. Among other activities, he serves on the City of Washington Planning Commission and as an Associate Director for the Washington County Conservation District, gives talks and field trips to community organizations, and develops and leads outreach activities for local schools.

Kerri A. Lacock, B.A. ’09

Associate Vice President, Alumni Engagement & Development Operations

Lacock ’09 has been a member of the College community since she began her freshman year in 2005. She began working fulltime for her alma mater in January 2009. Lacock’s responsibilities include working closely with the College’s Alumni Executive Council, hosting alumni events, and collaborating with other departments on campus. She considers her primary role to be reconnecting alumni with each other, the College, and today’s students.

Prior to working for the College, Kerri was completing her bachelor’s degree in business administration at W&J. Throughout her college career, she also worked as an intern in W&J’s Office of Alumni Engagement.

Suet (Kam) Lam, M.D. ’07

Member, Board of Trustees

Elected to the board of trustees in 2021, Dr. Lam currently serves as the assistant medical director of the Cleveland Clinic Breastfeeding Medicine Clinic. Dr. Lam is the founding faculty co-lead of the Andrew B. Kaufman World Medicine Pathway of Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine. She is also the co-director and research advisor of the Peru Health Outreach Project.

She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Global Health Education Conference Planning Group, where she has completed multiple educator fellowships. Most recently, she is completing a Research Fellowship on breastfeeding. She has worked in clinical and public health settings in six countries and the Navajo Nation of the Indian Health Service.

Dr. Lam holds a bachelor's degree in biochemistry, Spanish and history from Washington & Jefferson College, where she was a Gates Millennium Scholar. She earned a master's degree in physiology and biophysics in complementary and alternative medicine from Georgetown University.

Dr. Lam also obtained a Master of Public Health, specializing in epidemiology and global health, while pursuing her Doctor of Medicine at George Washington University's School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Scott McGuiness, B.A.

Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Athletics 

Scott McGuinness has been the Director of Athletics since the 2014-15 academic year. He oversees Washington & Jefferson College's 26 NCAA Division III varsity programs, club sports and intramural programs. McGuinness helped plan the construction of the James David Ross Family Recreation Center and the Janet L. Swanson Tennis Courts. Additionally, he oversaw the renovation of the Salvitti Family Gymnasium. McGuinness served on the NCAA Division III Management Council from 2019-2023, and previously spent 13 years as the W&J sports information director.

Gregg Osborne, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy

Dr. Osborne is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy. His research is concerned mainly with Immanuel Kant and the history of modern philosophy. His teaching interests include ancient, modern, and 19th-century philosophy, moral philosophy, environmental ethics, social and political philosophy, justice, free will, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of religion. His work has been published in such journals as Kantian Review, Kant-Studien, Hume Studies, the Journal of Philosophical Research, and Areté. He has presented many papers in the US and abroad. Current projects include a book on Kant’s Analogies of Experience.

Nidhi Pulicherla

Junior Biochemistry Major

Pulicherla ’25 is a junior biochemistry major and Spanish minor. She is the daughter of Rajkumar and Jaya Pulicherla of Chandler, Arizona.
Pulicherla is a member of the women’s tennis team, serves as a biology lab-prep assistant for BIO 121: Foundations in Biology - Cell and Molecular Biology and BIO 131: Foundations in Biology: Organismal Biology, and is a Matthew Brown Fellow, serving as a volunteer at Washington Health System.
She serves as president of Presidents Without Borders (PWB), a pre-health club dedicated to volunteering, fundraising and mentoring students pursuing a science-related degree, and vice president of the Indian Student Association (ISA).
As a first-year student, she was a freshman representative on the Student Government Association (SGA) board. Her future plans are to attend medical school and pursue a career in medicine.
Diana L. Reed, Esq.

Vice Chair and Member, Board of Trustees

Reed was elected to the board of trustees in 2021.  She worked in litigation management for several corporations throughout her career.  At the time of her retirement in 2018, she served as senior litigation counsel for Westlake Chemical Corporation. Previously, she was senior litigation counsel for Axiall Corpration and PPG Industries.

Early in her career, she was a law clerk for the Honorable Maurice B. Cohill, Jr., in the Federal District Court of the Western District of Pennsylvania and an attorney with Thorp Reed & Armstrong in Pittsburgh.

She holds a bachelor's degree in Latin from Bryn Mawr College and a Juris Doctor from Temple University's Beasley School of Law.

David A. Ross, M.C.P. ’78

Member, Board of Trustees

Elected to the board of trustees in 2017, Ross is an expert in real estate acquisitions, land use, development and leasing, with over 40 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry.

He founded Atlantic Realty and has been responsible for developing and acquiring over fifteen million square feet of commercial, industrial and retail property throughout the Washington, DC and Baltimore metropolitan areas.

Ross currently serves on the emeritus board of directors of the Easter Seals Greater Baltimore-Washington Region. He is the founding chair of the Easter Seals Bright Stars Campaign, where he has remained active for 17 consecutive years. Ross also serves as chair of the board of directors for the Virginia Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

His past board service includes the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, Celebrate Fairfax, the Child Development Center of Northern Virginia, the Reston Teen Center, the Reston Community Center, The Committee for Dulles, the Fairfax County Health Care Advisory Board, Fairfax County Long Term Care Council and the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance.

He has received The Clarence Donohoe Award, presented to an Easter Seals board member who exemplifies excellence in leadership and volunteerism and was Reston's Citizen of the Year, as presented by the Times Community Newspapers.

Ross holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Washington & Jefferson College and a master's degree in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

Isaacson, Miller

Isaacson, Miller (IM) has been selected to assist the 14-member committee and the Board of Trustees in managing the search process and actively recruiting a deep and diverse pool of candidates. With offices in Boston, DC, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, IM has the largest higher education executive search practice in the U.S. and has placed some of the most respected and successful presidents, provosts, and deans in the country's leading colleges and universities.

W&J’s IM team is led by Kate Barry, a partner with the firm, who has extensive presidential search experience, including recent successful presidential searches at Bates College, Ithaca College, Clarkson University, Marist College, St. Lawrence University, Bentley University, Purchase College, and Union College. Keith Mason, a Managing Associate with deep experience in the firm’s higher education practice, will join Kate.

If you know someone who possesses the skills to lead W&J, or if you would like to apply for consideration yourself, the committee welcomes your nominations and submissions through Isaacson, Millers website.

Recent Updates

Dr. Elizabeth MacLeod Walls named 14th President of Washington & Jefferson College

WASHINGTON, PA (February 27, 2024) – The Board of Trustees of Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) today announced Elizabeth MacLeod Walls, Ph.D., will become the College’s fourteenth president. A bold and strategic leader, Dr. MacLeod Walls currently serves as the president of William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. She will succeed Dr. John C. Knapp,…

Winter Presidential Search Update

Dear Members of the W&J Campus Community, I wanted to share some good news about the ongoing search progress. The search committee recently met before the holidays, and I am delighted to report that the search is progressing as planned. Our work will continue in the new year, as scheduled, but we are pleased with…

Fall Presidential Search Update

Dear Campus Community, As we approach the midterm of the fall semester, the Presidential Search Committee would like to provide an update on the presidential search process. First, thanks to everyone who participated in the various virtual and in-person listening sessions with our search consultants, Isaacson, Miller (IM). The sessions provided IM with valuable feedback…

Washington & Jefferson College Board of Trustees Launches National Presidential Search Following President Knapp’s Announcement of Retirement Plans

WASHINGTON, PA (August 21, 2023) – Washington & Jefferson College’s Board of Trustees has launched a national search for the College’s next president following President Dr. John C. Knapp’s announcement in May that he will retire when his contract ends June 30, 2024. During his seven years of service to the College, Dr. Knapp has…