Paula Johnson
Dr. Paula A. Johnson has been named Wellsley College’s 14th president. (Google Images)

Jeremy C. Fox of the Boston Globe is reporting Wellesley College has named Dr. Paula A. Johnson as the 14th president, making her the first African-American chosen for the coveted post. Johnson, who is a Harvard Medical School Professor and women’s health advocate, will assume the post in July.

Fox writes:

“Johnson, 56, said in an interview that she felt a special responsibility as the college’s first African-American leader and believes that student diversity is one of Wellesley’s strengths.

She said she would work ‘to not only strengthen and deepen that diversity, but also ensure that our residential experience is taking full advantage of that diversity, that our young women are really experiencing all the richness that that diversity brings on campus….’

Wellesley graduated its first African-American student in 1887. In 2014-2015, the most recent academic year for which data are available, the student population was 5 percent black, 9 percent Hispanic, 22 percent Asian, and 6 percent biracial or multiracial. Another 12 percent were international students.”

Johnson is the former chairwoman of the Boston Public Health Commission, a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Johnson will replace H. Kim Bottomly, who will step down after nine years of service.

Read more at The Boston Globe.

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