Commissioner Biographies

George Tetler, Chair

George Tetler (Public Member, MA) assumed the role of Chair of the Commission July 1, 2020, and he also serves as a member of the Executive Committee. Tetler is a partner in Bowditch and Dewey in Worcester, MA, where he serves as special counsel to boards of directors, financial institutions and corporations in complex internal investigations and compliance investigations. Regional and community banking institutions regularly engage George in merger and acquisition transactions, bank holding company formations and regulatory and compliance matters. He holds a law degree from American University and an LL.M. from Boston University, and he is a former chair of the board of Worcester State University.

Russell Carey, Vice Chair

Russell Carey serves as Vice Chair of the Commission and is a member of the NECHE Executive Committee.  As Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy at Brown University, Carey is the senior officer responsible for coordinating Brown’s strategic planning processes and providing leadership on a broad range of University strategy, policy, and governance matters. His duties include establishing measures to assess planning priorities and progress towards Brown’s strategic planning goals; conducting ongoing data gathering, analysis, and outcomes assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of the University’s plans, initiatives and policies; and assisting senior officers, divisions and departments in defining strategies and developing plans to ensure continued growth and prosperity. At Brown, he has also served as Senior Vice President for Corporation Affairs and Governance and Interim Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services. His bachelor’s degree is from Brown and his J.D. from Suffolk University.

Eleanor Baker

Eleanor Baker (Public Member, Maine) is a founding member of Baker Newman Noyes (BNN), an accounting and consulting firm in Maine. As managing principal (2003 to 2008, and again from 2012 to 2015) she helped direct BNN’s expansion in New Hampshire and Massachusetts and oversaw three strategic mergers in 2015. Previously, Baker spent 18 years in the Portland, Maine office of KPMG.  She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine, a J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law, and an LL.M. in taxation from Boston University School of Law. She has served on the University of Maine System Board of Trustees and currently serves as trustee of the University of Maine School of Law Foundation, on the board of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, and on the leadership team of Focus Maine, an economic development initiative.

Francesco C. Cesareo

Francesco C. Cesareo has served as President of Assumption University since 2007. His undergraduate degree is from Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception, and his master’s and doctoral degrees are from Fordham University. A Fulbright Scholar who studied in Rome, he has written widely on the Catholic Reformation, Roman history, and the Renaissance Papacy. Before coming to Assumption, he held a Chair in Catholic Studies at John Carroll University and Dean of the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts at Duquesne University. He was a first-generation college student, his parents having immigrated from Italy. He chairs the Catholic Bishops National Review Board and is the recipient of the Fr. d’Alzon Medal. He has also served on the board of St. John’s Seminary, the Board of Visitors of Worcester Academy, and the New England Center for Children.

F. Javier Cevallos

F. Javier Cevallos is President of Framingham State University. He was born in Ecuador and moved with his family to Puerto Rico when he was 14. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has served as a faculty member at the University of Maine (Orono) and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he also served as department chair and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. He was an ACE Fellow at Wesleyan University. Before becoming President at Framingham State, he was President of Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.

Elaine Collins

Elaine Collins is President of Northern Vermont University.  Elaine Collins was previously President of Johnson State College. Prior to coming to Vermont in 2015 she was dean and chief operating officer of the College of Education at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. She was a first-generation college student. She has served as president of the Michigan Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and on the boards of the Literacy Center of West Michigan, Women’s Center, and West Short Chapter of the American Red Cross. She holds a B.A. in music from the University of California, Los Angeles; an M.A. in curriculum and instruction, University of California, Davis; and a Ph.D. in educational policy and leadership, The Ohio State University.

Rick Daniels

Rick Daniels (Public Member, MA) has a long career in media, including service as Publisher/CEO of the Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant and Allentown Morning Call (2014-2016); President/General Manager, Boston Globe (2001-2006); and COO/CEO, Gatehouse Media New England (2007-2012). He currently serves as advisor to the Boston Globe. His involvement with digital media includes with, BostonWorks,,, and Broadcast Data Systems. He serves as advisor to the Catholic Schools Foundation and is on the Board of Trustees at Thayer Academy as well as advisory committees at Northeastern University, from which he earned his undergraduate degree. He has a graduate degree in administration from Boston University and an honorary doctorate from Curry College.

Matthew Derr

Matthew Derr has been President of Sterling College in Craftsbury Common, Vermont since 2012.  During his tenure, he has decreased tuition dependence from 90% to 75% while expanding enrollment by 35%. Earlier, he was a fellow at the Great Lakes College Association and before that Interim President of Antioch College, for which service he received the Council for Advancement and Support of Education Chief Executive of the Year Award. He earned his B.A. at Antioch, his M.S.W. in community organizing at the University of Michigan and has done further study at the Heyman Center for Philanthropy at NYU. His service includes chairing the Work College Consortium and the Association of Independent Colleges of Vermont.

Harry Dumay

Harry Dumay is President of College of The College of our Lady of the Elms in Chicopee, MA.  In addition to his role as Commissioner of the New England Commission of Higher Education, Dumay also serves on the Executive Committee and the Annual Report of Finance and Enrollment (ARFE) Committee. His degrees include an M.B.A. and graduate Certificate in Corporate Finance from Boston University and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Boston College.  Previously he served as Senior Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer at Saint Anselm College.  He has also worked in finance positions at Harvard (SEAS), Boston College (Research Administration), and Boston University (College of Engineering). 

Peter Ebb

Peter Ebb (Trustee Member) recently retired from his position as partner at Ropes & Gray where he specialized in employment and labor issues, including employee privacy, disciplinary actions, compliance with state and federal discrimination laws, wage and hour compliance, social media concerns, whistleblower claims, and disability-related issues. Earlier he served seven years as staff to the Massachusetts State Legislature and for one year as a judicial clerk on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. He serves as chair Board of Trustees of Urban College of Boston and is a past member of the Finance Committee for the town of Natick. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and his law degree from Boston University

Pam Eddinger

Pam Eddinger has served as President of Bunker Hill Community College since 2013. Previously, she was at Moorpark College in California where she served as Executive Vice President and then President. Earlier she served as Vice President for Academic Affairs then as Executive Vice President of Massachusetts Bay Community College in Wellesley Hills. She emigrated to the US at age 11 from Hong Kong and grew up in Miami. Her bachelor’s degree in English is from Barnard College, and her master’s degree and doctorate are in Modern Japanese Literature from Columbia University. She is on the Board of Directors of Achieving the Dream and has served on the Voluntary Framework of Accountability Oversight Board.

Greg Fowler

Greg Fowler is Chief Academic Officer/Vice President for Academic Affairs for the College of Online and Continuing Education, Southern New Hampshire University. He is also in charge of four SNHU instructional locations in New Hampshire and one in Maine. SNHU now enrolls over 90,000 students, most of whom study online. Earlier he was Chief Academic Officer at Hesser College in Manchester, NH, and before that Associate Provost for Program Management at Western Governors University. He has been an Assistant Professor of Literature and American Studies at Penn State, Erie, and Summer Faculty Fellows Coordinator at the National Endowment for the Humanities. He earned a B.A. in English/ Political Science from Morehouse College in Atlanta, a M.A. in English from George Mason University, a Ph.D. in English/American Studies from SUNY Buffalo, and an M.B.A. from Western Governors University.

Kimberly Goff-Crews

Kimberly Goff-Crews serves as Secretary of the Yale Corporation, supports institutional governance, oversees the University Chaplaincy, and ensures the alignment of university-wide policies and procedures to maximize support for all students. She is also responsible for the conduct of official university functions, including Commencement. She is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School. After several years in private law practice, she returned to Yale as Assistant Dean in Yale College and Director of the Afro-American Cultural Center from 1992 through 1998. She focused in particular on enhancing the African American student experience at Yale and improving retention rates for women and students of color in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Before returning to Yale in her current position, she worked at Lesley University and as Dean of Students at Wellesley College.

Dennis Hanno

Dennis Hanno is President of Wheaton College. Previously, Dennis was Provost at Babson College where he also served as senior vice president and held an endowed faculty position in accounting. Earlier he was associate dean for undergraduate matters at the management school at UMass Amherst and on the faculty of Boston College. His bachelor’s degree is in business administration from University of Notre Dame, his master’s is in accounting from Western New England, and his Ph.D. is in management from UMass Amherst. Dennis is the founder and head of IDEA4Africa, through which hundreds of college and university students, alumni, staff and professors have traveled with him to sub-Saharan Africa to teach entrepreneurship to high school students, community members, and small business owners.

James Herbert

James Herbert is President of the University of New England, a merger of St. Francis College and Westbrook College, that includes a Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, Pharmacy, and Dental Medicine, and a study abroad campus in Tangiers, Morocco. Earlier at Drexel University he served as Executive Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate College, Interim Provost, chair of the Psychology Department and President of the University Faculty. His research expertise is on quackery and pseudoscience in mental health, and he is a fellow of the Institute for Science in Medicine and the Commission for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Texas Austin, and his master’s and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Susan Huard

Susan Huard is Interim Chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire and former President of Manchester Community College, Manchester, NH. Before joining Manchester Community College, she served for a decade as Dean of Learning and Student Development at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Connecticut. At MCC, she oversaw approximately $9.0 million in capital building projects including the College’s first student center as well as additions to the Automotive Technology Center, the welding laboratory, and upgrades to computer science and exercise science programs. Under her leadership, the College hired its first Institutional Development Director, created new articulations with area colleges, and participated in grants ranging from advanced manufacturing to health care. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Catholic Medical Center and the board of NH Jobs for America’s Graduates. Earlier she taught at the middle and high school levels. Her Master’s and Ph.D. degrees are both from the University of Connecticut.

Scott Jordan

Scott Jordan is Executive Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer at the University of Connecticut. He joined the University of Connecticut in January 2015. He has more than two decades of public finance leadership experience in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where he served five of the last six governors, most recently as Undersecretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance. Scott received a B.A. in economics, cum laude, from UMass-Amherst and a Master’s in public administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He responsibilities include the departments of Budget and Planning, University Controller, Treasury Services, Procurement Services, Human Resources, Public Safety, Logistics Administration, Environmental Policy, Facilities Operations and Building Services, and University Planning, Design, and Construction.

Ellen Kennedy

Ellen Kennedy has served as President of Berkshire Community College (BCC) since 2012.  Previously, she held positions as Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer at BCC; Interim Chief Operating Officer of the National Patient Safety Foundation; Director of Development at WFCR – Public Radio for Western New England; Chief Advancement Officer for Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA); and President of the MCLA Foundation. She began her career in Administration and Finance at North Adams State College where she was actively engaged in changes to the College’s mission, name and mascot. Kennedy earned her BS in Business Administration from MCLA, formerly North Adams State College, an M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, an M.P.A. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and an Ed.D. from Northeastern University.

P. Michael Lahan

P. Michael Lahan (Public Member) is an attorney in Norwich, CT.  He is a member of the bar in Connecticut and admitted to practice in the United States Tax Court and in Federal Courts. Currently he serves on the Board of Directors of Chelsea Groton Savings Bank and on the Commission on the City Plan for Norwich. Earlier, he chaired or was president of the Norwich Charter Revision Commission, the YMCA of Southeastern Connecticut, Reliance House, and the Norwich Safe Community Coalition. He was Secretary of the Norwich Free Academy and served on the Board of Directors of the Eastern Connecticut Foundation for Public Giving. He earned his B.S. at Boston College and a law degree from the University of Connecticut.

Todd Leach

Todd Leach is Chancellor of the University System of New Hampshire consisting of University of New Hampshire, Keene State College, Plymouth State University, and Granite State College. Earlier he served as President of Granite State College, the primary public provider of online higher education in New Hampshire. Before that he served at Northeastern University as Senior Associate Dean of the College of Professional Studies where he oversaw all of its academic programs and faculty and led the development of over twenty master’s and doctoral programs. He provided oversight for Northeastern Online and served as the Executive Director of the School of Education. He earned an Associate’s degree from Massachusetts Bay Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Worcester State College, an M.B.A. from Bentley University, and a Ph.D. from Northeastern University.

Jean MacCormack

Jean MacCormack is a Trustee of Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Emmanuel College and her master’s and doctoral degrees in education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst; she has been awarded three honorary degrees. Her roles at the University of Massachusetts Boston included faculty member, Director of the Institute for Teaching and Learning, Interim Dean of the College of Education, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, Deputy Chancellor, and Interim Chancellor. She served for thirteen years as the Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. After retiring from that position, she served as President of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston, Chair of the South Coast Health System, and Director of the Bristol County Saving Bank.

Jeffrey J. McMahan

Jeffrey J. McMahan (Public Member) is an attorney with Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew in Burlington, Vermont, where he has served as managing partner. He identifies his practice areas as business planning and intellectual property. Previously he was an in-house lawyer at IDX Systems Corporation, its ChannelHealth subsidiary, and Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. He has also served as an attorney for several Vermont independent institutions of higher education. He is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys. He earned his B.A. from Middlebury College cum laude and his J.D. from William and Mary School of Law.

Peggy Newell

Peggy Newell is Deputy Provost at Harvard University. She is responsible for strategic and tactical planning and management of all provostial activities, as well as advising the Provost on a wide array of administrative matters. Initially, she focused on supporting the campaign and planning for the Science and Engineering complex in Allston. Prior to coming to Harvard, Peggy held a variety of positions at Tufts University, most recently Provost ad interim, Vice Provost, and Associate Provost for Research. Earlier she was Associate Dean of the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences and Associate Dean for Special Programs at Tufts University School of Medicine. She served on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Society for Medical Research and a member of the Board of Governors of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s John Adams Innovation Institute. She holds a B.A. from Boston College (major in Psychology), an M.B.A. from the Carroll School of Management, and a J.D. from Suffolk University.

David Quigley

David Quigley is Provost and Dean of Faculties and Professor of History at Boston College where he has also served as Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.  A graduate of Amherst College with an M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University, Quigley’s research and writing on 19th-century American history have earned him several prestigious academic fellowships, and he was recognized by Boston College with the University-wide Distinguished Teaching Award in 2007.  His research to date has  explored the history of race and democracy between the American Revolution and Reconstruction in the local political cultures of New York. 

Abdallah Sfeir

Abdallah Sfeir is Professor of Engineering at Lebanese American University where he was Provost when LAU proceeded through the eligibility and candidacy to initial accreditation in 2009. Abdallah has a master’s and Ph.D. from University of California at Berkeley and he served on the faculty of American University of Beirut before joining LAU. 

Andrew Shennan

Andrew Shennan is Provost and Dean of the College and Professor of History at Wellesley College. He oversees all academic programs of the college as well as the college’s libraries and technology services and budgetary and strategic planning. He is a graduate of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he received a double-starred first in history. He also received his Ph.D. from Cambridge University. He has published three books about the history of France in the 20th century and was a founding director of Wellesley’s International Relations program and the first director of the College’s summer school.

John Sweeney

John Sweeney is Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Providence College. Earlier he was associate vice president for finance and administration at Eastern Connecticut State University. He brings considerable experience and expertise in Commission processes, having served several times since 2011 on the Commission’s committee to review Annual Reports on Finance and Enrollment (ARFE), and has served as a team member since 2010 on nine teams, to public and private colleges and universities, overseas institutions, and a special-purpose graduate-only institution. He has served as a commissioner on the Glastonbury (CT) Town Ethics Commission. He earned a B.S. in Finance and an M.B.A. both from the University of Connecticut.

Michaele Whelan

Michaele Whelan is Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Emerson College where she has served since 2013. Earlier she served as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Interim Provost at Brandeis University and before that as Associate Dean in the Schools of Arts, Sciences and Engineering at Tufts University and as Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of English and American Literature at Harvard University. She earned her bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Cornell University and her master’s and Ph.D. in American literature from Harvard University. She has taught in English departments and programs in American Studies and Women’s Studies at Pennsylvania State University, Harvard University, Tufts University, and Brandeis University. Her area of academic expertise is modern and postmodern America literature.