Aronson to chair university's board of trustees

1980 honors graduate will replace Flaherty beginning July 1

Investment entrepreneur Jeffrey H. Aronson, a trustee since 2006, has been elected to serve as the 16th chair of The Johns Hopkins University board of trustees beginning July 1.

Image caption: Jeffrey H. Aronson

Aronson, a 1980 honors graduate of the university and father of two current undergraduate students, will succeed Pamela P. Flaherty, the first woman and first graduate of the university's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies to hold the post. Flaherty will complete her six-year term as chair at the end of the academic year.

"Jeff has long demonstrated his devotion to his alma mater," Flaherty said, citing Aronson's history of volunteer leadership, his dedicated work on trustee committees, his and his wife Shari's philanthropic generosity, and the fact that two of their three children now attend the university.

"You can't get more committed than that," Flaherty said. "On top of all that, he has demonstrated that he is a wise counselor and will be an excellent partner to [university president] Ron Daniels."

Aronson was co-founder in 2005 and is managing principal of Centerbridge Partners L.P., a private investment firm in New York City and London that manages $20 billion in capital. The firm focuses on private equity, distressed securities and credit investments. Aronson has been active in alternative investments for 25 years.

He serves on the Executive Committee of the university's board and chairs its Campaign Executive Committee. He is also a trustee of Johns Hopkins Medicine and serves on that board's Executive Committee. He is a past chair of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Advisory Council.

"I spend a lot of time on Johns Hopkins business, and a lot of times my friends and colleagues ask me why I do it. It's a labor of love. I don't consider it work. I enjoy it," Aronson said. "Hopkins is special; I really believe it makes the world better."

Daniels applauded the board for identifying its next chair months in advance and said that he will work closely with Aronson and Flaherty to ensure a smooth transition.

"The university will be the great beneficiary of Jeff Aronson's ascension to the board chair," Daniels said. "I count Jeff as an extraordinarily valued friend and colleague. His service and commitment to Johns Hopkins is unquestioned. His love of the university runs deep, and he has devoted countless hours advancing the institution."

Aronson earned a law degree in 1983 from New York University School of Law, where he is also a trustee. He began his career as a securities attorney before becoming an active investor.

His wife, Shari L. Aronson, serves on the Program in Social Policy Advisory Group at Johns Hopkins and is a trustee of Lehigh University and of the Jewish Museum in New York City. Their daughter, Marni, is a Johns Hopkins senior majoring in international studies and Spanish. Nicole is a sophomore public health studies major and has a twin brother, Brian, who is a sophomore at Lehigh.