Skip to Main Content

Search for the Next President of Yale University

May 29, 2024

Dear Members of the Yale Community, 

I am delighted to announce that the board of trustees has voted unanimously to appoint Maurie McInnis ’96 Ph.D., president of Stony Brook University, as the twenty-fourth president of Yale University. She will assume her duties on July 1, 2024. A compelling leader, distinguished scholar, and devoted educator, she brings to the role a deep understanding of higher education and an unwavering commitment to our mission and academic priorities. Her experience and accomplishments over the past three decades have prepared her to lead Yale in the years ahead. 

The search for Yale’s twenty-fourth president has benefited from the input of many in our community. We heard from over 2,000 Yale students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the New Haven community through listening sessions, individual meetings, webform entries, and the student survey. You nominated 128 leaders in higher education and many other sectors to the search committee for consideration. Your recommendations represented a diverse breadth of expertise, life experiences, and backgrounds. The search committee did not rely exclusively on the community’s nominations. We also reached out to leaders in higher education and the broader world about Yale’s search, to cast a wide net and to gain different perspectives on the ideal qualities and qualifications of the next president. The committee’s subsequent deliberations drew from all your comments and suggestions. 

The trustees want to thank the four faculty members on the search committee for their insights and deep commitment to this effort. We are very grateful for their partnership and collegiality. In addition, we thank the student advisory council for all the work they did to gather community input. We also thank you—students, faculty, staff, and alumni—for helping to make our search process so robust. 

Maurie has spent three decades in higher education, holding teaching, research, and leadership roles. For nearly two of those decades, she has held a range of positions at three iconic universities, including shaping undergraduate academic programs as an associate dean and leading academic affairs as a vice provost at the University of Virginia and serving as the provost at the University of Texas at Austin. 

In her current role as the president of Stony Brook University, she is responsible for the academics, research, and operations of a flagship university for the State of New York and Long Island’s premier medical center, which provides care for the entire region. She also shares responsibility for the oversight of Brookhaven National Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy facility for particle physics and nuclear, energy, data, and quantum information sciences. In addition, as the inaugural chair of the board of the New York Climate Exchange, she led the establishment of an international climate change solutions center in New York City. By working with universities, non-profits organizations, businesses, and community leaders, she has helped create a vibrant center that will improve the environment in New York City and provide solutions to the climate crisis that cities around the world can adopt. 

Maurie has an unusual combination of experience outside of Yale and familiarity with the institution. The search committee was excited by a leader who brought new perspectives from around the country and cared deeply about the best of Yale’s traditions. In 2022, she became a Yale trustee, volunteering her time and energy for our university’s future. From her service on the board, she appreciates what our community has achieved in realizing the university’s academic priorities. She is committed to building on the momentum of President Peter Salovey’s leadership and finding new ways to advance the university’s commitment to extraordinary teaching and research that benefit people around the globe. She knows from her time at Yale, and experience across the country, the importance of creating an environment that encourages both vigorous debate and a deep sense of inclusivity and belonging. 

Maurie joined the Yale community in 1989 as a graduate student in the Department of the History of Art. She chose Yale because she wanted a university that simultaneously valued knowledge for the sake of knowledge and cared deeply about the application of that knowledge in service of a healthier and more equitable society. These values aligned with what she hoped to achieve as a scholar and educator. 

Since her graduation from Yale, she has lived up to the mission of our university. Not only has she led with an unshakeable commitment to education and research for the common good, but she has also contributed significantly to her field as a cultural historian. She has authored and edited numerous books and articles focused on the politics of art and slavery in the nineteenth-century American South. She has co-curated and contributed research to a number of exhibitions and archival projects. Her work has been honored by book awards, grants and fellowships, and other prizes. In addition to serving on Yale’s board, she has provided her time and expertise to advance research, education, and public outreach to other organizations, such as the Commission on Economic and Community Engagement of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, Association of American Universities, and Long Island Association. Maurie is coming back to Yale and New Haven with her husband, Dean Johnson, who has retired from a career in business. They look forward to introducing their two children to a city that so many of us love for its history, arts, culture, and, of course, food.  

We are fortunate that Maurie will join a very strong team at Yale. Assembled by President Salovey and Provost Scott Strobel, we have a remarkable set of deans, faculty chairs, and administrative leaders. We are so grateful for their service and dedication to Yale. 

We look forward to Maurie’s leadership of this institution, to working alongside you in supporting her, and to all that we will accomplish together in the years ahead. 

Sincerely, 

Josh Bekenstein ’80 B.A.

Chair of the Presidential Search Committee
Senior Trustee of the Yale Board of Trustees
On behalf of all the Trustees