Macalester's 17th President: Dr. Suzanne Rivera

St. Paul, Minn. (Feb. 3, 2020) – The Macalester College Board of Trustees is pleased to announce it has unanimously approved the appointment of Dr. Suzanne Rivera as the college’s 17th President. Dr. Rivera comes to Macalester from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) where she is serving as Vice President for Research and Technology Management. She will begin her term as President this summer.

“Dr. Rivera has distinguished herself through her work as an ethicist; her record of advancing the values of service, internationalism, and multiculturalism that define our institution; and her accomplishments as a senior leader in academia,” said Jerry Crawford ’71, Chair of the Macalester College Board of Trustees. “Her depth of knowledge and strategic thinking, as well as her ability to inspire, will serve the Macalester community well as we look to the opportunities and challenges of the future. We look forward to welcoming Dr. Rivera to Macalester.”

“It is an incredible honor and privilege to join the Macalester family,” Rivera said. “This is a community where curious people thrive, where individuality is celebrated, and where the purpose of education is to equip students with tools to make an impact in the wider world.” She continued, “Under Brian Rosenberg’s leadership, the college has flourished. I am excited to work with all the members of this extraordinary community to build on that legacy and write Macalester’s next chapter.”

Dr. Rivera holds a BA in American Civilization from Brown University, a Master of Social Welfare degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Dallas. She is an accomplished leader having guided CWRU’s $400M research enterprise. In addition, she served in administrative and research leadership roles at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the University of California, Irvine. She is active nationally in research policy, and in a range of social justice and equity initiatives.

The search committee was co-chaired by Trustees Carrie Norbin Killoran ’94 and Michael A. Huber ’90 and included four additional Trustees, four members of the faculty, two staff members, and one student. In addition, numerous faculty, staff, and students participated in the search. The committee was advised by executive search firm Spencer Stuart.

Dr. Rivera is Macalester College’s first female President and first Latinx President. She and her husband, Dr. Michael Householder, have two grown children, Antonio and Elena.

Macalester’s current President, Brian Rosenberg, announced last spring that he will leave the college in May 2020 after 17 years of service.

Macalester College is a nationally recognized liberal arts college located in St. Paul, Minnesota. Macalester students come from every state and 98 countries for an academic program ranked among the top 20 in the country. Our philosophy of global citizenship and collaborative learning prepares students to have an outsized impact on the world.

Learn more about Dr. Rivera at and about Macalester at

February 3 2020

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