President John Simon announced on Sept. 4 he will step down at the end of the academic year. Two board members will lead the search to replace him. (Courtesy of Lehigh University)

Co-chairs named in search for new president


Lehigh named board of trustees members Maria Chrin, ‘87, ‘10P, and Philip B. Sheibley, ‘81, ‘19P, as co-chairs for the Presidential Search Committee in a campus-wide email Thursday morning. 

The email said the selection of the search committee is the first step in the presidential transition following the news that President John Simon would be stepping down from his position at the end of the academic year. 

Board Chairman Kevin Clayton, ‘84, asked vice chairs of the board, Chrin and Sheibley, to serve as co-chairs for the committee, the email said. 

“As co-chairs, Chrin and Sheibley will select the other members of the search committee, establish the framework of the search, enable opportunities for broad community input and provide leadership, vision and regular updates throughout the process,” the email said.

The email said Chrin and Sheibley are both longtime members of the board and supporters of the university.

“Lehigh is fortunate to have in Maria and Phil two such distinguished and accomplished alumni to lead this important search, and I thank them for their willingness to serve in such important roles,” Clayton said in the email. 

Chrin has served on the board since 2004 and is the founder and managing partner of Circle Wealth Management, LLC. She previously worked at Goldman Sachs. Sheibley has served on the board since 2011 and is a venture capital investor and the chairman of Fiberight, LLC, a biofuel company.

Simon previously told The Brown and White that he made the decision to step down largely due to the strains the coronavirus placed on the university and him individually. He said Lehigh needs someone willing to make a “long-term commitment.”

Simon had signed a contract extension last year that would have kept him as president until 2025. 

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