President of Grinnell College Named 16th Head of School at Phillips Academy, Andover

Raynard Kington will begin in summer 2020

(Photo: Business Wire)

ANDOVER, Mass.--()--Dr. Raynard S. Kington, president of Grinnell College, has been named the 16th Head of School at Phillips Academy, Andover. The announcement was made today by Amy C. Falls ’82, president-elect of the board of trustees and chair of the search committee, and Peter L.S. Currie ’74, president of the board of trustees. The board voted unanimously in favor of Kington’s appointment.

He will succeed John G. Palfrey, who stepped down this past summer to become president of the MacArthur Foundation. Kington also will follow the leadership of Jim Ventre ’79, who will continue to serve as interim head of school through the transition in summer 2020. Once the transition is complete, Ventre will return to his role as assistant head of school for admission and financial aid.

Serving since 2010 as president of Grinnell, located in central Iowa, Kington has been a champion of academic excellence in the arts, humanities, and sciences, linking students’ intellectual pursuits with their abilities as graduates to effect transformational change in their communities and across the world.

Prior to Grinnell, Kington held multiple positions at the National Institutes of Health, including principal deputy director and acting director. Prior to NIH, he was a division director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a senior scientist at RAND. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, where he serves on the Governing Council. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education.

He attended the University of Michigan, where he received his B.S. with distinction and his M.D. He received his M.B.A. with distinction and his Ph.D. with a concentration in Health Policy and Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His research has focused on social determinants of health and on diversity in the scientific workforce.

I am thrilled that Raynard has accepted our offer,” said Falls. “He brings impeccable academic credentials and extensive management experience; he is an intellectual force and a strategic thought partner whose core principles align with Andover’s mission and institutional values.”

The trustees and search committee were also drawn to Kington’s personal character. “He is, at once, a dynamic leader and a profoundly thoughtful colleague devoted to his community and the well-being of students, faculty, and staff,” Falls continued. “We found this to be a compelling set of professional skills and personal traits.”

Falls also expressed gratitude to members of the search committee who spent the last several months guided by a set of ideals that would lead to an exceptional set of finalists for trustee consideration. “I am indebted to so many members of the campus community, as well as Andover’s alumni and parents—with their input we were able to tap a vast network of educational leaders and frame a compelling role description and Academy profile, all of which allowed us to attract a powerful candidate pool.”

Currie, who presided over a meeting with trustees prior to their vote to endorse the new head of school, said that the board was impressed by Kington’s blend of professional experience overseeing a complex intellectual community and navigating public health policy and wellness initiatives. “Raynard’s academic credentials coupled with his visionary leadership and knowledge of the opportunities and pressures facing young people will be assets for Andover as we set an aspirational course for the future.”

Kington said he is excited by the prospect of leading Andover. “I am incredibly honored to be selected as head of such a historic institution. Non sibi is an ideal that aligns with the values that I learned growing up, and it resonates with me at a deep level, both personally and professionally,” he said. “Much like Grinnell College, Andover has a robust legacy of both academic excellence and diversity. I am looking forward to joining the Andover community and continuing the work of providing an exceptional education for extraordinary young people who will become meaningful contributors to the common good.”

Ventre applauded the visionary choice and said he looks forward to a smooth transition next summer: “I have no doubt that Dr. Kington will be an inspiring, inclusive leader for our campus community and an engaging ambassador for the school more broadly.”

Kington currently resides on the Grinnell campus with his husband, Peter T. Daniolos, M.D., a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Iowa School of Medicine. They have two sons, ages 13 and 10.

About Phillips Academy, Andover

Phillips Academy, better known as Andover, is a coeducational independent high school of approximately 1,100 students, known for its extensive and rigorous academic program and its intentionally diverse community. Admitting students on a need-blind basis and guided by the ideal of non sibi, leading lives “not for self,” Andover promotes a balance of intellectual curiosity, engagement, leadership, and service in pursuit of excellence.


Tracy M. Sweet
Director of Academy Communications


Tracy M. Sweet
Director of Academy Communications