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Alex Walker tapped as University System of NH board chair, new trustees named

Alex Walker, CEO of Catholic Medical Center, will served as University System of NH board chairman.

CONCORD, NH – The Board of Trustees of the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) has voted Alex Walker, President and CEO of Catholic Medical Center, as its chair, effective July 1, 2022. Walker succeeds Joseph G. Morone, former President and CEO of Albany International Corp., who served as board chair for the past three years and concludes ten years of exceptional service and leadership.

Walker, who has served as a USNH trustee for six years, will serve as chair through June 30, 2023.

“Joe’s tenure as Chairman occurred during a pivotal period in higher education when the safety of our students, faculty, staff and communities, and the continuity of our mission, were severely disrupted by the ever-changing effects of the pandemic,” said Walker. “Joe guided the board through strategic decision-making processes that will advantage the University System of New Hampshire during the fundamental shifts expected in higher education in the coming years. Joe was the ideal volunteer at the right time in the history of USNH, and his service will be long remembered by those who worked with him.”

Two gubernatorial appointees will continue in USNH board leadership roles; they are:

  • James Burnett III, Consultant, Sight Line Public Affairs, LLC, Vice Chair
  • Kassandra Ardinger, Attorney, Secretary

The USNH Board of Trustees also welcomed the following new trustees:

  • Gubernatorial appointee Kevin Knarr, Executive and Consultant, appointed to a two-year term: 2022-2024
  • Gubernatorial appointee Peter Paul, Chairman, Headlands Asset Management and owner of West Biofuels and Peter Paul Wines, appointed to a three-year term: 2022-2025
  • Gubernatorial appointee Christiana Thornton, President and CEO, New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation, appointed to a three-year term: 2022-2025
  • UNH Alumni trustee Joel Nkounkou, Engineer and Social Entrepreneur, ecoText, elected to a four-year term: 2022-2026

“We are excited to welcome our newest board members who bring extensive experience and a variety of backgrounds,” said Walker. “They will infuse just the right balance of strategic leadership and guidance to shepherd our University System through the next several years.”

The University System of New Hampshire (USNH) enrolls 32,000 students and consists of three public institutions: Keene State College, Plymouth State University and the University of New Hampshire. USNH strives to ensure the availability of high-quality, affordable and accessible higher educational opportunities throughout New Hampshire and addresses critical state workforce needs.  A 28-member Board of Trustees is responsible for overseeing the University System.


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