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First female Dartmouth president also serves on board of CT hedge fund giant

WESTPORT — Sian Leah Beilock, the current president of Barnard College who was named this week as the next president of Dartmouth College, has several other prominent roles — including serving on the operating board of directors of the world’s largest hedge fund.

Beilock, 46, will become, on July 1, 2023, the 19th president and first female president in the more-than-250-year history of Dartmouth, which is located in Hanover, N.H., and a member of the Ivy League.

She joined Westport-based Bridgewater’s operating board as an independent director in July 2021. The board oversees a firm that ranks No. 1 among hedge funds in the amount of assets under management. Bridgewater manages about $150 billion in assets for institutional investors, according to data recently provided by the firm — a group that includes public and corporate pension funds, university endowments, charitable foundations, foreign governments and central banks.

“I imagine a lot of people will ask me what it means to be Dartmouth’s first female president,” Beilock said in a video statement Thursday. “And for some, they might think that I should not talk about that, I should just talk about being a president.”

“But my research (is) as a psychologist, and my colleagues have really shown that having multiple identities — I am a researcher, I am a president, I am a teacher, I’m a mother,” Beilock added. “All of those things actually impact what we bring to the table, how we can think across differences. And having those multiple identities, I’m confident, will help me put my best foot forward.”

The announcement was lauded by Beilock’s colleagues on the 13-person Bridgewater operating board. Other board members include Bridgewater founder and co-chief investment officer Ray Dalio and the firm’s co-chief executive officers, Nir Bar Dea and Mark Bertolini.

“This is a historic moment for Dartmouth, and I can’t think of a better leader than Sian to lead their next chapter,” Bar Dea said in a statement. “Sian is a force, someone who leads and lives by her values and we are fortunate to have her on our operating board.”

Beilock has served as president of Manhattan-based Barnard since July 2017. She previously spent 12 years at the University of Chicago in roles including executive vice provost.

She is an expert on the brain science behind “choking under pressure” and the brain and body factors affecting performance related to activities such as test taking, public speaking athletics. Her related 2017 TED talk has been viewed more than 2.5 million times.

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