Helen G. Drinan (2008-2020)


Portrait of Helen Drinan, c. 2016. 

Helen G. Drinan earned her B.A. in French Language and Literature from Mount Holyoke College in 1969 and later recieved her M.S. in Library Science and M.B.A. from Simmons College in 1975 and 1978, respectively. Drinan has served as Executive Vice President of Human Resources for BankBoston, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Caritas Christi Health Care, and President and CEO of the Society of Human Resources Management, the largest human resource professional organization in the world. Before Drinan was sworn in as the College's eighth president in July, 2008 she served as the Chair of the University's Board of Trustees.

Under her leadership as President, Simmons achieved university status, simplified its academic structure to enhance interdisciplinary study under four colleges, completed the largest fundraising campaign in its history ($100 million), welcomed the two largest freshman classes in its history, reconfigured its undergraduate curriculum around leadership development, developed world-class coed online graduate degree programs, and cemented its status as a premier institution for women scholars. The twin hallmarks of Drinan's tenure include both fiscal stability and growth and an unwavering institutional focus on the College's mission to develop the career skills of Simmons students. In 2010, President Helen Drinan articulated a 100-year vision for Simmons that remained close to John Simmons' vision from 1870:

Simmons will become a beacon of leadership in the world of higher education; a resource to our nation and world; known for our expertise in fields which improve the human condition; sought out for the findings of our highly reputable research; and seen as the global expert in educating women for their own empowerment and for leadership.

Helen G. Drinan (2008-2020)