Board of Trustees Leadership Transition

May 11, 2021

Dear Grinnellians,

It is my distinct pleasure to write to you today to share the news that Michael Kahn ’74 was elected by his fellow trustees to serve as the new board chair during the Grinnell College Board of Trustees annual meeting held May 6-8. Michael succeeds outgoing board chair David Maxwell ’66.

Michael has been a member of the board since 2015. During that time he has served in several key roles, including as board vice-chair for the past three years; chair of the highly successful Campaign for Grinnell College that will be wrapping up soon; chair or co-chair of several board task forces, committees, and working groups; and vice chair of the Exit 182 Board of Directors investment board.

Michael is a retired senior managing director at Teachers, Insurance, and Annuity Association of America (TIAA), a national financial services organization and a leading provider of retirement services in academic, research, medical, and cultural fields. During his TIAA career, he served as a member of the company’s Executive Leadership Group and ran several lines of business. As a senior leader in TIAA’s Corporate Strategy and Development group, Michael also played a principal role in many TIAA acquisitions and oversaw the launch of a large-scale global real estate joint venture. Additionally, he led several start-up and restructuring efforts, and helped launch TIAA’s third party asset management business. During his career, Michael helped set up boards and governance structures for TIAA’s operating subsidiaries and was an active member of the company’s Enterprise Governance Committee. Michael continues to serve on the boards of TIAA Endowment and Philanthropic Services and TIAA Charitable.

Michael has sponsored more than 40 summer internships for Grinnell College students while mentoring many other Grinnell students and young alumni. He has actively supported the College’s efforts to engage alumni in the New York City area. Michael has a bachelor’s degree in music from Grinnell and is married to Virginia Munger Kahn ’76.

The board chair holds the office for two years and serves no more than two consecutive terms. As the chief board officer, the chair provides leadership related to board responsibilities, ensuring that the College remains faithful to its mission and values and that there is a clear vision of the College's future and a plan to realize that vision.

Although he is stepping down as chair, David will continue his service as a trustee. On behalf of all Grinnellians, I want to express our deep gratitude to David for his leadership through the incredible challenges of the past two years. David drew upon his extensive career in higher education and continued thought leadership work as an Association of Governing Boards senior fellow to help provide crucial advice during historic circumstances. Not only did he lead us through the difficult decisions we had to make to deal with the ongoing international health crisis — he also led us through a presidential transition, the terrible destruction of a derecho, and social upheaval as our College and nation confronted our long history of racial injustice.

We gratefully acknowledge David’s dedication to Grinnell and his passion for our mission.

In addition to this key leadership role transition, the board welcomed two new trustee members, Jeetander Dulani ’98 and Kristin Stout ’89, during the annual meeting.

Jeetander, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Grinnell, is special counsel at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. A member of the Grinnell Alumni Council since 2015, he has co-chaired its Diversity and Inclusion, and Student Connections committees. In addition, he volunteered from 2001 to 2016 in the Grinnell Regional Admission Support Program and was active with the former Grinnell-in-Washington, D.C. semester program.

Kristin is senior vice president of technology risk management at Wells Fargo Bank. A member of the Grinnell College Campaign Committee, she was a co-class fund director for the class of 1989 and served on her Reunion Class Committee. Kristin also has been an active regional volunteer, planning and hosting numerous Grinnell events in the Twin Cities. She earned a bachelor’s in political science and religious studies from Grinnell.

You can learn more about individual trustee volunteers, as well as the work of the board on the College’s Board of Trustees webpages.

The College's ability to fulfill its promise of contributing to the common good is made possible in large measure by the often-unseen work of dedicated alumni volunteers such as Michael, David, Jeetander, and Kristin. Please join me in congratulating them on their new roles and thanking them, and all of our trustees, for their partnership and their service to Grinnell College.

With gratitude,


Anne F. Harris

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