Manuel A. Nuñez ‘94 has been named the next chair of Eastern Mennonite University’s Board of Trustees. His term begins July 1, 2020, when he takes over from outgoing chair Kay B. Nussbaum ‘78.
Nuñez is the associate dean of graduate programs at the Villanova School of Business, where he oversees the MBA and specialty masters programs, as well as enrollment and career strategy services. He is a professor of practice in the management and operations department, and faculty director of diversity, equity, and inclusion. He holds an MBA from Villanova.
Prior to academia, Nuñez served as managing director for external and government affairs at the Inter-American Foundation, a foreign assistance agency of the United States government that invests in community-led development initiatives throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. In that role, he led congressional affairs, and managed relationships with the White House, U.S. State Department, Congress, and other key stakeholders. He also spent 16 years at Merck & Co. where he held numerous positions within both the U.S. and international sales and marketing organizations.
President Susan Schultz Huxman, whose reappointment to a second term was announced two weeks ago, calls Nuñez “a superb match” with expert skill sets that align with the university’s current positioning.
“Manny brings expertise and leadership experience in entrepreneurship, business and academics, and in education around issues of diversity and inclusion, as well as connections to the Mennonite church and relational and public advocacy skills,” Huxman said. “Within the seismic changes facing the higher education market, his knowledge of program development, marketing and recruitment outreach will also serve us well.”
EMU’s board recently underwent a comprehensive assessment led by a third-party consultant, gaining affirmation for its organizational use of best practices, robust strategic discussions, and growth in all measures of diversity.
“Outgoing chair Kay Nussbaum has contributed so much in acumen and strategy to the board, creating high expectations for organizational development, strategy and metrics,” Huxman said. “Manny is the ideal successor to continue and build upon her work, especially now as paradigmatic shifts are needed. I am delighted he has accepted this call and am eager to work with him as together we champion EMU’s bright future.”
Nuñez was introduced to the campus community at the June 16 President’s Town Hall.
“EMU, as an institution, has never been more important,” he said. “In a world of sometimes profound injustice, pain, and uncertainty, the light of the EMU community of servant leaders on campus and around the globe makes a difference. I am excited to continue the work, together, of realizing new opportunities for growth as we enter our second century.”
Nussbaum, the outgoing board chair, leaves EMU after 14 years as a trustee, including the past five as board chair.
She joined the board in 2006, two years after President Loren Swartzendruber was appointed to his role, and served three terms.
Nussbaum says she is “profoundly grateful” to have served EMU. “The relationships with trustees, President Susan Schultz Huxman, President Emeritus Loren Swartzendruber, faculty and staff, and donors are treasured gifts, as we have partnered to provide a transformative education for students and position EMU for the future.”
Nussbaum has been “one of the very best champions of EMU — its people, programs and distinctive place in higher education — during her many years of service,” said Huxman. “In addition to her strong professional skills, she is engaging, warm, supportive, and curious, all qualities that have been tremendous assets in her partnership with me, fellow board members and the university.”
Nussbaum is a senior consultant with AlignOrg Solutions, a global consulting firm in organization design, and also a partner with The MVP Group, Inc, a leadership consulting firm. She holds a PhD in organizational leadership, with expertise in diversity in higher education and board leadership.
In her five years of leadership at EMU, Nussbaum prompted several organizational changes following professional best practices, including new charters for new subcommittees and board evaluations, according to Huxman. She helped to create ways for the board to contribute strategically and progressively on cross-sectional issues facing the university and was instrumental in work related to EMU’s relationship to Mennonite Higher Education Association and in setting strategic goals of diversity, equity and inclusion.
“Our board is the most diverse in institutional history, inclusive of racial and ethnic diversity but also other diversities: alumni and non-alumni, Mennonite and non-Mennonite, gender, age and geographic representation,” Huxman said. “Our vision of diversity has been empowered by Kay’s leadership.”
EMU’s strong, engaged board “values excellence in governance and is committed to finding innovative pathways to fulfilling EMU’s mission,” Nussbaum said. “Manny will be surrounded by fellow trustees who are deeply committed to EMU’s mission and core values, and who will support him in his work. I pray too for the reassurance of God’s abiding presence and His peace on the journey ahead.”