Joanne Berger-Sweeney became the 22nd president of Trinity College in 2014. Since then, she has overseen several major accomplishments, including the completion of the College’s strategic plan, Summit; the creation of the Bantam Network mentoring program; the launch of the Campaign for Community; a campus initiative promoting inclusiveness and respect; and the expansion of Trinity’s footprint to downtown Hartford.
Under Berger-Sweeney’s leadership, Trinity established a Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct, founded the Center for Caribbean Studies at Trinity College, and developed a thriving partnerships with premier online course platforms. Under Berger-Sweeney’s leadership, Trinity College is a key partner in the Hartford/East Hartford Innovation Places Planning Team, selected in June 2017 to receive a share of $30 million in state funding to spark economic development and investment in innovation.
Prior to joining Trinity College, Berger-Sweeney served as dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, creating the vision and setting the strategic direction for the University’s largest school. Before Tufts, Berger-Sweeney was a member of the Wellesley College faculty, which she joined in 1991 in the Department of Biological Sciences, rising through the ranks to become the Allene Lummis Russell Professor in Neuroscience.
Berger-Sweeney received her undergraduate degree in psychobiology from Wellesley College and her M.P.H. in environmental health sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. While working on her Ph.D. in neurotoxicology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Berger-Sweeney did the proof of concept work on Razadyne, which went on to be the second-most-used Alzheimer’s drug in the world. She completed her postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Health (INSERM) in Paris, France. Berger-Sweeney has authored more than 60 scientific publications and has held grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and numerous private foundations.
She serves on many boards in the Hartford region, including MetroHartford Alliance, Hartford HealthCare, the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education, and the Capital Region Development Authority.
She is a board member of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and serves on the board of AFS-USA. She also is a corporator of Hartford Hospital, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society (IBNS), and a member of the Committee on Committees of the Society for Neuroscience. Berger-Sweeney has been a member of the Behavioral Neuroscience Review Panel of the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Study Section panel, and the editorial board of Behavioral Neuroscience.
Berger-Sweeney is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a Lifetime Mentoring Award from the Society for Neuroscience (2006) and the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award. She was also inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in October 2018.
Her husband, Urs V. Berger, Ph.D., is a neuroscientist and a computer scientist. They are the proud parents of two children.