The Peace College Board of Trustees has announced that Debra Townsley, Ph.D. has been named president of Peace College. Townsley will succeed Laura Carpenter Bingham who took office in 1998 and announced in September her plans to retire June 30.
Townsley, who will become the 10th president of the 153 year-old Raleigh women's college, is currently President of Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts.
"Peace College is an impressive institution with a strong heritage in fostering the academic, professional and personal success of women," said Townsley. "I am delighted to be able to offer my experience in and commitment to higher education to help shape the future of Peace College and the students it serves."
A native of Florida, Townsley holds a bachelor of science in business administration with concentrations in marketing and management from American University, a master of business administration (MBA) from George Washington University, a master of arts in psychology and a Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Vermont.
"The Presidential Search Committee looked at a wide range of qualified candidates for the Peace College presidency, and Debra Townsley emerged early in the process as a leading contender," said Trustee Fred Kelly, chair of the search committee. "After meeting with her several times here in Raleigh, it was evident that she not only met, but exceeded, all the criteria we established for the College's next leader. We could not be more pleased to welcome her to Peace."
Townsley was named president of Nichols College in 1998 after serving as dean of academic affairs for one year. Prior to joining Nichols, Townsley worked at a number of colleges and universities, including, Saint Michaels College in Vermont, Northern Virginia Community College, and at Marymount University of Virginia - a women's college at the time.
Early in her career she was a senior consultant and project manager at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, Inc. and a marketing support representative for IBM.
A colleague of Townsley's, John Bassett, president of Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts (former head of the English Department at NCSU), says she is "a liberal arts woman with an eye on careers for students."