New Head of School
Dr. Steven Solnick Named Calhoun's 11th Head of School
The Calhoun community is excited to welcome Steve Solnick as the 11th Head of School starting on July 1, 2017. He succeeds Steve Nelson, who retired in June after 19 years of leadership.
Calhoun’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to select Steve as Head of School, after a yearlong search that considered a large number of highly qualified candidates from around the country.
“Those of us who worked on the search are excited to have the rest of the Calhoun community meet Steve,” says Board Vice Chair Jon Brayshaw, who led the Search Committee. "But as a current parent, I am even more enthusiastic about the exciting implications for our program and students as Steve leads us into the next phase of Calhoun’s history.” Fellow search committee member Lori Dorr ’92 observes that, “Steve’s professional experience, education, and childhood narrative afford him a truly unique perspective and pragmatism. I am thrilled to watch him lead Calhoun in the years to come.”
Steve comes to Calhoun with a unique and diverse background in leadership and education. Most recently, he was president of Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC. During his five-year tenure there, he raised the college’s national profile, headed a strategic planning initiative focused on academic excellence and led a record-breaking fundraising campaign.
From 2002–2012 he served as the Ford Foundation Representative in Moscow and New Delhi, where he directed programs in social justice, education, the environment and the arts.
For nine years, Steve was a professor of political science at Columbia University. He is also an expert in post-Soviet Russia, a topic he has researched and written about extensively, most notably with his book Stealing the State. He received his PhD from Harvard University and was a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University.
Steve’s wife, Maeve O’Connor, shares a passion for education; she has worked in higher education administration at UCLA, Harvard University, and the New School in New York. The couple say they are excited to return to New York with their three children--Elinor, Naomi and Reuben -and their spirited dog Zorro. Says Steve, "Calhoun is a small school that makes a big difference. I can’t think of a more exciting opportunity than leading the exceptionally talented team of educators at Calhoun.”