President’s biography

Barry Brown is the eighth President of Mount Ida College. He was unanimously chosen by the Board of Trustees in February 2012 after a year-long presidential search. A highly distinguished professor, higher educational administrator, and lawyer, Brown brings a deep-rooted commitment to excellence in higher education.

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Previously, Barry Brown was appointed Provost of Suffolk University in 2008 and assumed the combined role of Acting President and Provost in 2010. These appointments followed a university teaching career of over 35 years in which he has taught courses in Property Law, Biomedical Law and Public Policy and Professional Responsibility.

In his role as Acting President, he successfully undertook a major refinancing and restructuring of Suffolk University’s $300 million debt, restructuring of the University’s central administration and established the Office of Student Access and Opportunity for acquiring and funding major federal grants and community action programs such as Upward Bound and the McNair Fellowships. He was responsible for the University’s major development campaigns including the 300,000 square foot property at 73 Tremont Street which houses the University’s library and administration.

Earlier, in the public sector, Brown held the post of Assistant Bar Counsel for the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court when that agency was founded in 1974 and served as prosecutor in a number of important cases related to the conduct of lawyers, including the reinstatement of Alger Hiss. Brown is widely published on topics ranging from biomedical law to real estate and condominium law. He is one of the first to write concerning property issues in genetic materials appearing in national journals, such as the Stanford Journal of Law and Public Policy. He is the founder of Suffolk University’s concentration in health and biomedical law and the nationally recognized Suffolk Journal of Health and Biomedical Law.

In the private sector, until 2008, he was Senior Counsel to the national law firm of Holland & Knight.

A life-long resident of Newton, Massachusetts, Brown received an A.B. from Harvard College and Ed.M. from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Brown is involved with a variety of professional organizations, including the Massachusetts Pre-paid Legal Services Board, the Board of Directors of the Samaritans, and the Board of Directors of the Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce.

Brown resides in Newton with his wife Ellen Shapiro Brown, Deputy Court Administrator for the District Courts of Massachusetts. They have two children, Ethan, a physician and resident in neurology at UCSF in San Francisco and Jenny, a producer and senior video editor for Sports Illustrated in New York.