On the threshold of a new strategic planning process, Andover’s Board of Trustees welcomed Betsy Biern ’84 as its newest member on July 1. Biern brings extensive fundraising experience and will serve a two-year term as an Alumni Trustee.
Biern will co-chair the [Annual Giving Board](http://www.andover.edu/GivingVolunteering/AndoverFund/Pages/Annual-Giving-Board.aspx), succeeding [Steven Ho ’74, former Alumni Trustee,](http://www.phillipian.net/articles/2011/05/19/board-trustees-announces-three-new-members) and sit on the Executive Committee of the Alumni Council.
The Annual Giving Board works closely with the office of Academy Resources to oversee the strategies relating to annual giving, specializing in gifts from parents and alumni, Biern said.
She has spent much of her career fundraising for nonprofits, primarily those concerning hospitals, health care and global health. She is currently the Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer at the [Children’s Hospital and Research Center Foundation in Oakland, California.](http://www.childrenshospitaloakland.org/main/home.aspx) She will use the skills developed in these roles in her position as Co-Chair of the Annual Giving Board.
Biern noted that the start of her tenure also marks the beginning of a shift in leadership and direction for Andover. Her first year on the Board will be the second for both Head of School John Palfrey and Peter Currie ’74, President of the Board of Trustees. The Trustees will also commence the process of creating the 2014 Strategic Plan this fall.
“It is a really exciting opportunity because you get to look at the incredible legacy of the place,” Biern said.
In addition to strategic planning, Biern is particularly interested in the wellness initiative, including the ongoing plans for the new Wellness Center to be located on Salem Street that will be completed in 2015. Alumni Trustees, such as Biern, are first nominated as potential candidates by the Alumni Council, an organization of roughly 120 alumni that works to encourage Andover alumni to reconnect with their school. All Andover alumni are then invited to vote on the candidates, according to [previous article in The Phillipian](http://www.phillipian.net/articles/trustee-selection-process).
After graduating in 1984, Biern gave back to Andover in various capacities as an active alum. She served as an Agent for the Class of ’84, an Alumni Admissions Representative and a reunion chair. Biern also visits Andover regularly and stays in touch with her classmates.
“Early on I learned that it was the generosity of past alumni that contributed to my education at Andover,” said Biern. “Whether through gifts to the endowment that covered part of our tuition, to the wonderful gifts of the chapel or the Addison or the Peabody, we all benefited and continue to [do so].”
“Our motto isn’t for naught,” Biern continued. “Non sibi ought to include thinking about our school and what we owe it.”
> Betsy Biern joins [@PhillipsAcademy](https://twitter.com/phillipsacademy) Board of Trustees [http://t.co/6tP6ncRxhf](http://t.co/6tP6ncRxhf)
> — John Palfrey (@jpalfrey) [July 17, 2013](https://twitter.com/jpalfrey/statuses/357574772672045058)
Biern looks back fondly on her days as a student at Andover. She said that she remembers Andover as an intense place that required resilience. She said that she is fascinated by the balance needed at Andover in day-to-day life and the continuation of the Andover legacy.
“When you think of all the people who came before you, walked the same path, sat in the same chair in the library or struggled on the athletic field. Whatever it is, there are so many generations before us who have done it,” she said.
She looks forward to this coming year, when she and her classmates will celebrate their 30th reunion.
“When you come back to reunions and see all your classmates that you may not have even known very well [while you were at school], and just hearing about all the amazing things they have accomplished, it’s just really neat,” she continued.
Biern resides in Berkeley, California with her husband Ted Booth and two children.