scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Grinnell College president to lead Phillips Academy Andover

Phillips Academy Andover will soon have a new leader. The private coeducational school announced in December that Dr. Raynard S. Kington has been named its 16th head of school.

Kington, president of Grinnell College in Iowa since 2010, assumes his new position this summer. He will succeed John G. Palfrey, who resigned last summer to become president of the MacArthur Foundation.

Jim Ventre, Phillips Academy’s assistant head of school for admission and financial aid, is serving as interim head of school. Phillips Academy serves 1,130 boarding and day students.

Kington recently made a special visit to the academy, addressing a crowd of more than 1,500 students, faculty, and staff in historic Cochran Chapel.


Prior to his current post at Grinnell, Kington held multiple positions at the National Institutes of Health, including acting director. Before that, he was a division director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a senior scientist at RAND Corp. He serves on the Governing Council of the National Academy of Medicine, and is a board member of the American Council on Education.

Kington earned a bachelor’s degree and a medical degree at the University of Michigan, and a master’s degree in business administration and a doctorate in managerial science and applied economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

“I am thrilled that Raynard will join our community,” Trustee Amy Falls, who chaired the search committee for the head of school, said in a statement. “He brings impeccable academic credentials and extensive management experience; he is an intellectual force and a strategic thought partner whose core principles align with Andover’s mission and institutional values.”

John Laidler can be reached at