Northeastern is a force for change, forever pushing higher education to stay ahead of the world’s evolving needs. The university’s leaders, too, are drivers of change, inspiring their teams to make the university better every day.

Joseph E. Aoun

Office of the President

Joseph E. Aoun, a well-known higher education thought leader and renowned scholar in linguistics, is the seventh President of Northeastern University.

An internationally respected voice on the value of global and experiential education, President Aoun has led the expansion of experiential learning—centered on Northeastern’s signature co-op program—to offer opportunities for work, research, service, and global study in 136 countries.

[Learn More About Joseph E. Aoun]

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Leadership Team


Kenneth W. Henderson
Chancellor and Senior Vice President for Learning

As the university’s first chancellor, Kenneth Henderson leads Northeastern’s broad portfolio of learning functions. He oversees internationalization and learner mobility; the global campuses; innovation in experiential learning, embracing digital and lifelong learning; student affairs including athletics, housing, and wellness; as well as enrollment management, incorporating admissions, marketing, and financial aid.

Henderson was appointed to his current position in 2019, after more than three years serving as dean of the College of Science. There, he oversaw six academic departments with nearly 350 faculty and staff and an enrollment of more than 4,500 students.

As dean, Henderson established a five-year strategic plan designed to align the college with Northeastern 2025, the university’s academic plan, and cement the college’s environment of scholarly and educational excellence.

A scholar of synthetic and structural inorganic chemistry, Henderson previously served as the chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame. During his 14-year tenure, he was also the senior assistant provost for internationalization, developing undergraduate programs and strategic international partnerships for research collaborations.

Henderson’s research interests lie in organometallic and materials chemistry, with a particular focus on energy-related systems. Henderson has published more than 100 peer-reviewed research articles and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2007.

He received a bachelor's degree in chemistry with honors from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, as well as his PhD, winning the Ritchie prize. He conducted post-doctorate research at Brown University.

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James C. Bean
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

As the university’s chief academic officer, James Bean leads Northeastern’s educational and research enterprises. He oversees undergraduate and graduate education, the faculty, research and teaching, and the university’s information technology infrastructure.

Bean spearheaded the development of the 10-year academic plan, Northeastern 2025. He has also advanced initiatives to update the undergraduate curriculum, expand the ways that experience is integrated into student learning, give students new tools to personalize their learning, and strengthen the university’s research enterprise.

Prior to joining Northeastern in 2014, he held a number of high-level academic positions, including senior vice president and provost at the University of Oregon from 2008 to 2013 and dean of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business from 2004 to 2008. Bean spent 24 years at the University of Michigan in various academic and research leadership positions.

Bean is past president of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, a charter Fellow of the Institute, and the 2010 winner of the institute’s George E. Kimball Medal.

As a researcher, Bean focused on genetic algorithms, integer programming, and infinite horizon optimization as applied to equipment replacement, capacity expansion, asset management, production, and scheduling. He has published in a variety of academic journals, including Operations Research, Mathematical Programming, Management Science, The Engineering Economist, Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications, and the Journal of Biomechanics.

He is a trustee at Harvey Mudd College and formerly served on the corporation visiting committee for engineering systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Bean earned a master's degree and PhD in operations research from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Harvey Mudd College.

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Michael Armini
Senior Vice President for External Affairs

Michael Armini oversees the departments of communications, government relations, and marketing, leading the work of these offices to promote the strategic interests of Northeastern to key audiences nationally and globally.

Under Armini’s leadership, Northeastern has increased its visibility among a broad range of stakeholders and audiences, with particular emphasis on policy leaders in academia, government, and elite media. Third-party assessments of Northeastern’s reputation have increased during his tenure, and units within External Affairs have won numerous national awards and recognitions.

Armini has initiated several initiatives and events that showcase both President Aoun’s and the university’s thought leadership in experience-based learning, lifelong learning, and the future of higher education in the age of AI. These efforts include annual public opinion surveys on the value of higher education, and a comprehensive campaign to promote "Robot-Proof" President Aoun’s most recent book.

Prior to joining Northeastern in October 2008, Armini spent 10 years in senior positions at Harvard University, most notably as assistant dean for communications at Harvard Law School.

He began his career in the political arena, serving as the chief spokesperson for elected officials and candidates on Capitol Hill and Beacon Hill. He is a veteran of five political campaigns, including those for U.S. Congress and governor of Massachusetts. He also worked as a corporate communications specialist for a Boston-based public relations firm.

Armini has lectured on public relations and the media at several universities, and at communications conferences around the U.S.

He holds a bachelor's degree in government from the University of Massachusetts and a master's degree in communications from Emerson College.

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Nicholas Bradley
Chief of Staff and Counsel

Nicholas Bradley directs the operations of the president’s office and supervises the president’s staff. He also works with the senior leadership team on an array of legal, operational, and strategic matters.

Bradley joined the Office of the President in 2018 after serving as assistant general counsel in the Office of General Counsel at Northeastern for seven years. His work at Northeastern has spanned a broad array of matters, including international regulation, business and operations, academic affairs, and student experience.

Before coming to Northeastern, Bradley worked in the offices of general counsel at the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishing company.

While studying for his JD at Northeastern University School of Law, Bradley clerked for the Honorable Margaret R. Hinkle at the Suffolk Superior Court in Boston.

He earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the College of the Holy Cross.


Bruce Haymes
Chief Partnership Officer

Bruce Haymes is responsible for coordinating Northeastern’s connections with innovative companies and organizations around the world and developing strategies to forge new partnerships that broaden the university’s global reach in learning and research.

Haymes came to the university from Nielsen Ventures, where he served as managing director and led Nielsen Innovate, the company’s startup investment and innovation platform based in Israel.

He held a number of positions with Nielsen, including senior vice president of corporate development and mergers and acquisitions, where he was responsible for sourcing and executing transactions totaling more than $200 million per year.

Prior to Nielsen, Haymes operated Coleytown Media Advisors, a strategic consultancy that supported major private equity and hedge funds on investments and strategic transactions. Haymes also held executive positions with Time Warner Cable and with the global satellite carrier PanAmSat Corporation, a subsidiary of DirecTV.

An attorney, Haymes started his career practicing corporate finance law at leading law firms in New York, including Chadbourne & Parke and Morrison & Foerster.

He serves on the board of directors or advisory board of Nielsen Innovate, Sweetwood Capital, and CircleUp Ventures; is a member of the Society of Industry Professionals and the Gerson Lehrman Group of industry experts; and is a mentor at Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator in New York.

Haymes is the author of multiple articles discussing the relationship between startups and large companies, including "The Corporate Strategy Conundrum: What to Do About the Startups."

He is a member of both the New York and New Jersey Bar Associations. He graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and earned a JD with honors from The George Washington University Law School.

Diane N. MacGillivray
Senior Vice President for University Advancement

Diane MacGillivray leads Northeastern’s strategic initiatives to build and expand strong ties with its 255,000-plus alumni, as well as parents, friends, and philanthropic organizations. She oversees a broad range of efforts, including development, alumni relations, advancement communications and services, parent and family engagement, corporate and foundation relations, and interdisciplinary initiatives.

Under her leadership, the university’s historic Empower campaign raised $1.4 billion in private and government support, surpassing its goal by $150 million. In addition, University Advancement works in close collaboration with the deans of Northeastern’s nine schools and colleges, as well as with Athletics and the university libraries, to develop and execute fundraising strategies that fuel the university’s momentum.

MacGillivray also spearheads special projects such as Northeastern’s Women Who Empower program, the Global Leadership Summits, and several interdisciplinary outreach initiatives.

Prior to joining Northeastern in 2007, MacGillivray was senior associate dean for advancement in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern California. In that role, she directed a $400 million fundraising initiative and oversaw the development of the college’s annual giving society, its parents program, seven regional and thematic boards, and international fundraising efforts.

MacGillivray holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a master’s degree in 19th century British history from USC.

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Ralph C. Martin II
Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Ralph Martin, a leader in Massachusetts legal circles for more than 25 years, serves as the chief legal, compliance, and risk officer for the university. He also directs city and community affairs, compliance and risk management, labor relations, legal affairs, and public safety.

His legal acumen has been especially important as the university continues to expand its campus network for education and research in Massachusetts and around the world—a key initiative in the university’s current academic plan.

Before joining Northeastern, Martin was the managing partner of the 275-lawyer Boston office of Bingham McCutchen, an international law firm with 1,100 lawyers in its wide-ranging practice. In addition, he served as the managing principal of Bingham Consulting Group, a subsidiary advisory business.

Martin served as the Suffolk County district attorney from 1992 to 2002 and was recognized in 2002 with the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Pro Bono Award for Prosecutor of the Year.

Among his other honors, he was recognized for his expertise in white collar criminal defense by The Best Lawyers in America in 2010, and he was selected in 2007 as one of the “35 most influential judges and lawyers of the past 35 years” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

Martin also served as chair of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and on the boards of two leading Boston institutions: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Boston Children’s Hospital. He was also a two-time chair of The Partnership, an organization devoted to improving the ability of New England companies to attract, retain, and develop executives of color.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and a JD from Northeastern University School of Law.

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Thomas Nedell
Senior Vice President for Finance and Treasurer

Thomas Nedell manages the university’s financial affairs to help ensure that it has the budgetary resources to achieve its ambitious goals. His portfolio includes campus planning, facilities, finance, human resources, institutional auditing, and treasury, including oversight of the university’s endowment.

As Northeastern’s chief financial officer, he is responsible for establishing and monitoring sound financial controls within the university community.

Nedell joined Northeastern in 2009 as vice president for finance. Prior to that, he held several positions over 18 years at St. John’s University in New York, including his last post as vice president for business affairs and treasurer. He started his career in the audit practice of Coopers & Lybrand in Boston where he spent three years and became a Certified Public Accountant in Massachusetts.

He sits on the board of St. John’s Bread & Life Program Inc., a large soup kitchen and social service agency in Brooklyn, NY. He is also a member of the board of the Boston Consortium for Higher Education.

Nedell holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and an MBA from St. John’s University.

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