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Sian Leah Beilock is the 19th president of Dartmouth. She is the first woman to have been elected president of Dartmouth by the Board of Trustees and began her tenure on June 12, 2023.
Beilock previously served as the eighth president of Barnard College at Columbia University.
During her tenure at Barnard, Beilock enhanced STEM research and teaching programs to parallel the college's renown in the arts and humanities; implemented Feel Well, Do Well, a campus-wide health and wellness initiative; and launched Beyond Barnard, a one-stop shop for career resources at Barnard and beyond. Building on Barnard's relationship with Columbia, Beilock has established options for students to transition directly from Barnard into a range of master's programs at Columbia through unique five-year BA/MS degrees. Beilock has also led Barnard to record fundraising, increased applications for admission, and increased diversity among students, faculty, and staff. Almost half of Barnard students identify as women of color.
Before joining Barnard, Beilock spent 12 years at the University of Chicago, where she was the executive vice provost, serving as an officer of the university, and the Stella M. Rowley Professor of Psychology. As executive vice provost, Beilock oversaw and had budgetary responsibility for major academic centers including the university's library system, the University of Chicago Press, the university's art museum, and its professional theater. Beilock was also responsible for campus-wide space allocation and oversaw several major building projects. She played the lead role in developing a system to account for how income (such as tuition and grants) and expenses flowed across the undergraduate college, the graduate, and professional schools, and UChicago Medicine. She created and led UChicagoGRAD, a university-wide initiative designed to prepare the university's 10,000 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for leadership roles in academia, government, industry, and the nonprofit sector.
Beilock is one of the world's leading experts on the brain science behind "choking under pressure" in business, education, and sports. In the last several years, her research has focused specifically on success in math and science for women and girls and on how performance anxiety can either be exacerbated or alleviated by teachers, parents, and peers.
She is the author of the critically acclaimed Choke and How the Body Knows Its Mind, which have been published in more than a dozen languages, and she has published 120 peer-reviewed scientific papers. She works closely with individuals, Fortune 500 companies, sports teams, and government organizations to help them build high-performance teams and use research-driven strategies to create environments that attract, retain, and get the best out of their talent. Beilock is an independent director on the Bridgewater Associates Operating Board of Directors.
Beilock's research has been featured in media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, and CNN. She was chosen as one of 25 "Women to Watch" by Crain's Chicago Business and won several awards from national and international societies devoted to psychology, sports psychology, and education. Most notably, Beilock is the recipient of a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation and, in 2017, she won the Troland Research Award from the National Academy of Sciences for her "fundamental contributions to our understanding of human skill learning and performance breakdowns in high-pressure and anxiety-provoking situations." Her 2017 TED Talk has been viewed more than 2.5 million times.
Beilock earned her bachelor of science in cognitive science from the University of California, San Diego, and doctorate degrees in psychology and kinesiology from Michigan State University.