Peddie board chair lays out vision for the future

Doug Davidson ’64 was elected to serve as chair of the Peddie Board of Trustees by the 33-member body at the Spring 2021 board meeting, following the tenure of Elizabeth Silverman P’03 ’10, who served six years in the role. 

Davidson has been a member of the board of trustees for nine years, during which he served on the Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Legal Committee and Investment Committee. He was chair of the Finance Committee for six years.

“It is certainly a privilege and an honor that my fellow trustees have asked me to take on this important role,” said Davidson. “At the same time, I feel particularly challenged to build on the considerable accomplishments of my two immediate predecessors, Elizabeth Silverman and Chris Acito ’85. Between them, Chris and Elizabeth achieved great success in shaping the board’s governance structure, strategic priorities, cohesiveness and diversity.”

Davidson said the board’s primary focus areas include the upcoming launch of the school’s largest capital campaign and fundraising for the arts center expansion project. 

“The ability to increase access through financial aid and support faculty programs [two pillars of Peddie’s strategic plan] is really dependent upon how successful we are with fundraising efforts,” said Davidson.

It is certainly a privilege and an honor that my fellow trustees have asked me to take on this important role.”

The board will also be looking to refresh the strategic plan adopted in 2018 to reflect the school’s recent diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, and long-term educational, structural and financial impacts of the pandemic.

“I think we’ve got a terrific strategic plan that was absolutely apropos for where we were in 2018,” he said. “But the world has seen a sea change — socially, pedagogically and economically — since then. George Chen, who chairs the strategic planning committee, and I have been talking about exploring those implications in depth and perhaps weaving them into a refresh.”

Davidson said that he also anticipates focusing on the school’s athletic programs and the “significant role they play in the overall student experience.”

Head of School Peter Quinn P’15 ’18 ’21 praised Davidson as “a great leader and thinking partner to help guide Peddie as the school continues to pursue our 20-year strategic priorities, which include Peddie’s continuous program development, equity and inclusion, and key philanthropic initiatives. Doug will also want to focus on lessons we can take away from the pandemic.”

Davidson holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctor from The George Washington University Law School. Currently retired, Davidson is the former managing partner for multinational law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP.