On Tuesday, July 1, Rebecca M. Bergman officially began her duties as the 17th President of Gustavus Adolphus College. The College’s Board of Trustees announced in late February that Bergman would replace Jack Ohle, who retired after serving as President since July 2008. Bergman is the first woman in the 152-year history of the College to be named president.
Bergman, who served on the College’s Board of Trustees from 2007 to 2014, spent the past 26 years at Medtronic, Inc., including the last 14 years as a senior executive. Her most recent position was Vice President of Research, Technology, and Therapy Delivery Systems for the company’s Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management (CRDM) business, where she led a research and development team of scientists and engineers. She previously served as Vice President, CRDM New Therapies & Diagnostics as well as Vice President, Corporate Science and Technology, where she directed biomaterials and biosciences R&D, new therapy development, and information management initiatives.
“Becky is a proven leader as demonstrated not only by her successful 26 years at Medtronic, but also by her seven years of service on the College’s Board of Trustees,” said Warren Beck, Trustee and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee. “Her leadership skills, ability to collaborate and effectively communicate, and knowledge of the College’s strengths and challenges make her uniquely qualified to lead Gustavus at this pivotal time in the College’s history. I couldn’t be more pleased that she will be our next president.”
Bergman earned her B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University and undertook graduate study in a Ph.D. program in chemical engineering and material science at the University of Minnesota. Bergman has received a number of Medtronic’s highest technical and leadership awards during her tenure with the company. She was elected as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering in 2001, and elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2010. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Sigma-Aldrich, on the Board of Directors of The Bakken Museum, and on a number of academic advisory boards. She previously served on the National Advisory Council of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institute of Health and the St. Catherine University Board of Trustees.
“Gustavus Adolphus College is a special place. It has been an extraordinary experience for me to have the privilege to be a member of the Gustavus Board of Trustees and to get to know the campus, the people, and the culture of the institution,” Bergman said. “I have prized the opportunity to work with an institution so strongly committed to education and discovery. I look forward to participating in the next phase of the Gustavus story in whatever ways can best foster the future success of the College.”
Bergman is married to Thomas A. Bergman, M.D., Chief of Neurosurgery at Hennepin County Medical Center, a Senior Partner with Neurosurgical Associates, and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota Department of Neurosurgery. The couple has four children including Matthew ’07, Andrew, Laura, and John.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin