Notable Alumni

Wesleyan graduates are successful in every profession imaginable, including law, science, medicine, business, politics, and the creative arts. They are often leaders and innovators in their fields (see extended list). Here are just some of the University’s many prominent alumni:

Robert Allbritton ’92—Publisher of Politico; chairman and CEO of Allbritton Communications

 

[Robert Allbritton]

Taft Armandroff ’82—Director, McDonald Observatory, University of Texas

 

[Taft Armandroff]

Miguel Arteta ’89—Film and television director (The Good Girl, Youth in Revolt, Cedar Rapids, Enlightened)

 

[Miguel Arteta]

Eric Asimov ’79—Chief wine critic, The New York Times

 

[Eric Asimov]

Gerald Baliles ’63—Director, Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia; former governor of Virginia

 

[Gerald Bliles]

Andrea Barthwell ’76—Founder and CEO of EMGlobal (consulting firm devoted to international health care and policy)

 

[Andrea Barthwell]

Michael Bay ’86—Film producer and director (The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, The Island, Transformers franchise)

 

[Michael Bay]

Carter Bays ’97—Co-creator and writer of television comedy shows (How I Met Your Mother, The Goodwin Games)

 

[Carter Bays]

Ruth Behar ’77—Writer, filmmaker, professor of anthropology, University of Michigan; recipient of MacArthur Award

 

[Ruth Behar]

Bill Belichick ’75—Head coach, New England Patriots, winner of three Super Bowls

 

[Bill Belichick]

Michael Bennet ’87—U.S. senator from Colorado; previously superintendent of schools in Denver

 

[Michael Bennet]

Herbert Benson ’57, MD—Professor, Harvard Medical School; founding president of the Mind/Body Medical Institute; author of The Relaxation Response

 

[Herbert Benson]

Marta Benson ’84—Senior vice president, Strategy and Business Development, Williams-Sonoma [Marta Benson]
Katherine Bergeron ’80—President, Connecticut College [Katherine Berergon]
Shari Springer Berman ’85—Film director (with Robert Pulcini—American Splendor, The Nanny Diaries, Cinema Verite, Imogene) [Shari Springer Berman]

Amy Bloom ’75—Author (A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You, Away, Lucky Us)

 

[Amy Bloom]

Jonathan Bloom ’99 —Author (American Wasterland); food waste expert [Jonathan Bloom]

Ron Bloom ’77—Senior adviser, Lazard; former senior counselor for manufacturing policy for Obama administration and head of the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry

 

[Ron Bloom]

Joshua Boger ’73—Executive chairman, Alkeus Pharmaceuticals; founder and retired chairman, president and CEO, Vertex Pharmaceuticals

 

[Joshua Boger]

Jennifer Finney Boylan ’80—Author (She’s Not There, I’m Looking Through You, Stuck in the Middle with You); Anna Quindlen Writer-in-Residence, Barnard College [Jennifer Finney Boylan]

Lael Brainard ’83—Former undersecretary for International Affairs, U.S. Treasury Department; former director, Poverty and Global and Economy at The Brookings Institution

 

[Lael Brainard]

David Brancaccio ’82—Host, Marketplace Morning Report

 

[David Brancaccio]

David Brewster ’95—Co-founder, COO, and president of EnerNOC, Inc., the Energy Network Operations Center

 

[David Brewster]

Linda Brinen ’88—Director of structural biology, Sandler Center for Basic Research in Parasitic Diseases, University of California, San Francisco

 

[Linda Brinen]

Ethan Bronner ’76—Legal affairs reporter, national desk, The New York Times; previously Times Jerusalem bureau chief and deputy foreign editor, helped edit a series of articles on al Qaeda that were awarded the 2001 Pulitzer Prize [Ethan Bronner]

Ambrose Burfoot ’68—First collegian to win the Boston Marathon; executive editor, Runner’s World Magazine

 

[Ambrose Burfoot]

Jonathan Bush ’93—Co-founder, CEO, and president of Athenahealth, Inc., a health care technology company

[Jonathan Bush]

Majora Carter ’88—President, The Majora Carter Group, an environmental consulting company; founder and former executive director, Sustainable South Bronx; recipient of MacArthur Award; also founder of River Heroes, offering job training

 

[Majora Carter]

Denise Casper ’90—U.S. District Court federal judge, Massachusetts [Denise Casper]

Ka-keung Ceajer Chan ’79—Hong Kong’s secretary for financial services and the treasury; dean, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Business School

 

[Ka-keung Ceajer Chan]

Sasha Chanoff ’94—Founder and executive director, RefugePoint (protects forgotten refugees)

 

[Sasha Chanoff]

Jennifer Chayes ’79—Managing director, Microsoft Research New York City and Microsoft Research New England [Jennifer Chayes]
Alexander Chee ’89—Novelist (Edinburgh, Queen of the Night) [Alexander Chee]
Tos Chirathivat ’85—CEO, Central Retail Corporation, the largest Thai retailer  Tos Chirathivat]

Kathleen Clyde ’01—Ohio state representative, 68th district

 

[Kathleen Clyde]

Jem Cohen ’84—New York-based filmmaker/media artist (Museum Hours) whose works are built from his ongoing collection of street footage, portraits, and sound [Jem Cohen]

Bruce Corwin ’62—Chairman and CEO, Metropolitan Theatres Corporation

 

[Bruce Corwin]

Robin Cook ’62, MD—Medical mystery writer (Chromosome 6, Coma, Shock, Crisis, and other best-sellers)

 

[Robin Cook]

Alan Dachs ’70—President and CEO, The Fremont Group (private investment company); member of the boards of directors of the Bechtel Group and the S. D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation

 

[Alan Dachs]

David Daniel ’77—CEO, Spencer Stuart and Associates (executive search firm)

 

[David Daniel]

D. Ronald Daniel ’52—Director and former CEO, McKinsey and Company; former treasurer, Harvard Corporation

 

D. Ronald Daniel

Jeffrey Deitch ’74—Art dealer and curator; former diirector, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art

 

[Jeffrey Deitch]

Dana Delany ’78—Emmy Award-winning actress whose credits include the television shows (China Beach, Desperate Housewives, Body of Proof) and films (Tombstone, Fly Away Home)

 

[Dana Delany]

William Dietz ’66, MD—Director of the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity Center For Disease Control; one of the most widely cited experts on obesity in the media

 

[William Dietz]

Delyan Dobrev ’02—Former minister of economy, energy and tourism, Bulgaria [Delyan Dobrev]
Karen Donfried ’84—President, German Marshall Fund; former special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs on the National Security Council at the White House [Karen Donfried]

Jane Eisner ’77—Editor, The Forward

 

[Jane Eisner]

Toby Emmerich ’85—President and CEO of New Line Cinema

 

[Toby Emmerich]

Sid Espinosa '94—Director of corporate citizenship and philanthropy at Microsoft; councilman and former mayor, Palo Alto [Sid Espinosa]

Charles Exley ’51—Director, Merck; retired CEO and chairman, NCR, Inc.

 

 

Diana Farrell ’87—Director, McKinsey Center for Government, McKinsey & Company; former deputy director, National Economic Council at the White House [Diana Farrell]

Joseph Fins ’82, MD—Chief of the division of medical ethics, Weill Medical College, Cornell University; director of medical ethics, New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center

 

[Joseph Fins]

Ted Fiske ’59—Educational writer, creator of The Fiske Guide to Colleges

 

[Ted Fiske]

Jennifer Flackett ’86—Screenwriter (Madeline, Wimbledon, Little Manhattan)

 

[Jennifer Flackett]

Ruben Fleischer ’97—Film director (Zombieland, 30 Minutes or Less, Gangster Squad)

 

[Ruben Fleischer]

Smokey Fontaine ’93—Oversees the largest online African American network; author of EARL: The Autobiography of DMX

 

[Smokey Fontaine]

John Frank ’78, P’12—Managing principal, Oaktree Capital Management in Los Angeles, one of the world’s leading alternative investment managers

 

[John Frank]

Karen Freedman ’75—Founder and executive director, Lawyers for Children, Inc., a not-for-profit legal corporation providing free legal and social work services for children [Karen Freedman]

Graeme Freeman ’77—Executive director, The Freeman Foundation

 

 

Stephen Friedman ’91—President, MTV Stephen Friedman

Michael Fries ’85—President and CEO, Liberty Global Inc., international cable operator

 

[Michael Friees]

Brian Frosh ’68—Maryland state senator, 16th District Brian Frosh
Lexy Funk ’91—Co-founder and CEO, Brooklyn Industries  [Lexy Funk]

Leslie Gabel-Brett ’76—Director of education and public affairs, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund

 

Leslie Gabel-Brett

Jeff Galloway ’67—Olympic runner and author of Galloway’s Book on Running

 

[Jeff Galloway]

Bobbito Garcia ’88—Internationally known DJ; co-founder of Bounce Magazine; co-director (with Kevin Couliau) of the documentary Doin’ It In The Park: Pick-Up Basketball, NYC [Bobbito Garcia]

David Garrow ’75—Author of Bearing the Cross, Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Martin Luther King Jr.

 

[David Garrow]

Jordan Goldman ’04—Founder and CEO of Unigo, an online students’ guide to colleges

 

[Jordan Goldman]

Akiva Goldsman ’83—Film producer and screenwriter (A Beautiful Mind—Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, Cinderella Man, The DaVinci Code, Angels and Demons)

 

[Akiva Goldsman]

Christopher Graves ’81—President and CEO, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide

 

[Christopher Graves]

Laman Gray Jr. ’63, MD—Leader in the fields of cardiovascular surgery and development of artificial hearts and circulatory support systems; implanted the world’s first self-contained artificial heart, the AbioCor

 

[Laman Gray]

Matthew Greenfield ’90—Senior vice president of production, Fox Searchlight Pictures

 

[Matthew Greenfield]

Leslie Greengard ’79—Director, Department of Mathematics, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University; member, National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering

 

[Leslie Greengard]

Kirsten Greenidge ’96—Playwright (Bossa Nova, Milk Like Sugar, The Luck of the Irish) [Kirsten Greenidge]
Mary Halvorson ’02—Jazz guitarist and composer [Mary Halvorson]

Daniel Handler ’92—Fiction writer (under the pseudonym Lemony Snicket), A Series of Unfortunate Events children’s book series; also, Adverbs, Why We Broke Up

 

[Daniel Handler]

Stephen Hansel69—Co-founder and chairman, Eclectic Investment Management, LLC

Hansel_Stephen

Lyle Ashton Harris ’88—Photographer and artist with work exhibited in major art institutions

 

[Lyle Ashton Harris]

Rachel Harrison ’89—New York-based sculptor, best known for assemblage work; winner of 2011 Calder Prize Rachel Harrison

Amir Hasson ’98—Chief development officer (USA), Oxigen (India's largest service delivery and payment platform); founder, United Villages (provides low-cost Internet access for remote villages in developing nations)

 

[Amir Hasson]

Morrison Heckscher ’62—Chairman of the American Wing, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

 

[Morrison Heckscher]

John Hickenlooper Jr. ’74—Governor of Colorado; formerly mayor of Denver

 

[John Hickenlooper]

Jay Hoggard ’76—Jazz musician, vibraphonist, and Wesleyan professor

 

[Jay Hoggard]

Jed Hoyer ’96—Executive vice president and general manager, Chicago Cubs

 

[Jed Hoyer]

Robert Hunter ’62—Senior advisor, Rand Company; former United States ambassador to NATO

 

[Robert Hunter]

Alberto Ibarguen ’66—President and CEO, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (journalism); former publisher, the Miami Herald

 

[Alberto Ibarguen]

David Jones ’70—President and CEO, Community Service Society of New York

 

[David Jones]

Sebastian Junger ’84—Author (The Perfect Storm, A Death in Belmont, War) and documentary filmmaker (Restrepo)

 

[Sebastian Junger]

Thomas Kail ’99—Theater director (In the Heights, Lombardi) Thomas Kail

Dina Kaplan ’93—Cofounder of Blip TV

 

[Dina Kaplan]

Kathryn Keeler ’78—Gold medalist in rowing at ’84 Olympics; Olympics coach in ’96

 

[Kathryn Keeler]

Herb Kelleher ’53—Founder and retired chairman, president and CEO, Southwest Airlines

 

[Herb Kelleher]

Thomas Kelly ’73—Former pesident and COO, Schaller Anderson, Inc., health management company

 

[Thomas Kelly]

David Kohan ’86—Co-creator and executive producer of television comedy shows (Will and Grace)

 

[David Kohan]

Alex Kotlowitz ’77—Journalist, activist, author (There Are No Children Here, The Other Side of the River); producer of documentary The Interrupters

 

[Alex Kotlowitz]

Alex Kurtzman ’95—Film and television screenwriter and producer (Alias, Transformers, Fringe, Star Trek [2009], Sleepy Hollow); director (People Like Us)

 

[Alex Kurtzman]

Brooks Kraft ’87—Nationally recognized photojournalist who specializes in portrait photography and photojournalism in Washington, D.C.

 

[Brooks Kraft]

Daphne Kwok ’84—AARP, vice president, Multicultural Markets and Engagement; chair, President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

 

[Daphne Kwok]

Matt Lesser ’10—Connecticut state representative, 100th district

 

[Matt Lesser]

Michael Leviton ’88—Owner and chef of Lumiere Restaurant outside Boston; also owner of Area Four in Cambridge [Michael Leviton]

Jay Levy ’60, MD—AIDS researcher and educator; professor, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

 

[Jay Levy]

Glenn Ligon ’82—Pioneering painter and printmaker whose work explores questions of race, language, desire, and identity

 

[Glenn Ligon]

John Lipsky ’68—Distinguished visiting scholar of international economics, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University; former first deputy managing director, International Monetary Fund

 

[John Lipsky]

David Lipton ’75—First deputy managing director, International Monetary Fund [David Lipton]

Caroline Little ’81—CEO, Newspaper Association of America

 

[Caroline Little]

James Longley ’94—Documentary filmmaker (Iraq in Fragments); recipient of MacArthur Award

 

[James Longley]

Gary Loveman ’82—CEO, Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc.

 

[Gary Loveman]

Eric Mangini ’94—Tight ends coach, San Francisco 49ers

 

[Eric Mangini]

Emilie Marcus ’82— Editor, Cell magazine

 

[Emilie Marcus]

Laurence Mark ’71—Film and television producer (Jerry Maguire, As Good As It Gets, Dreamgirls, Julie and Julia, Political Animals, Last Vegas)

 

[Laurence Mark]

Paul Mason ’77—President and CEO, Link TV; co-founder of Mezclado, an independent television production company; former senior vice president, ABC Inc.

 

[Paul Mason]

Thomas McKnight ’63—Artist

 

[Thomas McKnight]

Mora McLean ’77—Former president and CEO, Africa-America Institute

 

[Mora McLean]

Mary McWilliams ’71—Executive director, Washington Health Alliance

 

[Mary McWilliams]

Jerry Melillo ’65—Co-director, The Ecosystems Center Marine Biological Laboratory

 

[Jerry Melillo]

MGMT (Ben Goldwasser ’05, Andrew Vanwyngarden ’05)—Brooklyn based pop music duo with acclaimed recording, Oracular Spectacular

 

[MGMT]

Alan Miller ’76—Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, formerly with The Los Angeles Times; now founder of the News Literacy Project

 

[Alan Miller]

Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02—Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist (In the Heights, Bring It On); actor (House, Modern Family)

 

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Donna Morea ’76—CEO, Adesso Group, consulting and advisory firm for businesses; retired president of CGI-AMS

 

[Donna Morea]

Kennedy Odede ’12—Co-founder, president and CEO, Shining Hope for Communities, Kenya [Kennedy Odede]

Candace Nelson ’96—Founder, Sprinkles

 

[Candace Nelson]

C. Richard (Rick) Nicita ’67—Independent manager in film; former co-chairman and COO, Morgan Creek Productions

 

[Rick Nicita]

Sascha Paladino ’98—Documentary filmmaker (Throw Down Your Heart)

 

[Sascha Paladino]

Amanda Palmer ’98—Singer and songwriter; former lead singer of The Dresden Dolls

 

[Amanda Palmer]

 

 
Robert Patricelli ’61—Chairman and CEO, Women’s Health, USA; director, Newman’s Own and Northeast Utilities [Robert Patricelli]

Carolyn Parkhurst Rosser ’92—Novelist (The Dogs of Babel, Lost and Found, The Nobodies Album)

 

[Carolyn Parkhurst Rosser]

Andrew Parkinson ’80 and Thomas Parkinson ’82—Founders, Peapod, Inc.

 

[Andrew and Thomas Parkinson]

Zak Penn ’90—Screenwriter and television producer (The Incredible Hulk, X Men: The Last Stand, Alphas); director (Incident at Loch Ness, The Grand)

 

[Zak Penn]

Nicole Phelps ’94—Executive editor at Style.com

 

[Nicole Phelps]

Randall Pinkston ’72—Emmy Award–winning television journalist; correspondent, Al Jazeera America; formerly with CBS News

 

Ellen Prager ’84—Marine and earth scientist; president, Earth 2 Ocean, Inc.

 

[Ellen Prager]

Jessica Posner ’09—Co-founder and COO, Shining Hope for Communities, Kenya Jessica Posner

Robert Pruzan ’85—Founding partner, Centerview Partners, financial advisory and private equity firm; former president and CEO in investment banking, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein

 

[Robert Pruzan]

Amy Radin ’79—Senior executive vice president and chief marketing officer, AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company

 

[Amy Radin]

 

Jeffrey Richards ’69—Tony Award-winning theater producer (Spring Awakening, August: Osage County, Hair, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess)

 

[Jeffrey Richard]

David Rhodes ’68—President, School for the Visual Arts

 

[David Rhodes]

Mary Roach ’81—Author (Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Spook, Bonk, Packing for Mars, Gulp)

 

[Mary Roach]

Dennis Robinson ’79—CEO, Formula One Grand Prix of America

 

[Dennis Robinson]

Bill Rodgers ’70—Renowned runner, winner of four New York and four Boston marathons

 

[Bill Rodgers]

Barbara Roessner ’75—Executive editor, Hearst Connecticut Newspapers Barbara Roessner

Tom Rogers ’75—President and CEO, TiVo

 

[Tom Rogers]

Sara Rosenbaum ’73—Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy, School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University Law School [Sara Rosenbaum]
Santigold (Santi White ’97)—Brooklyn-based rapper/singer/songwriter  [Santi White]

Paul Schiff ’81—Film producer (My Cousin Vinny, Rushmore, Mona Lisa Smile, Solitary Man)

 

[Paul Schiff]

Peter Schube ’81—President and COO, Jim Henson Company

 

[Peter Schube]

Amy Schulman ’82—Venture partner, Polaris Partners, and CEO, Arsia Theraputics; former executive vice president and general counsel for Pfizer

 

[Amy Schulman]

Hon. Anthony Scirica ’62—Chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (Philadelphia)

 

[Anthony Scirica]

Larry Selzer ’82—President and CEO, The Conservation Fund

 

[Larry Selzer]

Theodore Shaw ’76—Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the University of North Carolina Center for Civil Rights

 

[Theodore Shaw]

Peter Shumlin ’79—Governor of Vermont

 

[Peter Shumlin]

Randy Siegel ’83— President of local digital strategy, Advance Publications

 

[Randy Siegel]

Jonathan Spector ’78—CEO, The Conference Board

 

[Jonathan Spector]

Mark Steinmetz ’82—Photographer; books include Tuscan Trees and South Central

 

 

Tierney Sutton ’86—Grammy nominated jazz singer

 

[Tierney Sutton]

Beverly Daniel Tatum ’75—President, Spelman College; author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

 

[Beverly Daniel Tatum]

Johnny Temple ’88—Publisher, Akashic Books

 

[Johnny Temple]

Craig Thomas ’97—Co-creator and writer of television comedy shows (How I Met Your Mother, The Goodwin Games)

 

[Craig Thomas]

Wells Tower ’96—Fiction writer and journalist (Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned)

 

[Wells Tower]

Philip Trager ’56—Photographer; books include Villas of Palladio, Dancers, Changing Paris: A Tour Along the Seine, and Faces

 

Philip Trager

Stephen Trask ’89—Composer and lyricist of the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch; film composer (Camp, The Station Agent, In Good Company, The Savages)

 

[Stephen Trask]

Hon. Stephen Trott ’62—Senior judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit

 

[Stephen Trott]

Jon Turteltaub ’85—Film director (Phenomenon, While You Were Sleeping, Cool Runnings, National Treasure, Last Vegas); creator of television dramas (Jericho, Harper's Island, Common Law)

 

[Jon Turteltaub]

Ayelet Waldman ’86—Author (Mommy Track Mysteries, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, Bad Mother, Love and Treasure)

 

[Ayelet Waldman]

Laura Walker ’79—President and CEO, WNYC (nation’s largest public radio station)

 

[Laura Walker]

Matthew Weiner ’87—Emmy Award-winning creator, writer, executive producer of Mad Men

 

[Matthew Weiner]

Roger Weisberg ’75—Award-winning documentary filmmaker (Road Scholar, Sound and Fury, Why Can't We Be a Family Again?, Aging Out)

 

[Roger Weisberg]

D. B. Weiss ’93—Executive producer and writer, Game of Thrones

[D. B. Weiss]

Paul Weitz ’88—Film director, In Good Company, Little Fockers, Being Flynn, Admission (and with brother Chris Weitz, American Pie, About a Boy) and playwright (Privilege, Show People, Trust, Lonely, I'm Not)

 

[Paul Weitz]

Joss Whedon ’87—Creator, producer, director, and writer for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (Emmy Award). Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; film director and screenwriter (Speed, Toy Story, Serenity, The Cabin in the Woods, The Avengers, Much Ado About Nothing)

 

[Joss Whedon]

Mike White ’92—Screenwriter and television producer (Chuck & Buck, The Good Girl, School of Rock, Nacho Libre, Enlightened); director (Year of the Dog)

 

[Mike White]

Bradley Whitford ’81—Film and television actor (The West Wing—Emmy Award, Billy Madison, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Cabin in the Woods, Trophy Wife, Saving Mr. Banks)

 

[Bradley Whitford]

Dar Williams ’89—Singer and songwriter in folk-pop music with many albums (The Honesty Room, The Pagans and the Christians, In the Time of the Gods)

 

[Dar Williams]

Christopher Wink ’83—Founder of the Blue Man Group and Blue Man Creativity Center

 

[Christopher Wink]

Daniel Wolf ’79—Massachusetts state senator, the Cape and Islands district

 

[Daniel Wolf]

Frank Wood ’83—Tony award-winning actor in theater, film, and television

 

[Frank Wood]

 

 

John Yang ’80—Peabody Award-winning news correspondent, NBC

 

[John Yang]

Strauss Zelnick ’79— CEO, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.; founder and president, ZelnickMedia

 

[Strauss Zelnick]