Kelli Armstrong named eighth president of Salve Regina

Salve Regina has announced that Dr. Kelli J. Armstrong will become the institution’s eighth president in July 2019. Armstrong will become the Catholic institution’s first president who is not a Religious Sister of Mercy.

Armstrong will replace Dr. Jane Gerety, RSM, who is retiring after 10 years as president. She comes to Salve Regina from Boston College, where she currently serves as vice president for planning and assessment, overseeing a broad range of activities and initiatives that promote the use of information and planning in strategic decision making.

“I am deeply honored by the opportunity to serve as Salve Regina’s next president,” Armstrong said. “Throughout the search process I was impressed by the extraordinary warmth of the Salve community; it is clearly a special place. The Sisters of Mercy’s values of social justice and service closely align with my own. They have created a wonderful educational environment that is unique in its preparation of students for lifelong learning with a moral compass. Salve Regina has a bright, exciting future and I look forward to working with the entire University community to advance its mission.”

Armstrong has served the Boston College community in a variety of positions, including as associate vice president (2006-2012) and as director of the institutional research department that she established there (2004-2006).

Prior to joining the BC administration, she was associate vice chancellor for enrollment management at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and she worked in institutional research and enrollment management at Bates College, Tufts University and the University of Massachusetts system.

“Dr. Kelli J. Armstrong is the perfect choice to serve as Salve Regina’s next president,” said Janet Robinson, chairman of Salve Regina’s Board of Trustees and the search committee. “She has worked at both public and private institutions and has leadership experience in key areas such as financial management and budgeting, institutional advancement support, enrollment management, student affairs, and institutional strategic planning and assessment.”

Robinson also cited Armstrong’s variety of academic and administrative experiences in curriculum evaluation and enhancement, and academic program development, as well as her deep respect for the Catholic and mercy heritage of Salve Regina as key components of her selection.

“To find a candidate who fully comprehends the significance of serving this academic community as its first lay president, who is committed to the values of a mercy education and who is uniquely qualified to navigate the complex nature of a multifaceted organization in a changing higher education landscape is truly inspiring,” Robinson said. “We are confident that Dr. Armstrong will lead Salve Regina in a manner that is consistent with its longstanding mission and traditions, while also moving the University forward in an increasingly competitive environment.”

A graduate of Bates College, Armstrong earned a master’s degree in English from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Boston College. She also earned an executive leadership certificate in management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


  1. Pat Keating says:

    You have made a fabulous hire – congratulations!!

  2. Rhonda Gabovitch says:

    Salve Regina is so very fortunate to have Dr. Armstrong as its next president. Congratulations and best wishes on your appointment!

  3. Lisa Camera says:

    Very exciting! #foreverproudgraduate

  4. Barb Jones says:

    Outstanding choice…a truly wonderful leader.

  5. Lisa M. Porter says:

    As a member of the Class of 1987, congratulations! May you be blessed with the support of the entire Salve community past and present. “ Be your best self”

  6. David Trainor says:

    Exceptional leader and administrator – better person. Congratulations to the entire Salve community!!!

  7. Kathleen Teehan says:

    Kelli will provide exceptional leadership to Salve Regina. Congratulations to the campus; you will be blessed with a smart, analytical and strategic president wiho also has great people and communication skills.
    All the Best to the Salve Regina community.

  8. Eileen W. says:

    Having gone to Salve Regina College in the very early 60’s – all women students – few buildings – no campus police – and a staff about 95% Sisters of Mercy in habits – it is hard to picture a president who is not a religious. However, am sure Dr. Armstrong will be a fine choice. Congratulations to her.

  9. Kathleen Walgreen says:

    Congratulations….so excited to meet you!

  10. Beatrice Abraham Long, Class of 1968 says:

    Happy for her but sad that the tradition of a Religious Sister of Mercy as President is no more.

  11. Courtney Wade says:

    Salve Regina couldn’t have made a better choice!

  12. Jack Warner says:

    Kelli Armstrong will be an outstanding president. She is fully prepared to assume this important role and will work with the campus to craft a compelling vision for the university. Congratulations for making such a wonderful choice!

  13. Fran La Salle says:

    Congratulations and best wishes ..that you and Salve Regina University continue to flourish…Fran LaSalle class of 1962…

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