Pomona College named Paul Efron PO ‘76 the new Chair of the Board of Trustees on Apr. 22. Efron has been a member of the Board since 2000 and is the father of Alex Efron PO ’11.
“I joined the board because I thought I could help to make the college a better institution,” Efron said. “My aspiration for Pomona is to take what is a superb institution and make it a better institution.”
Efron will be replacing former Chair Stewart Smith PO ’68, who recently stepped down from the post after serving three three-year terms. Efron was elected to the chairmanship by the Board of Trustees based on his extensive leadership experience and active role on the Board over the past nine years. Since becoming a trustee, he has held a number of pivotal leadership positions, including chair of the Finance Committee and vice chair of the Executive Committee. He is also a member of the Academic Affairs, Audits, and Investment Committees.
“Paul’s had such a range of interests since he’s been on the board. Obviously he brings investment expertise which is very important,” said President David Oxtoby. “I think his broad commitments and interest in the college will bring a lot of benefits.”
A resident of Larchmont, N.Y., Efron is an advisory director with Goldman Sachs where he co-chairs the firm’s Credit Capital Markets Committee and is a member of the Firmwide Capital Committee. After graduating from Pomona with an English degree in 1976, Efron went on to study at the Wharton Graduate Division of the University of Pennsylvania. He began his career at Goldman Sachs in 1984, eventually becoming a partner in 1988 and managing director in 1996.
Efron takes the reins at a tumultuous time in the college’s history as administrators work to slash spending amidst massive endowment losses. Although Efron said that Pomona will have to adjust to the current economic climate, he is hopeful that the college will emerge a stronger institution.
“There’s no question that the underlying economic environment creates challenges,” he said. “This is not life-threatening to Pomona, but it is an opportunity for us to reaffirm our priorities, and that’s probably a good thing.”
Administrators are hopeful that his extensive financial experience will be an asset to the college as it moves ahead with long-term financial planning.
“I’m very excited, having had the opportunity to work with him [in the past],” said Treasurer Karen Sisson PO ’79. “He has a background in finance which is important at this point in the college’s history.”
In addition to securing Pomona’s long-term financial future, Efron also hopes to increase interaction between students and trustees through programs like the annual Student-Trustee Retreat and student participation on administrative committees.
“I think a lot of trustees are anxious to get student input,” he said. “We do this because we love the institution and we care deeply about it, but there are a lot of complex judgments involved. We welcome student involvement, but it has to be thoughtful, educated involvement.”