CEO Succession Case Study:
Tufts Hillel

How do you fill the shoes of a beloved executive director whose shoes seem too big to fill? In 2017, TUFTS Hillel faced this challenge with its 1st CEO transition in a generation. As the process evolved, one thing became clear to the board: its new CEO needed the same gravitas and stature.

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  • “As much as we’d all like to be good planners, the realization that a long-serving executive wants to step down often comes upon the executive fairly quickly.”

    Ted Tye, chair of the search committee

Jeffrey Summit served as executive director of Tufts Hillel for nearly 40 years. After stepping down, he taught a summer seminar addressing executive transitions at the Tufts European Center in France titled “What Happens Next?”

New CEO Rabbi Naftali Brawer came to Tufts Hillel with experience as chief executive of a London think tank, author, and prominent voice within the United Kingdom’s Jewish community

  • “I realized the year I stepped down from Tufts didn’t have to be a happy year. I didn’t need to feel joyful or happy all the time. I just needed to pay attention to what I was feeling—and be patient. That was a big revelation for me.”

    Retiring CEO Jeffrey Summit

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