Local News

Robert W. Allen named new president of Green Mountain College

POULTNEY—Robert (Bob) W. Allen, president and CEO of The Windham Foundation of Grafton and an experienced leader of academic and business institutions, has been named the eighth president of Green Mountain College in Poultney. He will succeed Dr. Paul Fonteyn, the College’s president for the past eight years, who is retiring. Allen will assume the presidency on July 1.
“Bob Allen is an inspired choice,” said Dr. Anthony Cortese, chair of the college’s board of trustees. “Bob’s passion for the school’s mission, his commitment to Vermont and his background in academia, business and non-profit leadership is the unique combination of talents that Green Mountain needs. . . . We are forever grateful to our retiring president Paul Fonteyn, whose leadership has been critical in expanding the quality of the faculty and students and bringing national recognition to Green Mountain College. Bob is the right person to continue his work.”
Allen has been president and CEO of The Windham Foundation since 2011. Prior to this role, Allen was a senior executive of the Vermont Country Store for 25 years, was named president and CEO of the company in 1994, and retired at age 55 in 2005. During his time in office, the company dramatically expanded, with the number of employees growing from 50 to more than 600, with profit sharing and annual bonuses awarded every year.
“Bob Allen will be an extraordinary president of Green Mountain College, as he has been an outstanding CEO and president of The Windham Foundation,” said Windham board chair Elizabeth Bankowski. “Every activity and program of the Foundation has benefited from his leadership, talent and creativity. His long and distinguished career is full of accomplishments not just with his business successes, but also with various nonprofit endeavors that range from serving on college boards to helping with a bike repair start-up for kids in Bellows Falls. He will be greatly missed.”
Allen is committed to continuing Green Mountain College’s commitment to economic, social and environmental sustainability.
“The mission of Green Mountain College to foster a sustainable future is what drew me to applying for the presidency,” said Allen. “We must move as quickly as possible to a more sustainable society. My generation – the Baby Boomers – set out to change the world, but unfortunately, we have failed to live up to our goals. Future generations have the enormous task of fixing the situation we have created, and Green Mountain is committed to being a part of the solution. Green Mountain College will succeed by staying true to its mission and becoming even more focused on fostering the global ideals of environmental and individual responsibility, civic engagement and entrepreneurial spirit. I am excited to have the opportunity to help lead that effort.”
GMC trustee Deborah Granquist said, “The extraordinary range of experience and talents that Bob brings will ensure that Green Mountain not only holds its ranking as one of the top environmentally focused schools of higher education in the U.S., but will gain even more recognition for its unique combination of liberal arts education and an emphasis on sustainability.”
“Small colleges like Green Mountain face extraordinary challenges,” said Robert Charlebois, vice-chair of the GMC board. “Bob Allen has a wide range of skills to take us to the next level of leadership in education for the next century and we are delighted that he will lead Green Mountain forward.”

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