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President Ashland, WI

The Northland College Board of Trustees has named international business leader, philanthropist and educator Marvin J. Suomi as its 14th president.

Suomi, who was born in Wakefield, Michigan, located fifty miles east of Northland’s campus, led Kajima International for thirty-seven years of extraordinary growth. As president, CEO, and chairman of Kajima, he oversaw the operations of one of the largest real estate and construction companies in the world, developing projects as diverse as a large-scale campus development at Central Florida University to a high-tech research park in Israel. One of Suomi’s projects, AT&T Park in San Francisco, was the first major league baseball park to become LEED Gold certified.

Throughout his career, Suomi has committed his energies to higher education. He has served on the boards of more than a dozen educational institutions—from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, to the California Science Center in Los Angeles, California. He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in East Asian Studies from the University of Michigan and Princeton University.

The Council of Independent Colleges awarded Suomi the Philanthropist of the Year in 2007 for his distinguished service and generosity. In 2009, the Republic of Finland conferred the honor of Knight, First Class to Suomi recognizing his work in advancing educational opportunities in the US and abroad. He also served as a Visiting Fellow with the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, teaching everything from the work of 17th century Japanese poets to the impact of aging populations.

Jackie Mildner led this search with Kahn Lee.

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