Media Contact
June 28, 2022

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) today announced the appointment of five new members to the university’s Board of Trustees, four of whom are WPI alumnae.

Carleen Maitland ’88, Maureen McCaffrey ’86, Patricia Newcomer-Small ’90, Elizabeth "Beth" Phalen ’85, and Navjot Singh, who will begin their service July 1, have a variety of perspectives, professional backgrounds, and expertise in higher education and business across such fields as information policy, investment management, strategic marketing, and data protection.

“These exceptional leaders bring decades of service, research, and innovation in their respective fields,” said WPI Interim President Winston “Wole” Soboyejo. “In addition, their diversity of thought and lived experience will help further inform the university’s mission of providing a transformative project-based and research-focused education that confronts global challenges.”

“This is a critical time to be joining the WPI Board of Trustees, as we accelerate momentum on the issues and opportunities embedded in Lead With Purpose, WPI’s strategic plan,” said Bill Fitzgerald ’83, board chair. “This slate of new leaders will broaden our collective perspective, and we welcome their insight and their knowledge.”

Carleen Maitland, PhD, ’88 (electrical engineering) is a professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State University, and co-director of Penn State’s Institute for Information Policy. She received a master’s degree in engineering from Stanford University in 1995 and a doctorate from Delft University of Technology in 2001. An internationally recognized expert in humanitarian informatics, she has examined the socio-technical systems shaping flows of information in international aid. Maitland has worked with the United Nations Refugee Agency, the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Save the Children, and the U.S. State Department.

Maureen McCaffrey ’86 (civil engineering) is a director at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Investment Management Co., which stewards MIT’s financial resources. She manages planning and development of MIT’s Cambridge commercial real estate portfolio and has permitted and constructed more than two million square feet of life science developments. McCaffrey is a licensed professional engineer, LEED-accredited, and President-Elect of CREW Boston. She is also a founding member of the WPI Women’s Impact Network and co-chair of the Impact Committee.

Patricia Newcomer-Small ’90 (chemical engineering) is chief marketing officer of FieldRoutes, a cloud-based and mobile provider for field service businesses. She received her master’s degree in business administration from the University of Cincinnati in 1998 and has more than 30 years of executive leadership experience in product development and marketing in the financial service and technology sectors. Newcomer-Small is a founding limited partner at How Women Invest, an early-stage venture firm and sister entity to How Women Lead, a professional network of more than 14,000 women. She is also a founding member and current co-chair of the WPI Women’s Impact Network.

Elizabeth "Beth" Phalen ’85 (computer science) is retired president and general manager of data protection at Dell EMC. She holds a master’s degree in computer science from Brown University. She led a global team at Dell EMC that delivered an industry-leading data protection portfolio to customers worldwide. Prior to EMC, she was an architect in the advanced solutions group in IBM Global Services and spent 12 years as a software engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation. Phalen is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and chairs the WPI Women’s Impact Network Governance Committee.

Navjot Singh, PhD, is a senior partner in McKinsey’s Boston’s Office. He has held multiple roles at McKinsey over time including serving as the Managing Partner of the Boston Office. Currently he is the Global Sponsor for Talent Attraction at McKinsey.  His work focuses on the unique intersection of science, medicine, business, investments, and government. Singh graduated from the India Institute of Technology in 1989, received a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1994, and completed an MBA at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2000.  He also serves on the Boards of Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Museum of Science and Mass High Tech Council.  

These five-year trustee terms at WPI can be renewed twice for a total of 15 years. Three trustees—Jack Mollen, Henry Fitzgerald, and Robert Martin—will conclude their service June 30, 2022; all have been elected trustees emeritus.