Chantal Kordula

(AMHERST, Mass., June 7, 2024) — Chantal E. Kordula ’94 has been elected chair of the Board of Trustees of ϲʿֱֳ, it was announced today by Andrew J. Nussbaum ’85, the outgoing chair. Kordula’s six-year term, renewed annually, begins on July 1.

“It is such a pleasure to congratulate and welcome Chantal as board chair,” said Nussbaum, who was first elected a trustee in 2010 and then chair in 2018. “In her five years on the board, Chantal’s service has consistently reflected clear thinking, mission-priority decision making and a deep passion for all things Amherst. With President Michael A. Elliott and Board Chair Chantal Kordula, the future of ϲʿֱֳis not just bright; it is brilliant.”

“I am elated that the board has elected Chantal to serve as the next chair,” said Elliott. “She brings a profound appreciation for the challenges facing Amherst, boundless dedication to the College and a capacity for leadership that makes her ideal for this role.” He also noted his deep appreciation of Kordula’s predecessor. “It is impossible to imagine a more selfless or devoted example of service to the College than Andy, and his enthusiasm for all that we do at ϲʿֱֳis unrivaled. We have been fortunate to have him in the role of chair during several critical junctures for Amherst, and his support for the College—its students, faculty and staff—has been boundless.”

Kordula was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2019. She is a partner at the law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Her practice focuses on international business and financing transactions, particularly those involving Latin America, where she regularly represents blue-chip companies, state-owned entities and investment funds in their mergers and acquisitions, financing and infrastructure development activity in the region and globally, as well as multinationals in their investments throughout the area. She joined the firm in 1997 and became a partner in 2007.

Kordula graduated from ϲʿֱֳcum laude with a B.A. in political science, and went on to earn a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1997. At Amherst, she was a member of the women’s rugby team, was active in the French House and Students for Educational Equality, and studied abroad in Spain during her junior year. As a law student, she was involved with the Harvard International Law Journal and worked at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, where she represented clients in family, housing and administrative law cases. Kordula lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., with her husband, also an alumnus of the class of ’94, and their three children. 

“I am honored, humbled and excited to accept this position, and want to thank Andy for paving the way with his decades of service to Amherst,” Kordula noted. “I look forward to continued collaboration with my fellow trustees, President Elliott and his leadership team, all of whose dedication and commitment to the College’s mission is inspirational. We are living in times where the hallmarks of an ϲʿֱֳliberal arts education—intellectual curiosity, critical thinking and respectful expression—are as important as ever, and the role of our students, faculty, staff and alumni in giving light to the world thus all the more critical.” 

In passing the torch to Kordula, Nussbaum reflected fondly on his tenure on the board. “My six years as chair and 14 as a trustee have been a true honor,” he said. “I take no credit, but tremendous pride, in all that ϲʿֱֳhas accomplished—our leadership role in higher education, our willingness to engage and self-reflect, the astonishing commitment of our faculty to our students, the superb dedication of our staff and coaches, our caring and supportive alumni and, of course, the most extraordinary student body, every year.” 

ϲʿֱֳ prepares students to use ideas to make a difference in the world. Since its 1821 founding in Western Massachusetts, ϲʿֱֳhas demonstrated steadfast confidence in the value of the liberal arts and the importance of critical thinking. Today, its financial aid program is among the most substantial in the nation, and its student body is among the most diverse. Small classes, an open curriculum and a singular focus on undergraduate education ensure that leading scholars engage daily with talented, curious students, equipping them for leadership in an increasingly global and complex world.