Julie Breier Seaman Named Chair of SAS Board of Advisors

Julie Breier Seaman, C’86

Julie Breier Seaman, C’86, has been appointed Chair of the Board of Advisors of the School of Arts and Sciences, as of May 16, 2024. She is succeeding Ramanan Raghavendran in this role, following his appointment in January to chair the University’s Board of Trustees.

Seaman has served as a University Trustee since 2012 and was named a Charter Trustee in 2022. She has been a member of the SAS Board since 2009 and has served on its executive committee since 2014. She also served on the Parent Leadership Committee and is a member of the advisory board for the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the Penn Carey Law School. She and her husband, Jeff Seaman, W’83, have supported a wide range of priorities at Penn and the School of Arts and Sciences, including establishing the Seaman Family University Professorship, MindCORE (the Mind Center for Outreach, Research, and Education), and undergraduate scholarships.

“I am grateful that Julie has agreed to take on this important role at the School of Arts and Sciences,” said Penn Interim President J. Larry Jameson. “We are truly fortunate to be able to draw upon her history of service to the University, providing vast knowledge and expertise which she brings to this new role.  I have deep confidence and enthusiasm for Julie’s leadership, and I look forward to our continued collaboration.”

“I have worked closely with Julie from my first months leading SAS,” said Steven J. Fluharty, Dean and Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Professor of Psychology, Pharmacology, and Neuroscience. “She thoroughly understands the School’s scope and complexity and has been a steadfast partner in helping us achieve our goals. We deeply appreciate her willingness to take on leadership of our Board and to continue to support our efforts in advancing excellence at the School.”
Seaman recently retired after 21 years on the faculty at Emory University School of Law, where her research addressed issues at the intersection of law and neuroscience and the application of social and cognitive psychology to the problem of hate speech in various institutional contexts. She holds a B.A. in International Relations from Penn and a J.D. from Harvard University. Her three children are also all Penn alumni.

“I’m personally inspired by the School’s mission, breadth, and excellence,” said Seaman.  “Their world-class faculty and outstanding students truly are the intellectual heart of Penn. I am honored to help build the future of this special community."

Raghavendran commented, “I could not be more thrilled that Julie Seaman agreed to succeed me as chair of the Board of Advisors of Penn Arts & Sciences. She is a true Penn citizen; a tenured academic herself; someone with truly diverse intellectual interests; and someone I am proud to call my friend. I am looking forward to supporting her and the School in every way possible.”

Raghavendran, ENG’89, W’89, LPS’15, is the managing partner and co-founder of Amasia, a global venture capital firm focused on climate and sustainability. He became a University Trustee in 2014, was appointed Chair of the Local, National and Global Engagement Committee in 2020, and joined the Executive Committee in 2022. He joined the School of Arts and Sciences Board of Advisors in 2012 and became chair in 2022. Raghavendran has also served as a member of the Advisory Board for the Center for the Advanced Study of India.

“Having worked with Ramanan for many years now, I was not surprised that he was tapped to be Chair of the Board of Trustees. I’m grateful for everything he has done for SAS, and what he will continue to do to benefit the entire University as Trustee Chair,” said Dean Fluharty.


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