SCHENECTADY — A longtime music industry executive and Union College graduate has been elected chair of the school’s Board of Trustees.
Julie Greifer Swidler has been selected to succeed chair Robert Bertagna, who will continue to serve on the council.
Swidler, who graduated from Union in 1979, is currently the executive vice president of business affairs and general counsel for Sony Music Entertainment, a position she has held for the past decade and a half.
During her decorated career as a music industry executive, Swidler has received the Grammy Foundation’s ELI Service Award in 2016 and the President’s Award from Music.Biz for Outstanding Executive Achievement in 2022.
Swidler joined the Union board in 2015 and became vice chair in the spring of 2022. She was elected to her new role on May 13.
“Higher education is expected to face many challenges over the next decade, from a demographic cliff to financial headwinds,” Swidler noted in a statement. “My top priority is to support President David Harris, the board and the rest of the Union community as we face these challenges and come up with solutions to move from strength to strength for our long-term sustainability.”
Swidler studied political science at Union, then went on to earn a degree from New York City’s Cardozo Law School.
During her time as a student at the Schenectady school, Swidler ran the Union College Coffee House and was a member of the Speakers Forum and the College Conduct Committee.
“I look forward to working with Julie,” Harris said in a statement. “Her devotion to Union, combined with her professional experience as a leader in a highly dynamic industry, make her well suited to lead Union’s next steps.”
Swidler, a New York City resident, serves as a vice chair of the board of the T.J. Martell Foundation, which funds medical research to find cures for leukemia, cancer and AIDS.
“The Board of Trustees chose Julie as the next chair because she is a leader of high principles, strong intellect and deep experience, as well as for her ability to create consensus,” Bertagna said in a statement. “Julie is also highly dedicated to Union College and will be a great partner for President Harris. I am looking forward to supporting Julie in her new role and working with her on a host of new and continuing initiatives.”
Contact Ted Remsnyder at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @TedRemsnyder.