Notable Alumni

Wesleyan graduates are successful in every profession imaginable, including law, science, medicine, business, politics, and the creative arts. They are often leaders and innovators in their fields (see extended list). Here are just some of the University’s many prominent alumni:

  • Robert Allbritton '92
    Publisher of Politico; chairman and CEO of Allbritton Communications
  • Taft Armandroff '82
    Director, McDonald Observatory, University of Texas
  • Miguel Arteta '89
    Film and television director (The Good Girl, Youth in Revolt, Cedar Rapids, Enlightened)
  • Eric Asimov '79
    Chief wine critic, The New York Times
  • Gerald Baliles '63
    Director, Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia; former governor of Virginia
  • Andrea Barthwell '76
    Founder and CEO of EMGlobal (consulting firm devoted to international health care and policy)
  • Michael Bay '86
    Film producer and director (The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, The Island, Transformers franchise)
  • Carter Bays '97
    Co-creator and writer of television comedy shows (How I Met Your Mother, The Goodwin Games)
  • Ruth Behar '77
    Writer, filmmaker, professor of anthropology, University of Michigan; recipient of MacArthur Award
  • Bill Belichick '75
    Head coach, New England Patriots, winner of six Super Bowls
  • Michael Bennet '87
    U.S. senator from Colorado; previously superintendent of schools in Denver
  • Marta Benson '84
    Senior vice president, Strategy and Business Development, Williams-Sonoma
  • Herbert Benson MD '57
    Professor, Harvard Medical School; founding president of the Mind/Body Medical Institute; author ofThe Relaxation Response
  • Katherine Bergeron '80
    President, Connecticut College
  • William Bissell '88
    Managing director of Fabindia Overseas Limited, Reg’d, India’s largest private retail platform for products made by artisans treated as shareholders
  • Ron Bloom '77
    Senior adviser, Lazard; former senior counselor for manufacturing policy for Obama administration and head of the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry
  • Jonathan Bloom '99
    Author (American Wasteland); food waste expert
  • Amy Bloom '75
    Author (A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You, Away, Lucky Us)
  • Joshua Boger '73
    Executive chairman, Alkeus Pharmaceuticals; founder and retired chairman, president and CEO, Vertex Pharmaceuticals
  • Lael Brainard '83
    Member, U.S. Federal Reserve's Board of Governors; former undersecretary for International Affairs, U.S. Treasury Department
  • David Brancaccio '82
    Host, Marketplace Morning Report
  • Andrew Brandon-Gordon '86
    Managing Director, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Wesleyan trustee
  • David Brewster '95
    Co-founder, COO, and President of EnerNOC, Inc., the Energy Network Operations Center
  • Linda Brinen '88
    Director of structural biology, Sandler Center for Basic Research in Parasitic Diseases, University of California, San Francisco
  • Ethan Bronner '76
    Managing editor for international government, Bloomberg; previously deputy national editor The New York Times, helped edit a series of articles on al Qaeda that were awarded the 2001 Pulitzer Prize
  • Ambrose Burfoot '68
    First collegian to win the Boston Marathon; executive editor, Runner’s World Magazine
  • Jonathan Bush '93
    Co-founder, CEO, and president of Athenahealth, Inc., a health care technology company
  • Majora Carter '88
    President, The Majora Carter Group, an environmental consulting company; founder and former executive director, Sustainable South Bronx; recipient of MacArthur Award; also founder of River Heroes, offering job training
  • Marc Casper '90
    President and CEO, Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Denise Casper '90
    U.S. District Court federal judge, Massachusetts
  • Ka-keung Ceajer Chan '79
    Hong Kong’s secretary for financial services and the treasury; dean, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Business School
  • Sasha Chanoff '94
    Founder and executive director, RefugePoint (protects forgotten refugees)
  • Jennifer Chayes '79
    Managing director, Microsoft Research New York City and Microsoft Research New England
  • Alexander Chee '89
    Novelist (Edinburgh, Queen of the Night)
  • Tos Chirathivat '85
    CEO, Central Retail Corporation, the largest Thai retailer 
  • Kathleen Clyde '01
    Ohio state representative, 68th district
  • Jem Cohen '84
    New York-based filmmaker/media artist (Museum Hours) whose works are built from his ongoing collection of street footage, portraits, and sound
  • Robin Cook MD '62
    Medical mystery writer (Chromosome 6, Coma, Shock, Crisis, and other best-sellers)
  • Bruce Corwin '62
    Chairman and CEO, Metropolitan Theatres Corporation
  • Alan Dachs '70
    President and CEO, The Fremont Group (private investment company); member of the boards of directors of the Bechtel Group and the S. D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation
  • D. Ronald Daniel '52
    Director and former CEO, McKinsey and Company; former treasurer, Harvard Corporation
  • David Daniel '77
    CEO, Spencer Stuart and Associates (executive search firm)
  • Jeffrey Deitch '74
    Art dealer and curator; former director, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Dana Delany '78
    Emmy Award-winning actress whose credits include the television shows (China Beach, Desperate Housewives, Body of Proof) and films (Tombstone, Fly Away Home)
  • William Dietz MD '66
    Director, Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University; expert on obesity
  • Delyan Dobrev '02
    Former minister of economy, energy and tourism, Bulgaria
  • Karen Donfried '84
    President, German Marshall Fund; former special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs on the National Security Council at the White House
  • Jane Eisner '77
    Editor, The Forward
  • Toby Emmerich '85
    President and CEO of New Line Cinema
  • Sid Espinosa '94
    Director of corporate citizenship and philanthropy at Microsoft; councilman and former mayor, Palo Alto
  • Charles Exley '51
    Director, Merck; retired CEO and chairman, NCR, Inc.
  • Diana Farrell '87
    President and CEO, JPMorgan Chase Institute; former deputy director, National Economic Council at the White House
  • Jennifer Finney Boylan '80
    Author (She’s Not There, I’m Looking Through You, Stuck in the Middle with You); Anna Quindlen Writer-in-Residence, Barnard College
  • Joseph Fins MD '82
    Chief of the division of medical ethics, Weill Medical College, Cornell University; director of medical ethics, New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center
  • Ted Fiske '59
    Educational writer, creator of The Fiske Guide to Colleges
  • Jennifer Flackett '86
    Screenwriter (Madeline, Wimbledon, Little Manhattan)
  • Ruben Fleischer '97
    Film director (Zombieland, 30 Minutes or Less, Gangster Squad)
  • Smokey Fontaine '93
    Oversees the largest online African American network; author of EARL: The Autobiography of DMX
  • John Frank '78
    Managing principal, Oaktree Capital Management in Los Angeles, one of the world’s leading alternative investment managers
  • Karen Freedman '75
    Founder and executive director, Lawyers for Children, Inc., a not-for-profit legal corporation providing free legal and social work services for children
  • Graeme Freeman '77
    Executive director, The Freeman Foundation
  • Stephen Friedman '91
    President, MTV
  • Michael Fries '85
    President and CEO, Liberty Global Inc., international cable operator
  • Brian Frosh '68
    Maryland state senator, 16th District
  • Lexy Funk '91
    Co-founder and CEO, Brooklyn Industries
  • Leslie Gabel-Brett '76
    Director of education and public affairs, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • Jeff Galloway '67
    Olympic runner and author of Galloway’s Book on Running
  • Bobbito Garcia '88
    Internationally known DJ; co-founder ofBounce Magazine; co-director (with Kevin Couliau) of the documentary Doin’ It In The Park: Pick-Up Basketball, NYC
  • David Garrow '75
    Author of Bearing the Cross, Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Jordan Goldman '04
    Founder and CEO of Unigo, an online students’ guide to colleges
  • Akiva Goldsman '83
    Film producer and screenwriter (A Beautiful Mind—Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, Cinderella Man, The DaVinci Code, Angels and Demons)
  • Christopher Graves '81
    President and CEO, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
  • Laman Gray Jr. MD '63
    Leader in the fields of cardiovascular surgery and development of artificial hearts and circulatory support systems; implanted the world’s first self-contained artificial heart, the AbioCor
  • Matthew Greenfield '90
    Senior vice president of production, Fox Searchlight Pictures
  • Leslie Greengard '79
    Director, Department of Mathematics, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University; member, National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering
  • Kirsten Greenidge '96
    Playwright (Bossa Nova, Milk Like Sugar, The Luck of the Irish)
  • Mary Halvorson '02
    Jazz guitarist and composer
  • Daniel Handler '92
    Fiction writer (under the pseudonym Lemony Snicket), A Series of Unfortunate Events children’s book series; also, Adverbs, Why We Broke Up, We Are Pirates
  • Stephen Hansel '69
    Co-founder and chairman, Eclectic Investment Management, LLC
  • Lyle Ashton Harris '88
    Photographer and artist with work exhibited in major art institutions
  • Rachel Harrison '89
    New York-based sculptor, best known for assemblage work; winner of 2011 Calder Prize
  • Amir Hasson '98
    Chief development officer (USA), Oxigen (India's largest service delivery and payment platform); founder, United Villages (provides low-cost Internet access for remote villages in developing nations)
  • Morrison Heckscher '62
    Retired chairman of the American Wing, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
  • John Hickenlooper Jr. '74
    Governor of Colorado; formerly mayor of Denver
  • Jay Hoggard '76
    Jazz musician, vibraphonist, and Wesleyan professor
  • Jed Hoyer '96
    Executive vice president and general manager, Chicago Cubs
  • Robert Hunter '62
    Senior advisor, Rand Company; former United States ambassador to NATO
  • Alberto Ibarguen '66
    President and CEO, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (journalism); former publisher, the Miami Herald
  • David Jones '70
    President and CEO, Community Service Society of New York
  • Sebastian Junger '84
    Author (The Perfect Storm, A Death in Belmont, War) and documentary filmmaker (Restrepo)
  • Thomas Kail '99
    Theater director (In the HeightsLombardi, Hamilton)
  • Dina Kaplan '93
    Cofounder of Blip TV; founder, The Path meditation workshop
  • Kathryn Keeler '78
    Gold medalist in rowing at ’84 Olympics; Olympics coach in ’96
  • Herb Kelleher '53
    Founder and retired chairman, president and CEO, Southwest Airlines
  • Thomas Kelly '73
    Former president and COO, Schaller Anderson, Inc., health management company
  • David Kohan '86
    Co-creator and executive producer of television comedy shows (Will and Grace)
  • Alex Kotlowitz '77
    Journalist, activist, author (There Are No Children Here, The Other Side of the River); producer of documentary The Interrupters
  • Brooks Kraft '87
    Nationally recognized photojournalist who specializes in portrait photography and photojournalism in Washington, D.C.
  • Alex Kurtzman '95
    Film and television screenwriter and producer (Alias, Transformers, Fringe, Star Trek [2009], Sleepy Hollow); director (People Like Us)
  • Daphne Kwok '84
    AARP, vice president, Multicultural Markets and Engagement; chair, President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
  • Matt Lesser '10
    Connecticut state representative, 100th District
  • Michael Leviton '88
    Owner and chef of Lumiere Restaurant outside Boston; also owner of Area Four in Cambridge
  • Jay Levy '60
    AIDS researcher and educator; professor, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • Glenn Ligon '82
    Pioneering painter and printmaker whose work explores questions of race, language, desire, and identity
  • John Lipsky '68
    Distinguished visiting scholar of international economics, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University; former first deputy managing director, International Monetary Fund
  • David Lipton '75
    First deputy managing director, International Monetary Fund
  • Caroline Little '81
    CEO, Newspaper Association of America
  • James Longley '94
    Documentary filmmaker (Iraq in Fragments); recipient of MacArthur Award
  • Gary Loveman '82
    Chairman, Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc.
  • Eric Mangini '94
    Defensive coordinator, San Francisco 49ers
  • Emilie Marcus '82
    Editor, Cell magazine
  • Lawrence Mark '71
    Film and television producer (Jerry Maguire, As Good As It Gets, Dreamgirls, Julie and Julia, Political Animals,Last Vegas)
  • Paul Mason '77
    President and CEO, Link TV; co-founder of Mezclado, an independent television production company; former senior vice president, ABC Inc.
  • Thomas McKnight '63
    Artist
  • Mora McLean '77
    Former president and CEO, Africa-America Institute
  • Mary McWilliams '71
    Executive director, Washington Health Alliance
  • Jerry Melillo '65
    Co-director, The Ecosystems Center Marine Biological Laboratory
  • MGMT '05

    Ben Goldwasser, Andrew Vanwyngarden

    Brooklyn based pop music duo with acclaimed recording, Oracular Spectacular

  • Alan Miller '76
    Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, formerly with The Los Angeles Times; now founder of the News Literacy Project
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda '02
    Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist (In the Heights, Bring It On, Hamilton); actor (House, Modern Family)
  • Donna Morea '76
    CEO, Adesso Group, consulting and advisory firm for businesses; retired president of CGI-AMS
  • Marc Nachmann '91
    Managing Director, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Wesleyan trustee
  • Candace Nelson '96
    Founder, Sprinkles
  • C. Richard Nicita '67
    Independent manager in film; former co-chairman and COO, Morgan Creek Productions
  • Kennedy Odede '12
    Co-founder, president and CEO, Shining Hope for Communities, Kenya
  • Sascha Paladino '98
    Documentary filmmaker (Throw Down Your Heart)
  • Amanda Palmer '98
    Singer and songwriter; former lead singer of The Dresden Dolls
  • Carolyn Parkhurst Rosser '92
    Novelist (The Dogs of Babel, Lost and Found, The Nobodies Album)
  • Andrew and Thomas Parkinson '
    Founders, Peapod, Inc. Andrew is president and Thomas is senior VP and technology officer
  • Robert Patricelli '61
    Chairman and CEO, Women’s Health, USA; director, Newman’s Own and Northeast Utilities
  • Zak Penn '90
    Screenwriter and television producer (The Incredible Hulk, X Men: The Last Stand, Alphas); director (Incident at Loch Ness, The Grand)
  • Nicole Phelps '94
    Executive editor at Style.com
  • Randall Pinkston '72
    Emmy Award–winning television journalist; correspondent, Al Jazeera America; formerly with CBS News
  • Jessica Posner '09
    Co-founder and COO, Shining Hope for Communities, Kenya
  • Ellen Prager '84
    Marine and earth scientist; president, Earth 2 Ocean, Inc.
  • Robert Pruzan '85
    Founding partner, Centerview Partners, financial advisory and private equity firm; former president and CEO in investment banking, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein
  • Amy Radin '79
    Senior executive vice president and chief marketing officer, AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company
  • David Rhodes '68
    President, School for the Visual Arts
  • Jeffrey Richards '69
    Tony Award-winning theater producer (Spring Awakening, August: Osage County, Hair, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess)
  • Mary Roach '81
    Author (Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Spook, Bonk, Packing for Mars, Gulp)
  • Michele A. Roberts '77
    Executive director, National Basketball Players Association
  • Dennis Robinson '79
    CEO, Formula One Grand Prix of America
  • Bill Rodgers '70
    Renowned runner, winner of four New York and four Boston marathons
  • Barbara Roessner '75
    Executive editor, Hearst Connecticut Newspapers
  • Tom Rogers '75
    Founder of CNBC; first President of NBC Cable; longest serving CEO of TiVo; Executive Chairman, WinView
  • Sara Rosenbaum '73
    Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy, School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University Law School
  • Paul Schiff '81
    Film producer (My Cousin Vinny, Rushmore, Mona Lisa Smile, Solitary Man)
  • Peter Schube '81
    President and COO, Jim Henson Company
  • Amy Schulman '82
    Venture partner, Polaris Partners, and CEO, Arsia Theraputics; former executive vice president and general counsel for Pfizer
  • Hon. Anthony Scirica '62
    Chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (Philadelphia)
  • Larry Selzer '82
    President and CEO, The Conservation Fund
  • John Shapiro '74
    Managing Director/Co-Founder of Chieftain Capital Management
  • Theodore Shaw '76
    Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and director of the University of North Carolina Center for Civil Rights
  • Peter Shumlin '79
  • Randy Siegel '83
    President of local digital strategy, Advance Publications
  • Jonathan Spector '78
    CEO, The Conference Board
  • Shari Springer Berman '85
    Film director (with Robert Pulcini—American Splendor, The Nanny Diaries, Cinema Verite, Girl Most Likely, Ten Thousand Saints)
  • Mark Steinmetz '82
    Photographer; books include Tuscan Treesand South Central
  • Tierney Sutton '86
    Grammy nominated jazz singer
  • Beverly Daniel Tatum '75
    President, Spelman College; author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria
  • Johnny Temple '88
    Publisher, Akashic Books
  • Craig Thomas '97
    Co-creator and writer of television comedy shows (How I Met Your Mother, The Goodwin Games)
  • Wells Tower '96
    Fiction writer and journalist (Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned)
  • Philip Trager '56
    Photographer; books include Villas of Palladio, Dancers, Changing Paris: A Tour Along the Seine, and Faces
  • Stephen Trask '89
    Composer and lyricist of the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch; film composer (Camp, The Station Agent, In Good Company, The Savages)
  • Hon. Stephen Trott '62
    Senior judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • Jon Turteltaub '85
    Film director (Phenomenon, While You Were Sleeping, Cool Runnings, National TreasureLast Vegas); creator of television dramas (Jericho, Harper's Island, Common Law)
  • Ayelet Waldman '86
    Author (Mommy Track Mysteries, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, Bad Mother, Love and Treasure)
  • Laura Walker '79
    President and CEO, WNYC (nation’s largest public radio station)
  • Matthew Weiner '87
    Emmy Award-winning creator, writer, executive producer of Mad Men
  • Roger Weisberg '75
    Award-winning documentary filmmaker (Road Scholar, Sound and Fury, Why Can't We Be a Family Again?, Aging Out)
  • D.B. Weiss '93
    Executive producer and writer, Game of Thrones
  • Paul Weitz '88
    Film director, In Good Company, Little Fockers, Being Flynn, Admission, Grandma (and with brother Chris Weitz,American Pie, About a Boy) and playwright (Privilege, Show People, Trust, Lonely, I'm Not)
  • Joss Whedon '87
    Creator, producer, director, and writer forBuffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (Emmy Award). Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; film director and screenwriter (SpeedToy Story, Serenity, The Cabin in the Woods, The Avengers, Much Ado About Nothing)
  • Santi (Santigold) White '97
    Brooklyn-based rapper/singer/songwriter 
  • Mike White '92
    Screenwriter and television producer (Chuck & Buck, The Good Girl, School of Rock, Nacho Libre, Enlightened); director (Year of the Dog)
  • Bradley Whitford '81
    Film and television actor (The West Wing—Emmy Award, Billy Madison, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Cabin in the Woods, Trophy Wife, Saving Mr. Banks, Brooklyn NIne-Nine, Happyish)
  • Dar Williams '89
    Singer and songwriter in folk-pop music with many albums (The Honesty Room, The Pagans and the Christians, In the Time of the Gods)
  • Christopher Wink '83
    Founder of the Blue Man Group and Blue Man Creativity Center
  • Daniel Wolf '79
    Massachusetts state senator, the Cape and Islands district
  • Frank Wood '83
    Tony award-winning actor in theater, film, and television
  • John Yang '80
    Peabody Award-winning news correspondent, NBC
  • Strauss Zelnick '79
    CEO, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.; founder and president, ZelnickMedia