NEWPORT, R.I. – Janet L. Robinson, who retired as chief executive of The New York Times Company on Dec. 31, 2011, has been appointed chairwoman of Salve Regina University’s board of trustees, effective immediately. Robinson is a Salve Regina graduate, an honorary degree recipient, and has served as a trustee on the university’s board since 1998.
The board approved the appointment during its Feb. 9 meeting. Robinson replaces Joseph R. DiStefano, who has retired after serving as the university’s board chairman since 1993.
Robinson served for 28 years in a variety of leadership positions with the Times Company and became the first woman to be named president and chief executive in 2004. In overseeing all of the Company’s print and digital operations and business units, Robinson guided its transition from an era of print journalism to one in which The New York Times Company distributes news and information in an increasing array of new mediums.
“We will always be in debt to her for her leadership and her commitment to the long term success of our company,” said Times Company Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr.
Robinson, who earned a bachelor of arts degree in English, cum laude, from Salve Regina in 1972 and was later awarded an honorary doctorate in business administration in 1998, also presented the commencement address at her alma mater in 2003. During her commencement speech, she urged Salve Regina’s graduates to remember their “roots and wings” when they thought about their achievements and when contemplating their futures.
“To me, your roots are everything you have acquired thus far,” she said. “… They are your education; this institution and the proud history it represents, of which you and I are now an integral part and which, going forward, will be an integral part of you.”
In 2004, Salve Regina officials dedicated the Janet L. Robinson Curriculum Resource Center at McKillop Library. The collection houses the materials necessary to support the university’s education department curriculum, including early childhood, elementary, secondary and special education programs.
Before joining the Times Company, Robinson was a public school teacher in Newport and Somerset, Mass.
Robinson serves as a trustee of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, where she is chairman of the planning and finance committee and a member of the investment committee. She was vice chair of the board of the Liberty Science Center and also served on the board of New England Sports Ventures.
In 2008 she joined the advisory board for New York Women in Communications, Inc. (NYWICI). Robinson was the chair of the Advertising Council from 2004 until 2005, and served as chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the American Advertising Federation from 1999 until 2000. From 2001 to 2009 she served on the board of the Newspaper Association of America. She was also a member of the Leadership Committee for The Lincoln Center Consolidated Corporate Fund.
Robinson has received numerous awards and accolades. She has been included many times in Forbes magazine’s list of 100 Most Powerful Women in the World. She was included on Crain’s New York Business’s 100 Most Influential Women in New York City Business list and on its 50 Most Powerful Women in New York list. Robinson was named to Fortune magazine’s annual survey of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, and she was also named to the Financial Times’s list of 50 Top Women in World Business.
Robinson received a 2009 National Association of Female Executives (NAFE) Women of Excellence award and a 2009 CEO Diversity Leadership Award from Diversity Best Practices, and she was named to the list of “Women Worth Watching in 2010” for Profiles in Diversity Journal. She has received the Association for Women in Communications, Inc., Matrix Award in April 1998, given to women who have distinguished themselves in the communications field for exceptional achievement, in this case, in the area of newspapers. In February 1997, she was named by Advertising Age as one of “25 Women to Watch” among the most prominent women in advertising, marketing and media.
In 1996, she completed the Executive Education Program at Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H. In addition to the honorary doctorate she received from Salve Regina, Robinson was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Pace University and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.