John Keenan, President

Salem State University

Tuesday, April 3, 6:30

Historic Hawthorne Hotel



Mr. Keenan will speak on Salem State University's Impact on the North Shore, and on the Challenges Facing Higher Education as they relate to Salem State. John D. Keenan, JD began his role as the 14th president of Salem State University on August 6, 2017.  Prior to being named president, Mr. Keenan served as the university's general counsel and vice president for administration.

Mr. Keenan previously represented the Seventh Essex District in the Massachusetts State Legislature from 2005 to 2014. He was a leading proponent of gaining university status for Salem State in 2010, the lead sponsor of a bill providing sabbatical parity for all state university faculty, and an advocate for increased funding for state universities.  Mr. Keenan's time in the state legislature allowed him to lead on issues of social justice, voting to preserve marriage equality, address schoolyard bullying, and provide in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants.  

A lifelong Salem resident, Mr. Keenan is a proud product of Salem Public Schools. Like 35 percent of Salem State students, he is in the first generation of his family to attend college. Mr. Keenan received his bachelor's degree from Harvard College and his JD from Suffolk University.  He is also a direct descendent of Rebecca Nurse, who was executed in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. This tragedy frames his commitment to social justice and human rights. He serves as the honorary co-chair of the Salem Award Foundation for Human Rights & Social Justice with Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll and is on the North Shore Advisory Board of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Our evening begins at 6:30 with the Hawthorne's great hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar.  The cost is only $18 for HCNS and HCMV members and $22 for their guests and all others. You can sign up at