Eastern Bank–America’s oldest and largest mutual bank–announced Deborah Jackson will lead its Board of Directors, effective January 1, 2018. Jackson is the first woman and 2nd person of color to serve as Eastern’s Lead Director in its 200-year history. She joined Eastern’s Board of Directors eighteen years ago. Her previous role was Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee. Jackson is the successor to Wendell Knox, who has served as Lead Director since 2009 and as a member of Eastern’s Board since 1995.
“Since joining our Board, Deborah has been one of our leading voices in further elevating Eastern’s mission and commitment to social justice and sustainability causes,” said Bob Rivers, Chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank. “Her business acumen, keen perspective, experience leading some of our area’s most prominent organizations, and deep and extensive connections throughout Greater Boston have been critical to our success and our ability to better meet the needs of our customers, colleagues and the many communities we serve. I am extremely delighted and privileged to have the opportunity to work with Deborah as my partner in leading Eastern as we begin our third century.”
Ms. Jackson currently serves as President of Cambridge College, an institution she has led since 2011. Like CEO Rivers, in 2017 she was named a member of the Boston Business Journal’s 2017 Power 50. Prior to Cambridge College, Jackson served as CEO of the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts, Vice President of the Boston Foundation, and on numerous nonprofit boards for companies dedicated to health, human services, and education.
Ms. Jackson also currently serves on the board of John Hancock Investments and the Massachusetts Women’s Forum. She served previously on the board of the Boston Stock Exchange and Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan.
“Eastern is an organization that ‘walks the walk’ when it comes to the issues that matter to our communities. It has been my privilege to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for the last 17 years and I am honored to accept the Lead Director position,” said Jackson of her new role. “I feel fortunate to work with Bob Rivers, one of the most visionary and innovative CEOs in Boston, and I’m grateful for the dedication and leadership of Wendell Knox as our Lead Director over the past 8 years. Wendell has set the bar incredibly high, and I look forward to working with him on our transition over the course of this year.”
Today over 40 percent of Eastern’s Board is comprised of women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community, with the goal of continuously increasing diverse representation. The company was recently named to the GetKonnected15 list, which showcases Massachusetts companies with notable board diversity.