History

John Stevens has served as an assistant to the president of a prestigious large urban university, chairman of the board and interim president of a small struggling liberal arts college, vice president of a prestigious professionally oriented college and an administrator of a state-wide higher education agency. He has served as a representative of the Board of Higher Education on the Massachusetts Community College System and the Massachusetts State College System Boards of Trustees; as a member of the New School Jazz Program Board of Governors and the International Board of Advisors to the Shala Valley Project, an effort to trace the origins and evolution of settlement in Northern Albania from the earliest times to the present; as Vice Chairman of the Board of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of New England College, a small residential, liberal arts college in Henniker, New Hampshire. He served New England College as interim president on a pro bono basis, as well. Dr. Stevens is currently a member of the New England College Board of Trustees. He also serves periodically as a mentor at Harvard University Graduate School of Education. He holds the B.A. degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the Ed.M. and Ed.D. degrees from Harvard University.

On February 1, 2003, after 16 years at another higher education consulting firm, Dr. Stevens began an independent consulting practice, Stevens Strategy, specializing in the development of strategy for colleges, universities and schools. At his previous firm, Dr. Stevens served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, its expert in the process of strategic planning, and the head of its Strategy Consulting Practice. He first developed his strategic planning process while he was Vice President of Rhode Island School of Design. In the years since then, he has honed this method of strategic planning into a highly successful five-phased process.

Dr. Stevens launched Stevens Strategy with several active, fully engaged clients with ongoing large-scale projects and a historical client list of well over fifty institutions (and current client list well over 100). With his colleagues at Stevens Strategy, Dr. Stevens continues to deliver the same high-level strategic services to the same higher education clientele that he has consistently served over the previous two decades. To this venture he brings a strong track record of success, a large client base, ownership of his strategic planning intellectual property, and a competent and highly qualified staff of higher education experts.

On January 1, 2010, Stevens Strategy organized itself as a New Hampshire limited liability company. At that time, Brendan Leonard became a co-owner of the new LLC and was promoted to Senior Vice President of the firm.  Mr. Leonard has over 20 years professional experience in public and not-for-profit management, including 14 years as a management consultant in higher education.  He has worked as a senior consultant with Stevens Strategy since its founding and is the firm’s expert in its strategic planning stakeholder conference and operational planning process.  In addition to his strategic planning work, he focuses on organizational assessment, process redesign, systems implementation, and human resources systems assessment and design.