Van McMurtry, a lawyer and business consultant who has been associated with Hartford Seminary as a corporator and trustee for nearly 20 years, has been elected Chair of the Seminary?s Board of Trustees for a three-year term.
McMurtry is a partner with Davis & Harman LLP, a law firm in Washington, D.C., that specializes in employee benefits, insurance taxation and legislative strategy.
Previously he was a senior government relations executive with Aetna, Cornell University, and the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as senior staff member in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, including a four-year stint as Staff Director and Chief Counsel of the Senate Finance Committee.
?I look forward to working with Van in leading Hartford Seminary because he brings great insight into the future of higher education and its challenges and opportunities,? Heidi Hadsell, Hartford Seminary President, said. ?Van also appreciates our commitment to interfaith understanding and the importance of preparing leaders for a plural world.?
McMurtry succeeds William J. Cronin, who will remain on the Board as Chair Emeritus. ?I also would like to thank Bill for his enthusiasm and energy as chair for the past six years. He has inspired us to become a place for spiritual fulfillment as well as intellectual enrichment,? Hadsell said.
McMurtry joined the Board of Trustees in 2000. He said, ?With its dedication to interfaith dialogue, its history of supporting people and communities of faith in practical ways, its cutting-edge research and its commitment to public engagement, Hartford Seminary is unique in American higher education. I consider it at once a privilege and an opportunity to be asked to work with the board, administration, faculty and student body of an institution that is making such an important difference in today?s world.?
At Davis & Harman, McMurtry advises clients on issues regarding corporate tax, health care reform, insurance and financial services, and employee benefits. He holds special expertise in lobbying and strategic planning. In his career, he has represented large corporations, sovereign governments and research universities.
A native of rural Minnesota and former resident of Farmington, CT, McMurtry brings a practical, problem-solving approach to his work. “I look for the big picture when I approach a problem. I try to bring people together around potential solutions,” he said.
McMurtry has a JD from Georgetown University, M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Philosophy from Cornell University and an M.A.S. in Public Administration from Johns Hopkins University.