“I am humbled, proud, and feel extraordinarily privileged to become the board president of a school that has changed so many lives, including the lives of my own children,” Klein said. “I am particularly fortunate to be taking on this position at a time when Groton is in such great health and to have the opportunity to work with our spectacular new headmaster, Temba Maqubela, and also with the very dedicated and visionary members of the Groton board. I look forward to building on Groton’s many strengths while also assisting with forward-thinking initiatives in the years ahead.”
Klein lives in New York with his wife Deborah, He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and spent much of his life in England. He received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in law from the University of Cambridge. His son Alex, a 2008 Groton graduate, studied at Yale and Cambridge; his son Adam, a 2011 Groton graduate, is a junior at Yale; and his son Max is a current Groton student.
Higgins, the outgoing president, explained that the time was right for a change in leadership. “It has been a great honor and privilege to serve as president,” he said. “The best time to move on is when the School is flourishing and looking to new horizons, when its leadership is strong and self-confident, and when a successor of obvious depth of talent and universal support is available and ready to take over.”
Higgins will remain on the board for another year to ensure a smooth transition — a gesture the new president values. “I have served under Jamie Higgins’ leadership for many years and know that his are very big shoes to fill, so I am particularly grateful for the example he has set and also for his willingness to help me through the transition,” Klein said. “Jamie has ably shepherded the school through an innovative strategic plan, a massive economic downturn, the hiring and on-boarding of a new headmaster, and a variety of other challenges. I hope to follow his model of collaboration and continue his open-mindedness to new ideas and healthy debate.”
Klein also serves on the boards of the Committee to Protect Journalists and Grassroot Soccer and is the chair of the board of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. He will take over the governance of a school that enjoys a position of solid strength, with a healthy endowment, a 2014-15 admittance rate of approximately 12 percent, and an exciting renovation underway on its 1899 Schoolhouse.
Headmaster Temba Maqubela thanked Higgins on behalf of the global Groton School family, for leaving the School “on firm footing for his successor. As we renovate the Schoolhouse, we owe a deep sense of gratitude to Jamie, who ensured that this dream to enhance teaching of STEM subjects in our iconic Schoolhouse was well underway,” he said. “I am thrilled that Jonathan Klein is ready to propel us to even greater heights.”
According to Higgins, Klein is more than ready. “In addition to his obvious passion for Groton and commitment to its values and mission, he is a person of extraordinary insight and farsightedness,” the outgoing president said. “Jonathan has a deep appreciation for what makes Groton unique, an intuitive sense of collegial inclusion and transparency, and an infectious zest for the future. He is the ideal person to lead the board into the next chapter of Groton’s history.”