Board unanimously selects Pernet to head I-HouseThe International House interim board of governors has announced that University alumnus Henry Pernet has been appointed to serve as Director of International House. Pernet will begin his two-year term Friday, Dec. 15. As the full-time director, Pernet will manage both the real estate and programming at I-House.
As a seasoned executive and a former I-House resident, Henry will provide inspired leadership to International House in the years ahead. He was the boards unanimous choice, said Hank Webber, Vice President for Community Affairs and Chairman of the I-House interim board of governors.
Pernet has extensive experience in real estate, banking and hospital administration, Webber said. He joins the University from the University Hospitals of Geneva, where he served as the Secretary General from 1987 to 1998. Previously, he managed a European real estate firm and spent six years in the banking industry.
Pernet attended the Divinity School, earning his masters degree in 1967 and his doctoral degree in 1979, both in History of Religions. He lived in I-House for two years in the 1960s.
I have a deep affection for International House, having spent two wonderful years there, said Pernet.
He also would like to see a tighter connection between I-House and the rest of the Universitys international community, the Universitys academic community as a whole and the greater Chicago community. He plans to engage in many conversations in those communities to determine what kinds of new programs will put International House back on the map.
Mark Hansen, Associate Provost and member of the I-House interim board, said Pernet stood out among candidates for unusually strong managerial skills coupled with his personal experience at I-House. We are confident he will be able to build a good relationship among the staff, administration and residents of I-House, and the rest of the University, Hansen said.
In addition to Pernets professional experience, his residency at I-House appealed to Patrick Crotty, a graduate student in physics, an I-House resident and a member of the interim board. Pernet is a former I-House resident, which makes it easier for him to relate to those of us who currently live there, and also makes him especially committed to the I-House mission.
He is himself from another country and speaks several languages fluently, said Crotty. Finally, when he came to meet I-House residents a few weeks ago, the general feeling about him was quite positive. So, I am highly optimistic about his ability to turn I-House around.