The Trustees of The Albert Baker Fund (ABF) are happy to announce that Dr. Joseph M. Ritter has been selected to lead ABF as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), following the retirement of Alan Bashor who has served as CEO for the past ten years.
Dr. Ritter is an accomplished college educator and administrator with extensive experience developing innovative programs and services for students. He is well-known to the Christian Science community through his 23-year career at Principia College, where he held a variety of positions, from Professor of Chemistry to Provost, and Dean of Academics.
“I am excited to serve as Chief Executive Officer of The Albert Baker Fund,” Ritter says. “I am drawn to the vision and mission of The Albert Baker Fund, which includes realizing ‘unlimited possibilities’ and serving ‘the Cause of Christian Science and humanity.’ Having seen the benefits others experienced as a result of the generosity of The Albert Baker Fund, including my own children, I cherish the opportunity to have a significant positive impact on the worldwide, inclusive Christian Science movement by supporting education and career objectives.”
Dr. Ritter is currently Founding Dean of the College of Individual and Community Health at Bemidji State University (BSU) in northern Minnesota. Since joining BSU he has been able to lead a team of faculty from eight separate academic departments in designing and building a new college that prepares students for careers such as community health, criminal justice, elementary education, psychology, and social work.
At Principia College, Dr. Ritter helped develop two of its most popular programs. He was Faculty Advisor for the Principia Solar Car Team, a student and faculty collaboration ranked sixth in the world in 2017; and Director of Engineering Science, where he managed the dual-degree engineering program in collaboration with partner universities.
As Provost and Dean of Academics for Principia, Dr. Ritter was responsible for the quality and successful operations of all campus academic programs and athletics.
Dr. Ritter earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Delaware; and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware. He began his professional career as a Research Engineer and Senior Process Control Engineer with Amoco Oil Company Whiting Refinery in Whiting, Indiana, before moving to academia.
“Over the last 10 years, under the leadership of Alan Bashor, The Albert Baker Fund has transformed into an organization that is truly fulfilling its vision to provide Christian Scientists with opportunities for inspired education and career development,” said Daniel Herbert, Chair of The Albert Baker Fund Board of Trustees. “With the addition of Dr. Ritter as our new CEO, we are well poised for future inspired growth. Joe brings a wealth of experience, and a depth of understanding of the needs of students of all generations. He has a proven track record of innovation, collaboration, and positive results. We are excited to welcome him to The Albert Baker Fund family in June.”
The Albert Baker Fund began an extensive search for a new CEO last December after the Board announced Mr. Bashor’s planned retirement. “Our robust and detailed search process resulted in a strong pool of applicants, and the opportunity to know them and how they could support the mission and vision of The Albert Baker Fund,” said Adam Messer, Treasurer of the Board and Chair of the CEO Search Committee. “We are fortunate to have someone of Dr. Ritter’s caliber to lead The Albert Baker Fund. He is a strong leader, has ‘hands-on’ knowledge of the education and career development market, and a solid track record of execution.”
Dr. Ritter and his wife Janice have five children, the two youngest about to enter college. He will assume his responsibilities with The Albert Baker Fund in June, 2020.