Medtronic executive named first female president of Gustavus Adolphus

Rebecca Bergman 2014
Bergman (Courtesy Gustavus Adolphus)

Medtronic executive Rebecca Bergman has been named the first female president of Gustavus Adolphus College.

The Lutheran college in St. Peter announced today she will take office July 1.

She will succeed Jack Ohle, who is retiring after serving since 2008. Last year, Ohle faced calls for his ouster from students and alumni.

Bergman has been on Gustavus' Board of Trustees since 2007.

She has spent more than a quarter century at Medtronic, Inc. She has led several divisions as vice president, and most recently headed up the research, technology, and therapy delivery systems for the company’s cardiac rhythm disease management business.

In an emailed statement, presidential-search committee Chairman Warren Beck said:

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“Becky is a proven leader as demonstrated not only by her successful 26 years at Medtronic, but also by her seven years of service on the College’s Board of Trustee. Her leadership skills, ability to collaborate and effectively communicate, and knowledge of the College’s strengths and challenges make her uniquely qualified to lead Gustavus at this pivotal time in the College’s history. I couldn’t be more pleased that she will be our next president.”

Bergman has a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University, and spent time studying chemical engineering and material science at the University of Minnesota.

From the official announcement:

Bergman has received a number of Medtronic’s highest technical and leadership awards during her tenure with the company. She was elected as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering in 2001, and elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2010. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Sigma-Aldrich, on the Board of Directors of The Bakken Museum, and on a number of academic advisory boards. She previously served on the National Advisory Council of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institute of Health and the St. Catherine University Board of Trustees.

“Gustavus Adolphus College is a special place. It has been an extraordinary experience for me to have the privilege to be a member of the Gustavus Board of Trustees and to get to know the campus, the people, and the culture of the institution,” Bergman said. “I have prized the opportunity to work with an institution so strongly committed to education and discovery. I look forward to participating in the next phase of the Gustavus story in whatever ways can best foster the future success of the College.”

Bergman is married to Thomas A. Bergman, M.D., Chief of Neurosurgery at Hennepin County Medical Center, a Senior Partner with Neurosurgical Associates, and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota Department of Neurosurgery. The couple has four children including Matthew ’07, Andrew, Laura ’14, and John.