Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ketchum man to lead Rhodes Scholar program

Charles Conn will pick up reins June 24

Express Staff Writer

The Rhodes Trust board of trustees, stewards of the prestigious Rhodes scholarships program, has appointed 51-year-old Charles Conn, a Ketchum resident, former Ketchum City Council member and former Rhodes scholar, as the next warden of Rhodes House. That means Conn will be top dog of the University of Oxford, England-based program.

A Dec. 18 post on the Rhodes Trust website states that Conn will pick up the program’s reins on June 24. Conn said the job is a five-year position, but the trustees can extend a warden’s term if they want to.

“I’m both honored and excited to have the opportunity to serve as warden of Rhodes House,” Conn said. “It’s a 110-year-old organization that has built an amazing reputation for developing young leaders. I’m pleased to be a part of it.”

Conn said his work as warden will focus on bringing the program into the 21st century.

“The trustees have asked me to help do that,” he said. “What we’d like to do is modernize our way of using the power of the Rhodes Trust to convene problem solvers to tackle the world’s great problems.”

Conn said that basically means employing modern technology to increase the level of communication and collaboration among the roughly 4,000 members of the Rhodes scholar community.

Conn, who has lived in Ketchum for 10 years and is a citizen of Canada and the United States, is the first American to be appointed warden of Rhodes House.

He said he’s excited to live in Oxford, but plans to move back to the valley after he finishes his work as warden of Rhodes House.

“I’m looking forward to spending time with many energetic, brilliant young people,” he said. “I approach this job with humility and mild terror.”

Brennan Rego:

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