Biddle cashes out, set to semi-retire in Rhode Island


Ethan Schlapp

Ed Biddle, associate head of finance and operations, jokes with colleagues in his office. From left to right: Ed Biddle, Jacqueline Overton, executive assistant to CFO & director of athletics / campus scheduling coordinator, Connie Hewitt, former director of human resources, Amy Lemberger, director of finance, and Dan Pereira, director of operations. After this school year, Biddle is set to take a job with the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island, as he moves to Providence, RI.

Ethan Schlapp, Lead Sports Editor

After working at Masters for the past seven years, current Associate Head for Finance and Operations Ed Biddle has decided to call it a career at the school. 

Before coming to Masters, Biddle studied at Dartmouth College undergrad before receiving his MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He then went on to work at JPMorgan Chase for 27 years before joining Masters in 2015. He was hired as the CFO before a title change to Associate Head for Finance and Operations, where his responsibilities largely remained the same.

As the Associate Head of Finance and Operations, Biddle worked closely in different areas of the school, specifically finance, operations, and human resources, often collaborating with the different directors in each of these three departments (Amy Lemberger in Finance, Dan Pereira in Operations, and Connie Hewitt, who most recently headed Human Resources), spoke highly of the people that he has had the opportunity to collaborate with.

“I’ve been very lucky to be supported by three really great professionals in each of those [spheres],” he said. 

Similarly, Lemberger spoke about the relationship she has had with Biddle and how he has been helpful to her in his time at the school.

“He’s a great sounding board. In terms of when I have a question, when I need direction, when I need [to make] a final decision, Ed’s very available to me, you know, to help and to advise in those terms,” she said.

He’s a great sounding board. In terms of when I have a question, when I need direction, when I need [to make] a final decision, Ed’s very available to me, you know, to help and to advise in those terms.”

— Amy Lemberger, Director of Finance

Additionally, Biddle also worked with four different board committees at Masters (Audit, Finance, Facilities and Technology, and Investment Committees) as well as with other administrators, including Head of School Laura Danforth, on various projects during his time at the school. Danforth gave high praise to Biddle during an interview with Tower.

“I think one of his biggest strengths is that he listens deeply. He listens to the needs of the people that he works with. And I think he takes the Harkness style of collaborating very seriously,” she said. “He is a[n] avid reader. And whether it’s topics on education, or leadership, or money, I think he’s been very thoughtful…And he’s brilliant; you know, the man’s brilliant.”

Specifically, some of Biddle’s most notable accomplishments have been in helping to raise the rating of the school from a BBB+ rating to an A- rating in regards to borrowing and playing a role in increasing the endowment from below 30 million to around 80 million dollars before the economy’s current troubles. She also spoke very highly of Biddle’s ability to manage the school’s funds.

“One of the things that I’ve really appreciated about Mr. Biddle is [that] he’s very frugal, very conservative, where he needs to be and releases some funds where he needs to–and knows the difference,” she said. “You know, [he] knows when it’s really important to put funding towards a particular project or a particular initiative, and when to invest or save.”

While Biddle played an integral role in the advancement and success of the school himself, he has appreciated those which he has gotten to work with during his time here.

“It’s a very strong leadership team,” Biddle said. “I love having the opportunity to collaborate with people like Emma [Katznelson], and Adam [Gimple], and Seth [Marx], Sam [Savage], Peter [Newcomb], Tasha [Elsbach], Meredith [Halpern], Roland [Davis], Karin [O’Connor], and Logan [Condon]. You know we’ve got a really great team and I love when I’m able to work on projects with them. And Laura is an inspiration to me. She was my daughter Pippa’s advisor at Porters, and worked with my wife on the Alumni Council there. She is the real deal.”

After Masters, Biddle and his wife will be living in Providence to serve as the CFO of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island. The Diocese works with the around 50 Episcopal churches within the state. Regarding the job, Biddle spoke about the role that it will have in his life. 

“You know, it is more of a retirement job than here, but it is paid and comes with benefits and I’ve gotten to know the Bishop, Nicholas Knisely, really well…and I really admire what National Bishop Michael Curry is doing,” Biddle said. “And this really gives me an opportunity to combine faith and purpose, and that’s what I’m really looking for at this point.”

After deciding against using a consultant to look for the new Associate Head of Finance and Operations and instead doing her own independent search, Danforth said that Andrew Schneider of The Peck School in New Jersey will replace Biddle next year. She is excited about what Schneider will bring to Masters.

“He’s gonna be terrific. And he turned down some other positions because he just fell in love with our school and our campus,” she said. “He’s great–he’s like a young Ed Biddle.”

While Biddle is excited about what’s next, there are aspects of Masters that he’s going to miss. In particular, he spoke about the student body of the school. 

“Well, I’m gonna miss the students,” he said. “You know, in organized religion, we struggle to bring young people into our congregations and into our community. And you guys show up every day with your energy and your enthusiasm, and I think I will miss that most.”