New Leaders Join Suffolk University Board of Trustees

The five new trustees bring a diverse set of leadership experiences, backgrounds, and a commitment to Suffolk

Suffolk University today announced the election of five new trustees, all alumni, who bring a diverse set of leadership experiences and backgrounds, as well as a shared commitment to serving an institution that provided them with life- and career-changing opportunities.

In addition, an incumbent trustee was re-elected to the board.

The four new charter trustees and one new alumni trustee are leaders in industry, financial services, nonprofits, and the law. They are:

  • Darren Donovan, BS ’83, charter trustee, former managing principal with KPMG and current board chair of the Boston Private Industry Council, connecting youth and adults with education and employment. 
  • Hind Habbach, BA ’09, alumni trustee representing the College of Arts & Sciences, commercial counsel for the gaming app developer Zynga Inc., and an investor relations specialist.
  • Dorothy Savarese, MBA ’04, HDCS ’21, charter trustee, executive chair of Cape Cod 5, who led the bank’s dramatic growth over 17 years as chief executive officer. She has been named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking by American Banker magazine for ten consecutive years.
  • Marie-Louise Skafte, JD ’96, charter trustee, president of Skafte Global Law, P.A., a boutique global legal consulting firm she founded in 2015 following a career as a general counsel at major global transportation companies. She is a board member and international ambassador at One Love Foundation, a nonprofit working to end relationship abuse by educating youth on creating and maintaining healthy relationships.
  • Mark Sullivan, JD ’79, charter trustee, retired Bose Corp. executive who spent more than 35 years with the pioneering audio giant, rising to become vice president, chief legal officer, and secretary of the company. He returns to the board after having served two previous five-year terms, the latest ending in June 2021. From 2016 to 2021, he served as the board’s vice chair.
Trustee Susan Connelly, MBA ’01, has been re-elected to a second five-year term as a charter trustee. Serving on the board since 2017, she is chief communications and public affairs officer for Darden Restaurants, Inc., owner and operator of more than 1,800 restaurants and the largest full-service dining company in the US. She continues to chair the Educational Affairs Committee of the board.
“These trustees bring exceptional experience addressing complex business issues within evolving and technology-driven organizations in a global environment—experience that will be especially valuable to the board and the University,” said Suffolk Board Chair Bob Lamb. “They are all self-made successes, and each has publicly acknowledged that Suffolk University was a major catalyst for positive change in their lives and careers.”
Said Suffolk University President Marisa Kelly: “I very much look forward to working collaboratively with our newest trustees. They bring valuable expertise and perspective and a commitment to our mission that I know will benefit Suffolk for many years to come.”
Bylaws Change
The board also approved a change to Suffolk’s bylaws, under which the University’s president will serve ex officio as a voting instead of a nonvoting trustee. The president will be eligible for appointment on an annual basis to board committees with vote, with the exception of the Compensation and the Audit, Compliance, and Risk Management committees.

About the New Suffolk Trustees:

Headshot of Darren Donovan

Darren J. Donovan

Darren J. Donovan, BS ’83, spent nearly two decades leading strategy at KPMG, where he rose to managing principal for the Boston Major Market, encompassing New England and upstate New York. He retired from KPMG in 2021. 

He joined the Big Four firm as a principal in 2001 and was named advisory office leader, Boston in 2012. He was twice awarded the KPMG Chairman’s Community Service Award, once in 2007 and again in 2010. Prior to joining KPMG, Donovan served as vice president for Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations from 1994 to 2001, overseeing marketing, sales, and operations.  

Among other civic leadership positions, Donovan currently serves as board chair of the Boston Private Industry Council—a nonprofit created in 1979 to strengthen Boston’s communities and workforce by connecting youth and adults with education and employment. 

Donovan also serves on the board of the National Association of Corporate Directors New England, where he stewards the chapter’s growth and mission to foster good corporate governance, and as the audit committee chair of the Camp Harbor View Foundation, Inc. 

He was recently elected to the board of directors for Cape Cod 5 and sits on the bank’s audit and risk committees.

From 2008 to 2014, he served on Suffolk’s College of Arts & Sciences Alumni Board—including two years as president, and in 2014 was the recipient of the Alumni Service Award. Donovan previously served as an executive board member of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, a trustee at Thayer Academy, and an overseer for the Citi Performing Arts Center. He holds an MBA from the City University of New York—Baruch College. 

Hund Habbach

Hind Habbach

Attorney Hind Habbach, BA ’09, brings cross-border expertise as commercial counsel for Zynga Inc., the global leader in interactive entertainment and wholly-owned subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive Software, with such popular game franchises as FarmVille™, Zynga Poker™, and Words With Friends™. 

Previously specializing in investor relations, she has supported business growth across the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey for companies such as TransparentBusiness and SheWorks!, which provide software systems to help organizations manage geographically dispersed workforces. She spent nearly ten years in senior investor relations positions at Sentinel Real Estate Corporation in New York, a global real estate investment management firm.

Habbach, whose family emigrated to Boston from Morocco, earned a dual BA degree in Government and English from Suffolk, and her JD from New England Law. She has spoken about the impact scholarships had on her own education, and has made giving back a priority. She established a term scholarship to support Suffolk students majoring in political science with a concentration in international relations, and serves as co-chair of the Suffolk University Black Alumni Network (SUBAN). Together with Trustee Ernst Guerrier, BS ’91, JD ’94, she has worked to support the SUBAN Scholarship Fund. 

In 2019, Habbach served as marshal for the College of Arts & Sciences Commencement ceremonies and was named a 10 Under 10 alumni honoree in recognition of her service to the University.

Outside of Suffolk, she serves as secretary of the Pan-African Institute of Municipal Development (PIMD) Board of Directors.

Dorothy Savarese headshot

Dorothy Savarese

Dorothy Savarese, MBA ’04, HDCS ’21, is executive chair of Cape Cod 5, a position she has held since 2005. She recently stepped down from her position as CEO after 17 years leading the community bank, which has grown to more than $4.6 billion in assets with 550 employees in 26 locations. Savarese first joined the bank in 1993 as a commercial lender following an early career in economic development.

In 2021, Savarese was named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking by American Banker magazine, for the tenth consecutive year. She was appointed by Governor Charlie Baker to the Massachusetts Commission on Clean Heat, the first of its kind in the nation. Savarese currently serves as president of the board of the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative, and is an appointed member of the eight-person Barnstable County American Rescue Plan Act Advisory Committee. She is a past president of the Federal Reserve Board’s Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council, and a past chair of the American Bankers Association and the Massachusetts Bankers Association. 

She also is known for her mentoring and leadership development efforts, and established a nationally recognized college internship program at Cape Cod 5. Savarese, who earned her MBA from Suffolk University, was awarded an honorary degree in 2021. She has served on boards of the Cape Cod Regional Chamber of Commerce, Cape Cod Healthcare, Cape Cod Community College, the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra, the Regional Employment Board of the Cape and Islands, and the Housing Assistance Corporation.

Marie-Louise Skafte

Marie-Louise Skafte

Marie-Louise Skafte, JD ’96, is the president of Skafte Global Law, P.A., a boutique global legal consulting firm she founded in 2015 that provides advisory and outside general counsel services. 

She is qualified to practice law in England, various US states, and the Canadian Province of Ontario. She is a global leader and human resources professional with 25 years of industry experience across the professional services, leasing, aviation, transportation and logistics industries. Skafte previously held the inaugural general counsel position at the international shipping giant, Deutsche Post DHL Canada, serving 220 countries, as well as for Bermuda-based Cronos Limited, a private equity owned marine container leasing company, where she led legal, human resources, and corporate compliance teams across its operations in 19 countries. 

Previously, she worked for DHL Express (USA), Inc., American President Lines Limited, MasTec, Inc., and Massport.

Skafte obtained a BA in Labor/Management Relations & Business from the University of Toronto and Industrial & Labor Relations at Cornell University, where she earned academic and athletic scholarships. She has been honored as Global General Counsel of the Year by Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC) and legal powerhouse K&L Gates, and was awarded Lawyer of the Year–Transportation & Logistics in the 2016 Women in Law Awards. In 2021, Skafte was named a Lawyer of Distinction–Recognizing Excellence in the Practice of Law. She is an advisory board member of CCWC and a board member of One Love Foundation, a national nonprofit working to end relationship abuse by educating youth on how to create and maintain healthy relationships.

An aviation enthusiast, Skafte has attained the rating of multi-engine commercial pilot.

A member of Suffolk University Law School’s Dean’s Cabinet since 2019, Skafte has created a new scholarship to help alleviate tuition pressures on international law students.  

Mark Sullivan headshot

Mark Sullivan

Mark Sullivan, JD ’79, is returning to the board after having served two previous, five-year terms, the latest ending in June 2021. From 2016 to 2021, he served as the board’s vice chair.

Now retired, Sullivan spent more than 35 years with the Bose Corporation, rising to become vice president, chief legal officer, and secretary of the pioneering audio giant. At Bose, he focused on the critical nexus of intellectual property law, business investment, and innovation. He began his career there in 1981, and later oversaw the Bose Corporate Legal Department as well as the IP Group. Additional groups reporting to Sullivan included real estate, insurance, environmental, licensing, and lobbying. 

Sullivan previously worked in public accounting at Arthur Andersen & Company, where he earned his CPA certificate. Following his retirement from Bose, he was of counsel at Nelson Mullins, and he continues to consult for the law firm. 

Sullivan is a member of the Law School’s Dean’s Cabinet, and he has been a generous supporter of the Law School’s IP programs to help prepare graduates to understand how to protect technology innovations and trademarks. In addition to his Suffolk Law degree, he also holds an LLM in taxation from Boston University School of Law, an MBA from Babson College, and a BS in accounting and finance from Boston College.

Media Contact

Greg Gatlin
Office of Public Affairs
[email protected]