Born into an academic family, Alice F. (Tish) Emerson has spent most of her life in educational activities. She attended a public high school near Philadelphia where she grew up, then went to Vassar College, and later to Bryn Mawr College for a PhD in political science. She has taught at the high school and college levels, but found administration a better match for her interests and skills. From 1966-75, Tish was dean of women and dean of students at the University of Pennsylvania, and from 1975-91, she was president of Wheaton College in MA. Beginning in 1999, Tish was associated with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, working with liberal arts colleges. Throughout her working life, she has been active in non-profit organizations of many kinds and has joined several corporate boards. Currently, Tish is a member of the board of the AES Corporation, The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, the Hunt Alternatives Fund, MGH-Institute of Health Professions, Nantucket Historical Association, the Nantucket Athenaeum, the Salzburg Seminar, and the World Resources Institute.