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Effective July 1, Rob Lutts now serves as chair of Salem State University’s Board of Trustees and Cherié Butts, PhD serves as the Board’s vice chair. The selections were made via a unanimous vote at the Board’s virtual meeting on June 10. 

Current Chair Paul Mattera, who served two terms, will continue his service to the university as a member of the Board of Trustees. 

Rob Lutts is founder, president and chief investment officer of Cabot Wealth Management in Salem. He heads the investment policy committee and manages Cabot’s growth strategy. He recently served as vice chair of the Board of Trustees and is in his second term as a board member. He was a member of the Salem State Foundation board from 2007 to 2017, including terms as president and chair.

The investment firm he leads, Cabot Wealth Management, is the namesake of Salem State’s newly-opened Cabot Wealth Management Lab in its Bertolon School of Business. The lab includes 12 Bloomberg terminals, giving business students access to data and tools used by investment professionals. Cabot Wealth Management was the lab’s primary sponsor, along with additional financial institutions in the region. 

Lutts is a former trustee of the North Shore Medical Center Foundation, past chair of the North Shore Chamber of Commerce, and chair of the North Shore YMCA Board of Trustees. He’s currently involved in the Tabernacle Congregational Church, the Salem Rotary Club, and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem. Additionally, he is the trustee of the National YMCA retirement fund and a member of the Salem Retirement Board. Lutts received his bachelor’s degree in finance and management from Babson College and an MBA in investments and finance from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

“I’m thrilled to take on a leadership role to help the most important educational institution on the North Shore continue to provide high quality education for all,” said Lutts. 

Cherié Butts, PhD, a member of Salem State University’s Board of Trustees since 2018, is medical director and head of human biology research – digital and quantitative medicine at Biogen. She joined Biogen in 2012 with a foundation of experience in academia and government to shape biomedical research and medicine. Dr. Butts earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry and master’s degree in biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University.

Her PhD studies at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston focused on anti-tumor immune responses in ovarian cancer patients. She expanded her expertise to study hormonal regulation of immunity during her postdoctoral work at the National Institutes of Health. Prior to Biogen, she was a researcher at the Food and Drug Administration and took on responsibilities of reviewing drug and biologics applications. Her transition to industry was to better understand what was required to decrease the time for a drug candidate to go from concept to approval. 

Butts is passionate about the furtherance of biomedical research and works with professional societies, scientific, and professional development organizations, and biomedical research institutions. She is currently Adjunct (full) Professor at University of Maryland and serves on the Leadership Board and Research Affairs Oversight Committee of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Board of Directors of Keystone Symposia; Council of the Society of Leukocyte Biology; and most recently completed a post on the Massachusetts Economic Development Planning Council. 

“I am very excited about the opportunity to work more closely with Salem State faculty, staff, and students to ensure continued success of the University,” Butts commented.

One of the largest state universities in the Commonwealth, Salem State University, established in 1854, enrolls more than 7,500 undergraduate and graduate students. It offers 32 undergraduate programs and graduate programs that offer degrees in 24 fields.