Laurie L. Patton is the 17th president of Middlebury, and the first woman to lead the institution in its 219-year history. Patton is an authority on South Asian history, culture, and religion. She is the author or editor of nine scholarly books. She has also authored three books of poetry, and has translated the classical Sanskrit text, The Bhagavad Gita.

Patton joined Middlebury in 2015 after serving as dean of Duke University’s Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. Patton earned her BA from Harvard University in 1983 and her PhD from the University of Chicago in 1991. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2018.