Peter J. Swing is Berkeley Academy’s founding President and Head of School.
Mr. Swing is a former U.S. Marine Corps Nuclear Biological and Chemical Defense Warfare Specialist (5711) who, as a watch stander of the Marine Security Guard Detachment, served in the US Embassy San Jose, Costa Rica and US Embassy Quito, Ecuador from 1999-2001. He received Major General Peter Pace during his visit in Costa Rica in 2000 and served on a personnel security detachment during then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s visit to Quito, Ecuador. Two weeks after 9/11, Mr. Swing was deployed to the Middle East to initiate Operation Enduring Freedom. After being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, Mr. Swing pursued his education at the University of California, Berkeley where he received his bachelor’s degree in History, Ethnic Studies and his masters degree at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education in International Education Policy (’21). He was mentored by the world-renowned U.S. historian Ronald Takaki and sociologist Michael Omi.
Mr. Swing’s experience includes various roles in the San Francisco-Bay Area and Washington D.C. Area as a journalist, speech writer, the director of communications for civil rights non-profit organizations, and a steering committee member for the Fred T. Korematsu Institute.
Mr. Swing, with the help of his academic mentors, created a diversity consulting firm, Plurivocity, which serviced public institutions like the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as well as many candidates seeking public office.
Mr. Swing has delivered guest lectures on race, multiculturalism, U.S. history, education and ethnic studies at the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, Harvard University, the College of Wooster, the University of Maryland at College Park, University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, the University of Costa Rica, the University of Peace, and San Diego City College. He has been referenced in several books regarding the Asian American community as it relates to education and health. He was featured in The Handbook of Asian American Health by Dr. Grace J. Yoo and recently in a book written by Fernando M. Reimers – the current Director of the Global Education Innovation Initiative and of the International Education Policy Program at Harvard University – about education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Swing is also a board member of the Notre Dame Club of Costa Rica and the honorary executive director for the International Council on Multicultural Diversity. He is married to Yorlenny Aguilar and has three sons, Jaden, Gianni and Jonah.