Presidents Council Leadership

Higher Education Presidents Council Chair

The Higher Education Presidents Council is chaired by Princeton President Emerita Shirley Tilghman.

SMT Headshot 2018

Shirley Tilghman, President Emerita, Princeton University

Shirley M. Tilghman was elected Princeton University’s 19th president on May 5, 2001 after serving on the Princeton faculty for 15 years.  Upon the completion of her term in June of 2013, she returned to the faculty.During her scientific career as a mammalian developmental geneticist, she studied the way in which genes are organized in the genome and regulated during early development, and was one of the founding members of the National Advisory Council of the Human Genome Project for the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Tilghman is an Officer of the Order of Canada, the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Developmental Biology, the Genetics Society of America Medal, and the L’Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science. She is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and The Royal Society of London.  She serves as a trustee of Amherst College, the Institute for Advanced Study,and the Simons Foundation. She serves on the Science Advisory Board of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, is a director of The Broad Institute, and a Fellow of the Corporation of Harvard College.

Leadership Team

The Chair is joined by other current sitting and emeritus presidents.

Beverly Daniel Tatum, President Emerita of Spelman College

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, President Emerita of Spelman College, is a clinical psychologist widely known for her expertise on race relations and as a thought leader in higher education.  Her visionary leadership as president of Spelman College (2002-2015) was recognized in 2013 with the Carnegie ...

Carolyn “Biddy” Martin, President of Amherst College

Biddy Martin was elected the 19th president of Amherst College in June 2011.


She had served as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 2008 and as Cornell University’s provost from 2000 to 2008.


Martin was raised ...

Eduardo Padrón, President Emeritus of Miami Dade College

An American by choice, Eduardo Padrón arrived in the United States as a teenage refugee in 1961. He is the President Emeritus of Miami Dade College (MDC), having served as its President for almost 25 years from 1995 until 2019. He is credited with elevating MDC, the ...

Eric Kaler, President Emeritus of the University of Minnesota

Eric W. Kaler served as the 16th president of the University of Minnesota from 2011-2018. He is currently a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota. From 2007 to 2011, Kaler served as provost and senior vice president ...

Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California

Janet Napolitano is the twentieth president of the University of California, the nation’s largest public research university with ten campuses, five medical centers, three affiliated national laboratories, and a statewide agriculture and natural resources program. At UC, President Napolitano has ...

Jonathan Alger, President of James Madison University

Jonathan Alger has been president of James Madison University (JMU) since 2012.  Under his leadership, this public comprehensive university with 22,000 students developed a bold new vision to be “the national model of the engaged university:  engaged with ideas and the world,” and a strategic plan ...

Kathryn “Kate” A. Foster, President of The College of New Jersey

Dr. Kathryn A. (Kate) Foster became the 16th president of The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in 2018. A native of New Jersey and a scholar-educator with over thirty-five years of experience in policy and public higher education, Foster comes to ...

Lawrence “Larry” S. Bacow, President of Harvard University

Larry S. Bacow is the 29th President of Harvard University. Bacow was the Hauser Leader-in-Residence at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Center for Public Leadership and served as a member of the Harvard Corporation, the university’s principal governing board. One of ...

Mitchell E. Daniels, President of Purdue University

Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. is the 12th president of Purdue University and the former governor of Indiana.

He was elected Indiana’s 49th governor in 2004 in his first bid for any elected office, and then re-elected in 2008 with more votes than any ...

Pam Eddinger

Pam Eddinger, President of Bunker Hill Community College

Pam Eddinger is president of Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC), the largest of 15 community colleges in Massachusetts.  Dr. Eddinger began her tenure at BHCC in 2013, and previously served as president Moorpark College in Southern California from 2008.


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L. Rafael Reif, President of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Since July 2012, Rafael Reif has served as the 17th President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he is leading MIT’s pioneering efforts to help shape the future of higher education. A champion for both fundamental science and MIT’s signature style ...

Rebecca “Becky” Blank, President of the University of Wisconsin–Madison

Chancellor Rebecca Blank became chancellor of Wisconsin’s flagship university in July 2013, bringing with her a deep commitment to educational excellence and innovation.

Blank is an internationally respected economist who also has spent time in Washington, D.C., working in three different ...

Ronald J. Daniels, President of Johns Hopkins University

Ronald J. Daniels is the 14th president of Johns Hopkins University. Since arriving in 2009, Daniels has focused his leadership on several key areas: strengthening inter-disciplinary collaboration in research and education, enhancing student access, deepening engagement with the city of Baltimore, and supporting economic and ...
Ruth J. Simmons

Ruth J. Simmons, President of Prairie View A&M University

Ruth J. Simmons serves as President of Prairie View A&M University. She was President of Brown University from 2001-2012. Under her leadership, Brown made significant strides in improving its standing as one of the world’s finest research universities.

A ...

Valerie Smith, President of Swarthmore College

Valerie Smith, a distinguished scholar of African-American literature, is the 15th president of Swarthmore College. Smith’s significant priorities at Swarthmore include attracting more low-income and first-generation students, innovating the curriculum, increasing diversity, and strengthening relationships between the College and the region. Under Smith, ...


Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, Executive Director, ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge at Civic Nation

Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, Executive Director, ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge



Jennifer Domagal-Goldman is the executive director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge at Civic Nation.


Prior to ...

Stephanie King, Director, Strategic Initiatives, ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge at Civic Nation

Stephanie King, Director, Strategic Initiatives, ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge



Stephanie King is the director of strategic initiatives for the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. She previously held the role of director ...