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.
The Chair is joined by other current sitting and emeritus presidents.
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 Academic Leadership Award. Author of several books including the best-selling “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”and Other Conversations About Race (updated for the 20th anniversary edition in 2017), she was the 2014 recipient of the American Psychological Association Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology.
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 outside of Lynchburg, Va., in rural Campbell County, and graduated as valedictorian from Brookville High School. A graduate of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., where she majored in English literature and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Martin earned an M.A. in German literature from Middlebury College’s program in Mainz, Germany, and her Ph.D. in German literature, in 1985, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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 largest degree granting institution in America, into a position of national prominence among the best and most recognized U.S. colleges and universities. An economist by training, Dr. Padrón earned his Ph.D. from the University of Florida. In 2018, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of America’s oldest and most prestigious organizations.
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 for academic affairs at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York. While at Stony Brook, he was also vice president for Brookhaven National Laboratory Affairs. Previously, he was dean of the University of Delaware’s College of Engineering and the Elizabeth Inez Kelley Professor of Chemical Engineering. He also taught at the University of Washington.
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 launched initiatives to achieve financial stability for the University; achieve carbon neutrality across the UC system by 2025; accelerate the translation of UC research into products and services; focus UC resources on global food security; and create a systemwide program with Mexico.
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 focused on engaged learning, community engagement and civic engagement. As a lawyer with a background in constitutional law and as president of the university named for the Father of the U.S. Constitution, President Alger has championed civic engagement and the role of higher education in serving the public good. Reflecting this commitment, in 2017 the university created the new James Madison Center for Civic Engagement, which provides national as well as institutional leadership on democratic engagement and voter participation.
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 TCNJ from the University of Maine at Farmington where she served as president from 2012 to 2018. Prior to the presidency, she was a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, on research leave from the State University of New York at Buffalo, her academic home from 1993 to 2012. Earlier in her career, Foster served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland).
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 the most widely experienced leaders in American higher education, known for his commitment to expanding student opportunity, catalyzing academic innovation, and encouraging universities’ civic engagement and service to society, Bacow is the former President of Tufts University and past Chancellor and Chair of the Faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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 governor in the state’s history. During his tenure, Indiana went from an $800 million deficit to its first AAA credit rating, led the nation in infrastructure building and passed sweeping education and healthcare reforms.
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.
Chancellor 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 administrations.
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 social innovation. These priorities are embedded in the university’s first comprehensive strategic planning document, the Ten by Twenty.
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 French professor before entering university administration, President Simmons held an appointment as a Professor of Comparative Literature and Africana Studies at Brown.
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, the College has been a leader in sustainability initiatives such as carbon pricing. She has also led the charge to reimagine numerous spaces on campus and invest in new facilities such as Maxine Frank Singer Hall.
ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge at Civic Nation
Director, Strategic Initiatives,
ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge at Civic Nation