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University Concludes Eight Month Search for New President

photo from JMU administration

The 16th President of American University will be former James Madison University (JMU) President Jonathan Alger, the Board of Trustees announced in an email to students March 18. 

“I’m honored to be joining this remarkable community,” Alger said in a video announcing his new role. “I’m energized by what we will accomplish together.”

Alger served as president of JMU for 12 years. Some of his notable accomplishments during his tenure at JMU include doubling the university’s endowment, establishing the Valley Scholars Program for first-generation students and forming the Task Force on Racial Equity.

Prior to assuming the presidency at James Madison, Alger acted as general counsel and senior vice president of Rutgers University and assistant general counsel at the University of Michigan. While at the University of Michigan, Alger coordinated one of the largest amicus brief coalitions in Supreme Court History. 

Alger has a bachelor’s in political science from Swarthmore College and a degree from Harvard Law School. During his time at Rutgers and Michigan, Alger taught courses in law, public policy, higher education and diversity.

Currently, Alger also acts as the chair of the Association of Governing Boards' Council of Presidents and the vice chair of the American Association of Colleges and Universities. He also has experience serving on the CE Board of Directors, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors and as a public member on the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Advisory Council.

Alger is set to assume his new role as American University’s president effective July 1, as current President Sylvia Burwell concludes her seven year presidency.

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