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BREAKING NEWS: Jonathan Alger Announced as AU’s New President 

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at American chapter.

On March 18, American University (AU) sent a school-wide email announcing Jonathan Alger as the university’s 16th president. Gina Adams, the chair of the Board of Trustees, released a memorandum regarding the news.

This presidential search comes after current president Sylvia Burwell announced in August of last year that she will be stepping down from the role. 

Alger previously served as president of James Madison University (JMU) for 12 years, where his strategic plan led to a focus on engaged learning, community engagement and civic engagement. 

Prior to his presidency at JMU, Alger served as Rutgers University’s vice president and general counsel, assistant counsel at University of Michigan, a member of the American Association of University Professors and worked for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Alger received his B.A. with high honors from Swarthmore University and obtained his J.D. with honors from Harvard Law. 

Currently, Alger serves on various committees, including the American Association of Colleges and Universities.

“I’m energized by what we will accomplish together,” Alger said in a video announcement.

Alger stated there is no better place to carry out missions related to higher education, the critical role of knowledge and “civic discourse in a vibrant democracy” than AU.

His newly announced role as president received praise from AU faculty and staff as well as many higher education leaders he has worked alongside.

“Jon Alger exemplifies the purpose, commitment to service, and dedication to learning and scholarship that are hallmarks of the AU community,” said Lilian Baeza-Mendoza, Hurst Senior Professional Lecturer and member of the presidential search committee, in a press release. 

Ted Mitchell, president of American Council on Education (ACE) commended Alger for his “collaborative leadership style, deliberative demeanor, and strategic vision” that will aid in progress made under Burwell’s leadership.

Alger is connected to the surrounding community, as he and his wife met and were married at the National Presbyterian Church. 

He stated that the Tenleytown area is foundational to the lives of him and his family.

Alger will join AU as its 16th president on July 1, after Burwell’s departure.

Sofia Marcus

American '25

Sofia Marcus is a current junior double-majoring in Journalism and Justice, Law & Criminology. She is from Boca Raton, FL and enjoys going to concerts, trying new foods & drinks, reading books, and writing. Sofia is also the Print Editor for HerCampus American.