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Jonathan Alger ’86 Named President of American University

Jonathan Alger in front of stone building

Jonathan Alger ’86 was recently named the 16th president of American University and will assume the role on July 1. He has served as the president at James Madison University for the past 12 years.

At Swarthmore, Alger was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and earned High Honors with a major in political science and concentration in public policy, and a minor in history. He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and has served as president of the National Association of College and University Attorneys and on advisory boards for the Association of American Universities and other higher-education organizations.

In 2020, Alger co-authored a column with President Valerie Smith for Forbes titled “Democracy Is Under Duress,” about the imperative need to get students involved in the election, and that the role of higher education is inextricably linked to fostering civic engagement among students.

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