Welcoming the 19th President of The George Washington University









April 28, 2022

The Search for the 19th President of the George Washington University


Dear GW Community Members:

I am pleased to announce the launch of the search for the 19th president of the George Washington University and to share the membership of the Presidential Search Committee.

The Board of Trustees is responsible for selecting the president, and it is the single most important decision that we make. At the dawn of the university’s third century, we are looking for a leader who will reinforce our commitment to academic excellence, enhance our academic reputation, and help us achieve our aspirations for preeminence.

To guide this effort, I have charged a Presidential Search Committee to find the finalists for the Board of Trustees’ consideration. There are 17 committee members with seven trustees, five faculty, a trustee emerita, a staff member, the president-elect of the Student Association and the president-elect of the GW Alumni Association. I will serve as an ex-officio member of the committee. In the spirit of the recently concluded Shared Governance initiative, the faculty selected are all either from the Faculty Senate or the Faculty Consultative Committee.

Trustee Roslyn Brock, M.S. ’89, has agreed to serve as chair. She is chief global equity officer of Abt Associates and serves as chairperson emeritus of the NAACP Board of Directors. Additionally, James Tielsch, professor and chair of the Department of Global Health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health and chair of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, will serve as vice chair. A full roster of the committee is included below.

The committee will begin its work soon and participate in the selection of a search firm. Because of the extremely competitive market for high-quality presidential candidates, the committee is charged with being innovative and flexible in finding and attracting outstanding talent. Additionally, I have asked the committee members to join the trustees, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Faculty Consultative Committee at the Board of Trustees Retreat this summer to begin discussions on the desired experience and characteristics of the next President.

The Presidential Search Committee, through its chair, will communicate with the university community at key points in the process through a dedicated website. We will also seek the perspectives of community members and stakeholders about our aspirations and the leadership qualities needed to realize those aspirations. We also urge the GW community to share with the committee, through our dedicated website, the names of individuals who you believe should be considered as candidates to serve as the next GW president. This feedback is critical to our success, and we look forward to sharing more details on engagement opportunities in the coming months.

Finally, I want to thank President Mark S. Wrighton who has provided us the time to conduct a thorough search. He has consistently stated that his priority is to position GW for the next president and for increased prominence in our third century. With his leadership, the dedicated service of our Presidential Search Committee, and the feedback and engagement of the Faculty Consultative Committee and our entire campus community, we are in a position of strength to recruit the best person to serve as our next leader.


Grace Speights
Chair, GW Board of Trustees


Meet the Search Committee