Board Member

Jonathan R. Alger

Jonathan R. Alger

President, James Madison University

Jonathan Alger became the 6th president of James Madison University (JMU) on July 1, 2012. Under his leadership, JMU 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. JMU has evolved significantly under Alger’s leadership. In 2022, JMU was reclassified as an R2 national research university under the Carnegie Classifications. Its endowment has more than doubled, and in 2022, JMU also transitioned to the Sun Belt Conference and the highest level of Division I Football.

Prior to leading JMU, Alger served as senior vice president and general counsel at Rutgers University, where he provided strategic leadership on a variety of issues and established a comprehensive compliance program. He had previously worked as assistant general counsel at the University of Michigan, where he played a key leadership role in the university's efforts in two landmark Supreme Court cases on diversity and admissions and coordinated one of the largest amicus brief coalitions in Supreme Court history. Earlier in his career he worked in the national office of the American Association of University Professors on issues such as academic freedom, shared governance, tenure, and due process. He also served for several years in the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, where he was the point person on the development and implementation of national policies on race-conscious financial aid, racial harassment, and free expression.

Alger is a nationally recognized scholar and speaker on higher education policy and law, and a national leader in the field of civic engagement in higher education. He earned his B.A. with High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa, from Swarthmore College, and his J.D. with Honors from Harvard Law School.