Edward Montgomery, dean and a professor of economics at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, will become Western Michigan University’s next president this summer.
WMU’s trustees voted unanimously today to hire Montgomery, a labor economist who played roles in both the Clinton and Obama administrations. He succeeds retiring President John Dunn, who departs July 31.
“We were fortunate to have a number of gifted candidates emerge through the search process,” WMU Trustee William Johnston, who led the 22-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee, said in a statement. “Edward Montgomery’s personal demeanor, commitment to transformational change and extensive academic background resonated with all of us involved in the search and spoke directly to the themes that emerged from our numerous listening sessions with university stakeholders."
In his 35-year academic career, Montgomery has held faculty positions at Carnegie Mellon University, Michigan State University and the University of Maryland. He has been at Georgetown University since 2010.
In President Clinton’s administration, Montgomery served as chief economist, counselor and assistant secretary for the Department of Labor and deputy secretary of labor. He was a member of the President Obama’s auto task force and led the inter-agency White House Council for Auto Communities and Workers.
“I was drawn to the opportunity to lead an up-and-coming student-centric comprehensive university with deep ties to the local and regional economy and community. Its strengths in the traditional arts and sciences, coupled with strong programs in such areas as aviation, engineering, business, medicine and others make it an institution with enormous potential,” Montgomery said. “Job No. 1 for me is getting to know the faculty, staff, students and alumni communities. Working together, I know we can build on the strong foundation laid by President Dunn and make WMU the institution of choice for students from the state and region.”
WMU will pay Montgomery, who takes office Aug. 1, an annual salary of $450,000. He received a five-year contract.