University Presidents Lawrence Bacow and Jonathan Alger to Speak at ACE2023
February 06, 2023

​Two esteemed university presidents and experienced leaders in higher education round out the major speakers announced for ACE2023, ACE's annual meeting to be held April 13-15 in Washington, DC.

Lawrence S. Bacow, president at Harvard University, will speak at the Robert H. Atwell Plenary, and Jonathan R. Alger, president at James Madison University (JMU), will speak at the Closing Plenary.

Bacow has served as Harvard's president since 2018, previously serving as a Hauser Leader-in-Residence at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Center for Public Leadership. Before coming to Harvard, Bacow was president of Tufts University and chancellor and chair of the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was ​also a senior advisor to Ithaka S+R, a nonprofit organization devoted to innovation in higher education, and has served as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences' Lincoln Project on preserving and strengthening the nation's public research universities and the White House Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Since Alger took over as JMU's president in 2012, the university has evolved significantly. Under his leadership, the university developed a strategic plan focused on engaged learning, community engagement, and civic engagement; has been reclassified as an R2 national research university under the Carnegie Classification system; and doubled its endowment. Prior to his time at JMU, Alger 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. He also served for several years in the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.

Bacow and Alger join a diverse list of ACE2023 speakers, including Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president emeritus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Sethuraman Panchanathan, director of the National Science Foundation; Laura Helmuth, editor-in-chief of Scientific American; and Clint Smith, staff writer at The Atlantic and New York Times bestselling author.

Click here to register for ACE2023 so that you can join the hundreds of presidents, senior executives, and other higher education leaders who already registered for the country's most distinguished higher education event.​