Jane Dammen McAuliffe became the eighth president of Bryn Mawr College in July 2008.
Founded in 1885, Bryn Mawr has a distinguished history of academic excellence. Under President McAuliffe’s leadership, the College is reinvigorating its liberal arts model for the twenty-first century. With support from organizations including the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the College has initiated an innovative 360° Program, through which students focus a semester’s study around a specific theme, and is piloting the use of blended learning in courses across the curriculum. Greater collaboration with Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges has led to the creation of the Tri-Co Digital Humanities Consortium and a new Tri-College minor in Environmental Studies.
Addressing the global needs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), Bryn Mawr leads in preparing students for STEM careers. Bryn Mawr ranks among the top 10 U.S. colleges and universities in the percentage of female graduates pursuing doctorates in these fields. It stands second in the nation in the percentage of female students receiving degrees in math, and its students are six times more likely to graduate with a chemistry degree than college students nationwide. McAuliffe has made increasing the number of women entering STEM fields a key advocacy issue of her presidency.
In pursuit of a decidedly global agenda, McAuliffe has convened educators, activists, business leaders, and policymakers from around the world at Bryn Mawr in forums large and small to spur dialogue and to foster innovative initiatives. She has also begun to develop strategic partnerships with several important universities and colleges across the globe. Recently, Bryn Mawr joined with the U.S. Department of State and other leading women’s colleges to establish The Women in Public Service Project. Bryn Mawr’s increasingly global nature is also evident in its international student population, which has more than doubled since McAuliffe took office.
McAuliffe is a member of the board of directors of the American Council on Education (ACE) and has been elected to the American Philosophical Society and to the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2010-2011, she was a part of ACE’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Global Engagement and the UK-US Higher Education Policy Forum. As a scholar, President McAuliffe is internationally known for her work in Islamic studies. McAuliffe's many publications include Qur’ānic Christians: An Analysis of Classical and Modern Exegesis, Abbasid Authority Affirmed: The Early Years of al-Mansur, With Reverence for the Word: Medieval Scriptural Exegesis in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the Cambridge Companion to the Qur’an, the six-volume Encyclopaedia of the Qur’an, and the forthcoming Norton Anthology of World Religions and Norton Critical Edition of the Qur’an. Her work has been supported by fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has served on the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims and is a long-standing member of Building Bridges, an international interfaith meeting convened annually by the Archbishop of Canterbury. In 2004, she served as president of the American Academy of Religion. President McAuliffe received a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Toronto, and a B.A. from Trinity College (Washington, DC), and is the recipient of several honorary degrees. Prior to her arrival at Bryn Mawr, she was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Georgetown University.