Mark A. Emmert became the 30th president of the University of Washington, his alma mater, in June 2004. He is committed to building on the UW standard of excellence to produce a transformative learning experience for students and improve the lives of the citizens of the state of Washington and beyond. Since taking office, Emmert has led an array of efforts ranging from revitalizing undergraduate education to improving workplace culture. He has championed accessibility and diversity, and has strengthened the University's commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. In addition, he has developed and overseen a comprehensive strategic plan to put the UW on a more competitive financial footing with its peers.
Under Emmert's leadership, the University has achieved a number of notable milestones, including the creation and launch of the Husky Promise, a guarantee to Washington's low-income students that they will not have to pay for tuition at the UW. Also during Emmert's tenure, the University completed the most successful private fundraising effort in its history, Campaign UW: Creating Futures, which raised more than $2.68 billion from nearly 300,000 donors.
Since Emmert came to the UW, the University has moved boldly to help position the state of Washington as an epicenter for global health, establishing a new interdisciplinary Department of Global Health and creating the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Another endeavor, the College of the Environment, was created in 2008 to focus the collective expertise of the more than 400 faculty who make the UW home to one of the strongest pools of environmental intellectual talent in the world.
Emmert is a seasoned academic leader. Prior to assuming the presidency at the University of Washington, he was chancellor at Louisiana State University. There, he guided a highly collaborative effort known as the Flagship Agenda, an action plan aimed at establishing LSU as a nationally competitive research university. Emmert also served as chancellor of the University of Connecticut and held administrative and academic positions at the University of Colorado and Montana State University. He was a J. W. Fulbright Administrative Fellow in Germany and an American Council on Education Fellow.
Among his professional activities, Emmert is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, sits on the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board, and serves as Vice-chair of the Worldwide Universities Network Executive Group. He is also an active member of the Seattle community, serving on the Board of Trustees for the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce and as Co-chair of the Prosperity Partnership, a coalition of more than 260 organizations dedicated to developing and implementing a common economic strategy for the central Puget Sound region.
A native of Fife, Washington, Emmert attended Green River Community College before he transferred to the University of Washington. He graduated from the UW in 1975 with a degree in political science. He received his master's degree in 1976 and his doctorate in 1983, both in public administration from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. Emmert and his wife, DeLaine, have been married for over 30 years. They have two children, Steve and Jennifer.