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Patrick F. Leahy, Ed.D. Biography

A portrait of Patrick F. Leahy

Patrick F. Leahy joined Monmouth University as president on August 1, 2019. He was unanimously selected by the Board of Trustees and other members of the Presidential Search Committee following a comprehensive nationwide search.

Under his leadership Monmouth University has reached its highest U.S. News & World Report ranking, jumping 10 places from 28 to 18 in two years, and welcomed its most diverse and academically prepared classes in the school’s history.  On the graduate level, Leahy has championed Monmouth’s third doctoral program, Doctor of Occupational Therapy, which enrolled its first class in 2021.

Leahy has also focused on expanding student access to academic excellence, increasing the financial aid budget to the highest level in the university’s history to $79.2 million, a 7.9% increase over the previous year.  Leahy also launched a President’s Relief Fund to provide direct aid to students economically impacted by COVID-19, before the federal CARES Act was signed into law.

He has also engaged Monmouth in national conversations on racial justice. With the full support of the Board of Trustees, the University removed Woodrow Wilson’s name from its signature administrative center, and established a permanently endowed Diversity Initiatives Fund, with an initial allocation of $3 million.

As president, Leahy has significantly restructured the academic alignment of the university, promoting the provost to a senior vice president position, and added deans and departmental leaders to the president’s cabinet to expand the range of academic perspectives in the strategic decision-making process.

His external leadership positions include serving as vice president of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, recent appointment to a two-year term on the board of National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and as a member of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s Higher Education Restart Advisory Group.  He has been recognized on the 2020 ROI Influencer Higher Ed President Honor Roll, and the NJBIZ Power 50 Education list.  More recently, he was named as a Top 50 Leader in Higher Education by The National Diversity Council at the 17th Annual National Diversity & Leadership Conference in April 2021.

Prior to joining Monmouth, Leahy served a successful seven-year term as president of Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. At Wilkes, Leahy was instrumental in the development of the Gateway to the Future Strategic Plan, which included the introduction of 20 new academic programs and the university’s first honors program; the launch of the university’s first Ph.D. program; more than $100 million in transformative campus enhancements; and strategic investments in faculty scholarship and research. During his tenure, Wilkes earned the distinction of becoming a Doctoral/Professional University under the Carnegie Classifications. He also led the introduction of seven new NCAA Division III athletic teams and the region’s only collegiate marching band.

Prior to his time at Wilkes, Leahy was a senior administrative leader at The University of Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He first served as vice president for university relations, successfully completing a $129 million comprehensive capital campaign. He was then promoted to executive vice president, where he was responsible for development, government relations, undergraduate and graduate enrollment, intercollegiate athletics, planning, and information technology. Leahy also taught in the Business Leadership Honors Program.

Before moving to Scranton, Leahy was co-founder and president of the Business Affairs Forum, a 15,000-member distance learning community for alumni of the nation’s MBA programs. He has also worked as an investment officer for a venture capital firm, as an account executive for a Fortune 500 company, and as a development officer for his alma mater, Georgetown University.

A native of Towson, Maryland, Leahy holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Georgetown University, where he spent his junior year abroad at the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland. He earned two master’s degrees from Cornell University in business administration and in labor relations, where he was both a Fried Fellow and a CEED Fellow. In 2009, he earned a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Pennsylvania, focusing his dissertation research on organizational change in higher education. Leahy and his wife, Amy, have four children: Grace, Molly, Jack, and Brian.