Facade of Healy Hall, with Bishop John Carroll statue in front
The Office of the President is housed in Healy Hall.[1]

Georgetown University is a private Jesuit research university in Washington, D.C. that was founded as Georgetown College by Bishop John Carroll of Baltimore in 1789.[2] The president of Georgetown University is its chief executive officer,[3] and from its establishment until the 1960s was also the rector of the university's Jesuit community.[4] The president is elected by and may be removed by the university's board of directors, and is ex officio a member of the board and one of five members of the university's legal corporation,[3] known as the President and Directors of Georgetown College, which was first chartered by the United States Congress in 1815.[5]

The president is charged with control over the "business affairs and properties" of the university, and appoints the vice presidents and administrators and, with the concurrence of the board, appoints the provost, secretary, and treasurer of the university. The president may remove any officer, vice president, or administrator by his accord, except the provost, secretary, and treasurer, which require the concurrence of the board. In the event that the office is vacant, the powers of the presidency are exercised by the provost.[3] The president is among the 100 highest-paid university presidents in the United States.[6]

Of the 41 individuals to have held the office, nearly all have been Jesuits.[4] Only one has been a member of another religious order while president: Louis William Valentine DuBourg, who was a Sulpician.[7] Three presidents have gone on to become bishops: DuBourg,[7] Leonard Neale,[8] and Benedict Joseph Fenwick.[9] Every president has been a Catholic priest except one, the current president, John J. DeGioia.[4] Having assumed office on July 1, 2001,[10] DeGioia is the university's longest-serving president.[4]

SJ Society of Jesus
SS Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice


No. Name Years Notes Ref.
1 Robert Plunkett SJ 1791–1793 [11]
2 Robert Molyneux SJ 1793–1796 Superior of the Jesuit Maryland Mission (1805–1808)[12] [11]
3 Louis William Valentine DuBourg SS 1796–1798 Founder and President of St. Mary's College (1799–1810); Bishop of Louisiana and the Two Floridas (1815–1826); Bishop of Montauban (1826–1833); Archbishop of Besançon (1833).[7] [11]
4 Leonard Neale SJ 1798–1806 Coadjutor Bishop of Baltimore (1795–1815); Archbishop of Baltimore (1815–1817)[8] [11]
5 Robert Molyneux SJ 1806–1808 [11]
6 Francis Neale SJ 1808–1809 Acting president [11]
7 William Matthews 1809 President of the Washington Seminary (1824–1848).[13] Georgetown alumnus.[14] Was a Jesuit novice only for the duration of his presidency.[13] [11]
8 Francis Neale SJ 1809–1812 [11]
9 Giovanni Antonio Grassi SJ 1812–1817 Superior of the Jesuit Maryland Mission (1812–1817); Provincial Superior of the Jesuit Province of Turin (1831–1835); Rector of the Pontificio Collegio Urbano de Propaganda Fide (1840–1842).[15] Sometimes referred to as Georgetown's "second founder."[16] [11]
10 Benedict Joseph Fenwick SJ 1817 Bishop of Boston (1825–1846).[9] Georgetown alumnus.[17] [11]
11 Anthony Kohlmann SJ 1817–1820 Apostolic Administrator of New York (1810–1815); Superior of the Jesuit Maryland Mission (1817–1819);[18] President of the Washington Seminary (1820–1824).[19] [11]
12 Enoch Fenwick SJ 1820–1825 [11]
13 Benedict Joseph Fenwick SJ 1825 Acting president [11]
14 Stephen Larigaudelle Dubuisson SJ 1825–1826 Georgetown alumnus[20] [11]
15 William Feiner SJ 1826–1829 [11]
16 John W. Beschter SJ 1829 [11]
17 Thomas F. Mulledy SJ 1829–1838 Provincial Superior of the Jesuit Maryland Province (1837–1840);[12] President of the College of the Holy Cross (1843–1845).[21] Georgetown alumnus.[22] [11]
18 William McSherry SJ 1838–1839 Provincial Superior of the Jesuit Maryland Province (1833–1837, 1839).[12] Georgetown alumnus.[23] [11]
19 Joseph A. Lopez SJ 1839–1840 Acting president. First Latin American college president in the United States.[24] [11]
20 James A. Ryder SJ 1840–1845 Provincial Superior of the Jesuit Maryland Province (1843–1845);[12] President of the College of the Holy Cross (1845–1848); President of Saint Joseph's College (1856–1857).[25] Georgetown alumnus.[26] [11]
21 Samuel Mulledy SJ 1845 Georgetown alumnus[27] [11]
22 Thomas F. Mulledy SJ 1845–1848 [11]
23 James A. Ryder SJ 1848–1851 [11]
24 Charles H. Stonestreet SJ 1851–1852 Provincial Superior of the Jesuit Maryland Province (1852–1858);[12] President of Gonzaga College (1858–1860).[28] Georgetown alumnus.[29] [11]
25 Bernard A. Maguire SJ 1852–1858 Georgetown alumnus[30] [11]
26 John Early SJ 1858–1865 President of the College of the Holy Cross (1848–1851); President of Loyola College in Maryland (1852–1858, 1866–1870).[31] Georgetown alumnus.[32] [11]
27 Bernard A. Maguire SJ 1866–1870 [11]
28 John Early SJ 1870–1873 [11]
29 Patrick Francis Healy SJ 1873–1882 First black American to become a Jesuit, earn a Ph.D. and become the president of a predominantly white American university.[33] Sometimes referred to as Georgetown's "second founder."[34] [11]
30 James A. Doonan SJ 1882–1888 Georgetown alumnus[35] [11]
31 J. Havens Richards SJ 1888–1898 [11]
32 John D. Whitney SJ 1898–1901 [36]
33 Jerome Daugherty SJ 1901–1905 [36]
34 David Hillhouse Buel SJ 1905–1908 [36]
35 Joseph J. Himmel SJ 1908–1912 Rector of St. Andrew-on-Hudson (1915–1921)[37] [36]
36 Alphonsus J. Donlon SJ 1912–1918 Georgetown alumnus[38] [36]
37 John B. Creeden SJ 1918–1924 [36]
38 Charles W. Lyons SJ 1924–1928 Rector of Gonzaga College (1908–1909); President of Saint Joseph's College (1909–1914); President of Boston College (1914–1919)[39] [36]
39 W. Coleman Nevils SJ 1928–1935 President of the University of Scranton (1942–1947)[40] [36]
40 Arthur A. O'Leary SJ 1935–1942 [36]
41 Lawrence C. Gorman SJ 1942–1949 [36]
42 J. Hunter Guthrie SJ 1949–1952 [36]
43 Edward B. Bunn SJ 1952–1964 President of Loyola College in Maryland (1938–1947)[41] [42]
44 Gerard J. Campbell SJ 1964–1968 [42]
45 Robert J. Henle SJ 1969–1976 [42]
46 Timothy S. Healy SJ 1976–1989 President of the New York Public Library (1989–1992)[43] [42]
47 Leo J. O'Donovan SJ 1989–2001 Georgetown alumnus[44] [42]
48 John J. DeGioia 2001–present First lay president of a Jesuit university in the United States.[45] Georgetown alumnus.[4]