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Former “Car Czar” Montgomery Named Next President of WMU

Auto Industry Recovery Director Ed Montgomery Visits Michigan
Dr. Ed Montgomery, the White House Director of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, hold a press conference April 1, 2009 in Lansing, Michigan. Montgomery visited Michigan to discuss the President’s support of a strong American auto industry and the President’s Auto Task Force initiative. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

A former member of both the Obama and Clinton Administrations, Dr. Edward Montgomery has been named the 9th President of Western Michigan University.Montgomery was known as the “car czar”, in his time as director of Barack Obama’s Auto Task Force. Montgomery was deputy Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton. He currently is Dean of the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.

WMU Trustee William Johnston, who led the Presidential Search Advisory Committee said today “Edward Montgomery’s personal demeanor, commitment to transformational change and extensive academic background resonated with all of us involved in the search and spoke directly to the themes that emerged from our numerous listening sessions with university stakeholders.” – WMU release

Speaking with the fervor of a preacher, Montgomery said he hoped to build on the accomplishment of his predecessor, Dr. John Dunn, who is retiring in June. Montgomery has many familial connections to Western, with a son ready to graduate next month, and several in-laws who are alumni.

Montgomery is a graduate of Penn. St. University, with Masters and Doctoral degrees from Harvard.

“I was drawn to the opportunity to lead an up-and-coming student-centric comprehensive university with deep ties to the local and regional economy and community. Its strengths in the traditional arts and sciences, coupled with strong programs in such areas as aviation, engineering, business, medicine and others make it an institution with enormous potential” Montgomery says. “Job No. 1 for me is getting to know the faculty, staff, students and alumni communities. Working together, I know we can build on the strong foundation laid by President Dunn and make WMU the institution of choice for students from the state and region.” – WMU release

Montgomery will officially take office on Aug. 1. His five-year contract calls for him to have an annual salary of $450,000. A deferred compensation/retirement package will provide an additional $50,000 per year.

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