Office of the President
Ronald Mason, Jr., J.D.
Ronald Mason, Jr. J.D. is the ninth president of the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), the only public university in the nation’s capital and the only exclusively urban land-grant institution in the United States. This is his third presidential appointment. Having begun at UDC in 2015, Mason is the university’s longest-serving president.
With outstanding programs in green technology, engineering, computer science, homeland security and speech pathology, Mason leads an emerging institution committed to providing affordable, quality and innovative learning opportunities that prepare students for the practical demands of the workplace. As the entire “system” of higher education for the District, UDC offers workforce development, an open admissions community college, and flagship programs from bachelor to Ph.D. and J.D. degrees.
Under his leadership, the university began a multi-million-dollar capital renovation and expansion program; spending on research has almost tripled; the Center for Diversity, Inclusion & Multicultural Affairs (CDIMA) was created; two new Ph.D. programs were initiated and launched (Urban Leadership & Entrepreneurship and Engineering & Computer Science); the institution secured the most significant private gift in its history—$2.3 million for need-based scholarships.
Prior to his appointment at UDC, Mason served a five-year term as the chief executive officer of the Southern University and A&M College System and spent ten years as president of Jackson State University. Before that, Mason developed a successful record of progressive leadership at Tulane University, including senior vice president, general counsel and vice president for finance and operations. He also served as the founder and executive director of the National Center for the Urban Community at Tulane and Xavier Universities.
Mason has served in many leadership roles over the years, including two terms on the National Association for Institutional Quality and Integrity and multiple terms on the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Board. He has chaired the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Education and advised three U.S. presidents through the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Mason formerly served on the Board of the American Council on Education and the American University of Nigeria Board. He is a Digital Promise Board Member and serves on the Educational Testing Service HBCU Advisory Committee and the Vice-Chair of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area.
Mason is the recipient of numerous recognitions, including the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Award for Educational Leadership, the Benjamin E. Mays Educator of the Year, Columbia University John Jay Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement, TMCF Educator of the Year, the City of New Orleans Medal of Honor, and the Tulane/Xavier/Loyola Lifetime Achievement Award.
A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Mason received his B.A. and J.D. from Columbia University. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Institute of Educational Management.