Dr. John C. Cavanaugh is President and CEO of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. Previously, he served as Chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and as president of the University of West Florida. John is a leader in higher education policy and innovation, as well as in innovative uses of technology. He has led statutory and regulatory reform of higher education, and shaped the national discussions of quality assurance and accreditation. John earned his B.A. in psychology with high honors from the University of Delaware, and his M.A and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Notre Dame. His disciplinary expertise is in gerontology and neuroscience. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota and an American Council on Education Fellow. Among his many honors, he received the American Council on Education Council of Fellows Mentor of the Year Award in 2012, and the Pensacola Area Commitment to Excellence Community Leader of the Year Award in 2008. He was also awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters (honoris causa) from Drexel University.
John is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, a Charter Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. He serves as vice chair of the Board of Trustees for the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), secretary of the Board of Trustees for Marygrove College (Detroit), and on the leadership team for the Washington, DC Region Global Cities Initiative. He is past-president of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Board of Trustees, and has served as a Commissioner of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, a Commissioner of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and is a member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation International Quality Group. He has served as member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, as treasurer and chair of the federal relations committee of the State Higher Education Executive Officers, and as secretary-treasurer of the National Association of System Heads. John is the coauthor of three series of textbooks: Adult Development and Aging (with Fredda Blanchard-Fields, now in its 7th edition), Human Development: A Life-Span View (with Robert V. Kail, now in its 7th edition), and Essentials of Human Development (with Robert V. Kail, now in its 2nd edition). He also co-edited the three volume series Aging in America with Dr. Christine Cavanaugh. John has authored or co-authored over 80 articles and chapters on aging, higher education policy, and leadership issues. John is married to Dr. Christine K. Cavanaugh. He greatly enjoys travel, hiking, cooking, writing, history, and photography.