Rev. Robert A. Dowd, CSC, elected 18th president of the University of Notre Dame | News | Notre Dame News

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Rev. Robert A. Dowd CSC
Rev. Robert A. Dowd, CSC

The University of Notre Dame Board of Trustees has elected Rev. Robert A. Dowd, CSC, as the University’s 18th president, effective July 1. He will succeed Rev. John I. Jenkins, CSCwho announced in October that he would step down at the end of the 2023-24 academic year after serving as president for 19 years.

“We are thrilled that Father Dowd will be Notre Dame’s next leader,” said Jack Brennan, president of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees. “His character and intelligence, along with his extensive academic and administrative experience and deep commitment to Notre Dame, make him the ideal person to lead the University into the future.” Since its founding, Notre-Dame has been led by a priest-president from the Congregation of the Holy Cross, the religious order to which Father Sorin, founder of the University, belonged. The University has had only three presidents in the past 70 years, each exceptional in their own right: Father Jenkins, Father Edward Malloy, CSC, and Father Theodore Hesburgh, CSC. Father Dowd continues in this rich tradition.

“I am deeply touched and honored by the board’s decision,” Father Dowd said. “We can all be grateful for Father Jenkins’ selfless and courageous leadership over nearly two decades. Along with others, his efforts have positioned the University extremely well in all respects. We will build on these efforts. Informed by our Catholic mission, we will work together to ensure that Notre Dame is an ever-increasing engine of insight, innovation and impact, tackling society’s greatest challenges and helping young people realize their potential for good .

“I thank and congratulate our Board of Trustees for choosing Father Dowd as the next president of Notre Dame,” Father Jenkins said. “An accomplished scholar, dedicated teacher and experienced administrator, Father Bob is also a faithful and generous priest. It will lead the University to become even more powerful a force for good in the world.

Father Dowd currently serves as vice president and associate provost for interdisciplinary initiatives at Notre Dame, a position he has held since 2021. He is also an associate professor of political science and is a member and trustee of the University and religious superior of the Holy Community crossed at Notre Dame.

A native of Michigan City, Indiana, Father Dowd graduated from Notre Dame in 1987, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and economics, and entered Moreau Seminary in the fall of that year to explore his vocation to religious life and the priesthood. While in seminary, he requested a posting to East Africa and spent 18 months there. After taking his final vows in the Congregation of the Holy Cross in 1993 and being ordained a priest in 1994, he worked in the university pastoral ministry of Notre-Dame, as deputy rector of the Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur and deputy rector in one of the University’s establishments. Residential homes.

He began his graduate studies at UCLA in 1996, earning a master’s degree in African studies in 1998 and a doctorate in political science in 2003. In 2004, Father Dowd joined Notre Dame’s political science department as a fellow of the teaching staff. Specializing in comparative politics, her research has focused on how Christian and Islamic religious communities affect support for democratic institutions, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. He has published articles in leading academic journals and a book with Oxford University Press.

In his current role, Father Dowd oversees several institutes, centers and other academic units at Notre Dame, including the Center for Social Concerns, the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, the Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate, iNDustry Labs, the Institute for Educational Initiatives, the Lucy Family Institute for Data and Society, McGrath Institute for Church Life, Notre Dame Technology Ethics Center, Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, ROTC programs, and Raclin Murphy Museum of Art. It also leads the approval and review process for institutes and centers.

He was previously Vice President for Internationalization at Notre Dame International, where his main responsibilities included overseeing the Dublin Global Gateway and the Kylemore Abbey Global Center in Ireland and the São Paulo Global Center in Brazil, and establishing an office in Nairobi, Kenya, to promote and support Notre Dame’s research and education partnerships in Africa.

He is the founder of Notre Dame’s Ford Program in Human Development and Solidarity Studies at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, driven by Catholic Social Teaching and dedicated to creating community-engaged research partnerships in countries from South. He is a member of the Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the Keough School of Global Affairs. ‘University. He is also a trustee of Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, and a board member of Brother Andre Hospital in Nairobi.

Father Dowd’s research has focused on African politics, identity politics, and religion and politics. His research has also explored the effects of religious beliefs and institutions on the integration of migrants/refugees in Europe and the effects of faith-based schools on citizenship and civic engagement in Africa. He is the author of the book “Christianity, Islam and liberal democracy: lessons from sub-Saharan Africa”.

During his 19-year tenure as president, Father Jenkins is credited with advancing Notre Dame’s mission as a Catholic research university; attract and support exceptional faculty; foster spectacular growth in research at the University; obtaining Notre Dame’s admission to the Association of American Universities; ensure the financial strength of the University; admit a talented and diverse student body; promote continued excellence in undergraduate education; expand Notre Dame’s global engagement; and providing students with in-person education during the COVID-19 pandemic. A longtime member of the Commission on Presidential Debates, he is nationally recognized as an advocate for civil discourse and a leading voice on the future of college sports.

A video announcement is available here and a history of the presidency of the University is available here.

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