Dr. Ann McElaney-Johnson is the president of Mount Saint Mary’s University, the only women’s university in Los Angeles yet one of the most diverse in the nation. Since her appointment in 2011, she has led and implemented a strategic vision for the University that fosters a culture of innovation and excellence, preparing students to be global leaders and pursue purpose-filled lives. Her vision is rooted in the traditions and heritage of the University’s founding Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, as well as the University’s institutional mission. Mount Saint Mary’s has been recognized for its transformative effect on its students, including being named the top private university for overall mobility by The New York Times in 2019.
Dr. McElaney-Johnson’s commitment to inclusive excellence supports and advocates for the success of all members of the Mount Saint Mary's University community. She has led the transformation of diversity and inclusion by prioritizing them as core principles of the University’s institutional identity. The establishment of the University Diversity Task Force, the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the University’s Diversity Council, and the President’s Diversity Grant for the development of faculty, staff, and students are just a few examples of how Dr. McElaney-Johnson’s leadership has supported affirmative progress toward creating a campus environment and ethos that celebrates diversity.
In addition, Dr. McElaney-Johnson identified gender equity and wellness as top priorities for the University. She established Mount Saint Mary’s as a national resource for women’s issues and research with the creation of the Center for the Advance of Women. Under her leadership, the University launched its campus-wide Mount Wellness movement to develop healthy, confident, resilient leaders. Dr. McElaney-Johnson also grew the University’s international presence and expanded academic offerings at all levels to ensure a rich learning environment, including the University’s growing Graduate Division, which now boasts 10 graduate programs.
She serves on several executive boards, including Chair of the Board for the Women’s College Coalition, Advisory Board Member of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, Member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU), Member of the Board of St. Joseph Center, Member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), and Member of the Board of Trustees for the College of Holy Cross, among others.
Prior to becoming the President of Mount Saint Mary’s, Dr. McElaney-Johnson was the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and Dean of the College at Salem College in North Carolina. Her passion has always been educating the next generation of leaders.
Dr. McElaney-Johnson earned her Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.A. from Middlebury College, and a B.A. from College of the Holy Cross. She speaks nationally and internationally about the importance of women’s colleges and the advancement of women and girls.