Women Worth Watching 2015
For the President of this University, Women’s Issues are a Top Priority
President of Mount Saint Mary’s University (the only women’s university in Los Angeles), Dr. Ann McElaney-Johnson is recognized as a thought leader for women’s issues and a champion for innovative teaching and learning. Her leadership style is inclusive and collaborative, and her strategic vision for the university is to foster a culture of innovation and excellence that will prepare students to pursue successful lives filled with purpose.
Ann launched the Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary’s University to expand the university’s international presence by partnering with other universities, recruiting and retaining outstanding and diverse students, and expanding academic offerings. In 2011, Ann led the creation of the Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California™, the first comprehensive report of its kind to examine gender gaps in the state, and provide recommendations and resources to legislators, nonprofit leaders, and community advocates.
Past winner of the YWCA Woman of Vision award and Alston & Bird’s Women of Distinction award, Ann is a member of the advisory board for the Women in Public Service Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Advisory Council of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, the board of directors for the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), the board of trustees for the College of the Holy Cross, and the board of the Women’s College Coalition, among others.
“…bringing new perspectives and approaches …”
“Being a woman in my profession has been incredibly gratifying and empowering since senior administrative positions in higher education have traditionally been filled by men,” said Ann. “The increasing number of women in my field has brought new perspectives and approaches to higher education leadership. As women, we are able to be visible role models to those coming through the ranks.”
Ann earned her PhD at University of Wisconsin–Madison, her master’s degree at Middlebury College in Vermont, and her bachelor’s degree at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts.
Education: PhD, University of Wisconsin- Madison; MA, Middlebury College; BA, College of the Holy Cross
The most important quality a woman leader should have is…
The career advice I’d give my former self…
…is to be prepared and enjoy your work.
Words I live by:
As a leader, it is essential to be authentic, optimistic and caring.
The one thing I’d do differently in my career, knowing what I know now, is…
… not to have been so hesitant in taking on leadership roles earlier in my career. I am grateful that people saw potential in me and pushed me forward..
When I really need to focus on a project, I…
… I first allow several days for mulling things over. Then I shut my door, sit down, and begin writing and rewriting until I am satisfied with the results.
My biggest career leap (and what I learned from it) was…
…four years ago when I became President of Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles. It has taught me to trust what I know, to trust the expertise and vision of others, as well as how critical it is to have a strong team..
Being a woman in my profession has been…
…incredibly gratifying and empowering since senior administrative positions in higher education have traditionally been filled by men. The increasing number of women in my field has brought new perspectives and approaches to higher education leadership and as women we are able to be visible role models to those coming through the ranks.
I’ve learned that failure is…
… inevitable and necessary for growth and success.
I maintain a healthy personal life by…
…trying to be 100% present with whatever I am doing, whether it is working, eating a good meal, spending time with family and friends or hiking in the mountains, and by integrating fun into my life, both at work and at home.
I knew my present career was what I wanted to do when…
… I met the people who make up the Mount Community. I could see that the Mount was a unique and special place, and I was being presented with an opportunity of a lifetime.