Peter McPherson is president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), an association of public research universities, land-grant institutions, and many state public university systems. Its 218 members enroll more than 4.7 million students and graduate 1 million students per year. In addition, with nearly $30 billion in research, the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC)-member universities comprise 10 of the top 20 universities in total federal spending on research and development in science and engineering.
Prior to joining APLU, McPherson was president of Michigan State University for more than 11 years (1993-2004). From April to October 2003, he took leave from that position and served as the Director of Economic Policy for the Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq, working with the currency, the Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance and the banks of the country.
McPherson is also the former chair of the Board of Directors of Dow Jones and Company. He is the founding co-chair of the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa; chair of the Board of IFDC, an international center dealing with soil fertility and agricultural development; and chair of the Board of Harvest Plus, an organization working on breeding crops for better nutrition. McPherson recently completed the chairmanship of a commission created by Congress to consider ways to greatly increase the number of students who study abroad.
McPherson has been honored with the U. S. Presidential Certificate of Outstanding Achievement, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Leadership Award, the Department of Treasury’s Alexander Hamilton Award, the UNICEF award for “outstanding contribution to child survival,” the 1983 Humanitarian of the Year award from the American Lebanese League and the Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award in 1998. He received a B.A. from Michigan State University, an M.B.A. from Western Michigan University and a J.D. from American University.