James H. Mullen, Jr.
Senior Executive Coach
Dr. James H. Mullen, Jr. brings 21 years as a college and university president and over 30 years of experience in leadership positions in public and private higher education to his role as an executive coach. Most recently, he served as Transitional President of Saint John’s University, where he helped guide the University and the College of Saint Benedict in the implementation of a new model of governance (Strong Integration) between the two institutions. Before his year at Saint John’s, he served for 11 years as the President of Allegheny College, as well as the Chancellor of the University of North Carolina Asheville and the President of the College of our Lady of the Elms.
As a senior executive coach, Dr. Mullen offers both campus and national leadership experience across all sectors of higher education, as well as a deep commitment to supporting colleagues as they navigate the challenges of their own leadership journeys. He seeks to be fully present and an engaged listener for his coaching partners, helping them to realize their leadership potential, achieve balance in their work and life beyond the campus, and find the unique joy that comes with being a college or university president.
During Dr. Mullen’s tenure at Allegheny, the College celebrated its Bicentennial, expanded the national reach of its enrollment, created and implemented two strategic plans, and carried out the largest capital campaign in its history (over $200 million). The College also became one of the first in the nation to achieve climate neutrality. In addition, Dr. Mullen oversaw the creation of the Allegheny College Prize for Civility in Public Life, an award that recognizes leaders from across the political spectrum who conduct their work with noteworthy civility (recipients have included Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia, Joe Biden and John McCain, David Brooks and Mark Shields, and the women of the United States Senate). The Allegheny Prize reflects Mullen’s commitment to inspiring young people to public service. At his retirement from Allegheny, the College named its athletic arena the James H. Mullen, Jr. Arena and also named its student award for civility in his honor.
Dr. Mullen has held leadership positions in major national organizations representing higher education, including as Chair of the Board of the American Council on Education and as a member of the Board of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. He was also Chair of the Board of the Great Lakes Colleges Association and continues to serve as Chair of the Board of Project Pericles.
Following his retirement from Allegheny, Dr. Mullen was invited to be the President in Residence at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he brought his extensive experience to a seminar for graduate students hoping to pursue leadership roles in higher education.
Dr. Mullen received his bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross, his master’s degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and his doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.