Michael McPherson

Higher Ed

  • Access
  • College completion
  • Finance and funding
  • Readiness

Michael S. McPherson is the fifth president of the Spencer Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2003, he served as president of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., for seven years. McPherson spent the 22 years prior to his Macalester presidency as professor of economics, chairman of the economics department, and dean of faculty at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, a master’s in economics, and a doctorate in economics, all from the University of Chicago. McPherson is co-author and editor of several books, including “Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America’s Public Universities”; “College Access: Opportunity or Privilege?”; and “Keeping College Affordable”; and was founding co-editor of the journal Economics and Philosophy. He has been a trustee of the College Board, the American Council on Education and Wesleyan University. He was a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is currently a trustee of McNally Smith College of Music and president of the Board of Overseers of TIAA-CREF.