Susan C. Aldridge, PhD, Appointed President of Thomas Jefferson University

(PHILADELPHIA) May 7, 2024 — Susan C. Aldridge, PhD, an accomplished and widely recognized higher education leader, author and strategist who has held executive leadership positions in some of the country’s largest universities, has been appointed the first female president of Thomas Jefferson University effective May 7, 2024.  

“This is a pivotal moment in Jefferson’s history and Dr. Aldridge is the best person to usher in a new era for Thomas Jefferson University,” said Jefferson’s CEO Joseph G. Cacchione, MD. “I’ve been thoroughly impressed with her dedication to our students, faculty and staff as both interim president and a past member of Jefferson’s Board of Trustees. Her extensive higher education administration experience and visionary leadership make her a natural fit to be our University’s next president.”

During her tenure as interim president, Jefferson undergraduate students continued to achieve great success in employment and graduate school acceptance at the rate of 97%. The national average is about 86%. Jefferson’s undergraduate and graduate enrollments have grown. Jefferson’s Medical and Pharmacy student match rates exceeded the national average.

In addition, Dr. Aldridge successfully completed a national search for the Dean of Jefferson’s Sidney Kimmel Medical College with the appointment of Said Ibrahim, MD; the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center earned Comprehensive Designation from the National Cancer Institute; and she led the University through the initial phase of a new strategic planning process, Creating our Third Century, in honor of Jefferson’s bicentennial

“Thomas Jefferson University is one of the most distinctive institutions I’ve been affiliated with, and I’m honored to have been asked to lead it into its third century,” said Dr. Susan C. Aldridge, President, Thomas Jefferson University. “Today, we are a national doctoral research university, and we are part of an anchor organization that also includes Jefferson Health and Jefferson Health Plans. As a model for professional university education, we are uniquely positioned to educate tomorrow’s leaders in an array of fields from architecture and business, to medicine and health sciences, nursing, design, engineering, fashion and textiles, population health, and more.”

Before serving on the Jefferson Board of Trustees and as interim president for the University, Dr. Aldridge most recently held the position of President of Drexel University Online, where she expanded and oversaw the university’s virtual presence with more than 100 online programs. She also spearheaded a research project around innovative practices in technology-enhanced education, which resulted in the award-winning, open-source website, Virtually Inspired.

Before joining Drexel, she was a Senior Fellow at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, where she co-authored the book, Wired for Success, which provided university presidents with a wealth of innovative, research-driven, technology-enhanced models for student success and strategic business growth. Dr. Aldridge was the Principal Investigator for several U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) grants and a national HHS proposal reviewer. Previously, she was president of the University of Maryland Global Campus and vice chancellor at Troy University.

Dr. Aldridge has been cited twice as one of Washington DC’s Top 100 most powerful women; and has received several awards from such higher education organizations as the US Distance Learning Association, Women in Technology and Campus Technology. Likewise, she was recognized by the Governor of Colorado for her exceptional leadership in healthcare service planning and delivery, while also earning outstanding service awards from the US Department of HHS and the Social Security Administration.

Having received her Bachelor’s degree from Colorado Women’s College, Dr. Aldridge completed her Master’s degree and PhD in public administration at the University of Colorado.