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Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. is the 12th president of Purdue University, a post he assumed in January 2013, at the conclusion of his term as Governor of Indiana. He was elected governor in 2004, in his first bid for elected office, and reelected in 2008, receiving more votes than any candidate for any public office in the state’s history. As governor he spearheaded a host of reforms aimed at strengthening the Indiana economy and improving the ethical standards, fiscal condition, and performance of state government.
In 2011, under his guidance, Indiana passed the most sweeping education reforms in the country. The state is dramatically expanding charter schools, providing parents with more school choice, revising teacher evaluations, and increasing funding for full-day kindergarten. In 2010, he established WGU Indiana, a partnership between the state and Western Governors University aimed at expanding access to higher education for Hoosiers and increasing the percentage of the state’s adult population with education beyond high school.
Then Governor Daniels’ conservation efforts set aside record acreages of protected wetlands and wildlife habitats and added more than 3,000 miles of hiking and biking trails. His efforts earned him the nickname “the Teddy Roosevelt of Indiana” by the Nature Conservancy.
At Purdue, President Daniels has made student affordability and student success top priorities, and has pledged to keep a Purdue education within reach for students and families. Among other top priorities are research impact and commercialization of Purdue innovations.
Mr. Daniels came from a successful career in business and government, holding numerous top management positions in both the private and public sectors. He was CEO of the Hudson Institute and President of Eli Lilly and Company’s North American Pharmaceutical Operations. He also served in senior leadership roles under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.
Mr. Daniels earned a bachelor’s degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton in 1971 and his law degree from Georgetown in 1979. He is the author of three books.