Greenwood Asher & Associates Places Provost at George Mason University

May 21, 2024 – Miramar Beach, FL-based executive recruitment firm Greenwood Asher & Associates has helped to place James Soto Antony as executive vice president and provost. He will begin this new role on July 1, 2024. Julie Holley and Lois Stetson led the assignment for the search firm. “We searched the nation for the very best provost for George Mason University, and James Antony was our number one choice,” said Gregory Washington, president of George Mason. “He has the perfect mix of academic credentials, knowledge, and temperament to lead our academic enterprise as this university takes its place as one of America’s new leaders in higher education. I look forward to having Jim on the team.”

“James Antony shares our strong commitment to ensuring access to a world-class education, an engaging campus experience, and a culture of belonging,” said professor and faculty senate president Melissa Broeckelman-Post, who chaired the 20-member search committee. “His nearly three decades of leadership experience make him an ideal provost to help Mason navigate the many opportunities and challenges ahead.”

Mr. Antony is a nationally recognized higher education scholar and leader with substantial experience as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Washington, Yale University, Harvard University, and University of California San Diego. He is currently dean of graduate education and postdoctoral affairs at UC San Diego, where he also serves as professor of education studies with a secondary appointment in the Rady School of Management. At UC San Diego, he has led a transformation of graduate and professional student financial support, created infrastructure to advance student professional development, prioritized student access and opportunity, and launched grant-funded initiatives to improve mentoring. 

As provost at George Mason, Mr. Antony will help cultivate a dynamic and forward-thinking academic environment. In collaboration with senior leaders, faculty, staff, and students, he will be instrumental in advancing academic excellence, research, and scholarly pursuits in alignment with Mason’s core values and strategic direction. He will oversee all colleges, schools, and academic support units.

“George Mason University is an inspiring students-first institution that prioritizes inclusive access and opportunity,” Mr. Antony. “As a first-generation college student from a low-income family, this resonates deeply with me. As a young top 50-ranked university with significant research investments, Mason is on a fast track as one of the most compelling institutions in the nation. I look forward to being part of the Mason Nation helping to advance student, faculty, and staff successes and collaborating to continue the university’s rise as a world-class research university.”

Related: Greenwood Asher & Associates Places President and CEO for University of the District of Columbia

George Mason University was established in 1957 as the Northern Virginia branch of the University of Virginia and became an independent public university in 1972. In the decades since, it has sustained an exceptional growth trajectory. It is now a major national research university with a proven record of access to excellence and a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. In 2016, the University achieved a Carnegie Tier 1 research designation. Enrollment exceeds 38,000 students from 130 countries and 50 states. With three Northern Virginia campuses and an international campus near Seoul, South Korea, Mason’s location just outside the nation’s capital provides exceptional opportunities for the university to engage the U.S. government, international organizations and major corporations in a myriad of industries.

President Search

In 2020, Greenwood Asher & Associates helped to recruit Gregory Washington as the eighth president of George Mason. “When the board set out to fill this position, we were determined to find someone who was both a strategic thinker with the vision to see our future and a mobilizer with the ability to inspire our community to build on Mason’s success,” said Rector Tom Davis said at the time of the search. “Dr. Gregory Washington stood out in a very competitive search. “He showed tremendous vision for the future of our region and how we fit in, and displayed the ability to motivate and inspire our community. I look forward to working with him and seeing him position Mason as a leader in higher education.”

Greenwood Asher & Associates is an executive search firm with a diverse consulting team and extensive experience in executive search, consulting, and training for education markets including elementary, secondary, higher education, university systems, campuses and non-profit organizations including associations, service, and cultural institutions. The firm was acquired in 2020 by Kelly Education, a global leader in workforce management solutions offering staffing services to top companies.

As associate vice president of executive search, Ms. Holley has been an integral member of the Greenwood Asher & Associates team. She has completed hundreds of searches for the firm, putting a particular emphasis on identifying and recruiting leaders for presidential searches. In her work as a search consultant and practice leader, she has conducted searches in the full range of higher education organizations, but particularly focuses on searches at AAU and high extensive research and doctoral institutions. Ms. Holley has a track record of recruiting leaders into positions at the cabinet level, including presidents, provosts, and deans. She also specializes in searches for positions relating to her legal background, including law dean and general counsel positions and other legal-related positions in higher education.

As a senior executive search consultant at Greenwood Asher & Associates, Ms. Stetson has broad recruitment expertise filling various senior positions. Prior to her current role, she was a paralegal, both for a private law firm and with the State of Florida. In these roles, she adeptly managed a range of cases, offering critical support to attorneys during both criminal and civil proceedings, as well as trials.

Related: Greenwood Asher & Associates Places President and CEO for University of the District of Columbia

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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