Regis University Trustee Named President of Loyola University Chicago

May 23, 2016


Denver, May 23, 2016– Regis University longtime Board of Trustee member Jo Ann Rooney was named president of Loyola University Chicago. Rooney, who served on the Regis Board of Trustees from 2005-11 and again from 2015-16, is the 24th president in Loyola University’s history. 

“Dr. Rooney is a lifelong educator with an impressive and diverse array of experiences that will enable her to build on the University’s tremendous success of the last decade,” said Robert L. Parkinson Jr., chairman of Loyola’s Presidential Search Committee. “The outstanding leadership skills she gained from her roles in education, public service and health care will position Loyola well to address today’s emerging higher education challenges. Most importantly, her values and faith are fully aligned with our Catholic and Jesuit mission and identity.” 

Rooney has a diverse background that includes various positions in higher education, law, business, health care and public service. Most recently, Rooney was the managing director for Huron Consulting Group in Chicago, helping develop strategies to advance the company’s federal government health care sector consulting practice. 

Rooney also has served as the president of Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky and Mount Ida College in Newton, Massachusetts. Shortly after becoming the president of Mount Ida College, Rooney was asked to serve in the Obama administration within the U.S. Department of Defense. Rooney served as senior advisor to the undersecretary of defense comptroller, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. As senior advisor to the secretary of defense, she managed a broad portfolio encompassing recruitment, career development, health care, readiness, pay, and benefits for service members and their families. She also served as a senior spokesperson for defense issues. 

In 2012, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta awarded Dr. Rooney the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the highest award given to a civilian by the secretary of defense. 

Rooney holds a Bachelor of Science with a finance concentration from Boston University School of Management, a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School, a Master of Laws in taxation from Boston University School of Law, and a Doctor of Education in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.

She begins her role as president of Loyola University Chicago on Aug. 1. Her appointment will run through 2021.