Michael McPherson
Spencer Foundation
President Emeritus

Year Elected


Membership status

Michael McPherson is president emeritus of the Spencer Foundation, having assumed that post in 2003. A nationally known economist whose expertise focuses on the interplay between education and economics, McPherson was previously president of Macalester College (1996-2003) and spent the twenty-two years prior to assuming the Macalester presidency as professor of economics, chairman of the economics department, and dean of faculty at Williams College. McPherson has co-authored and edited several books, including Lesson Plan: An Agenda for Change in American Higher Education, Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America’s Public Universities, Keeping College Affordable and Economic Analysis and Moral Philosophy, and was the co-founder and co-editor of Economics and Philosophy. He has served as 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, as well as President of the Board of Overseers of TIAA-CREF. McPherson holds a BA in mathematics, a MA in economics, and a PhD in economics, all from the University of Chicago.

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