Born in Connecticut in 1957, John J. DeGioia has served as the 48th president of Georgetown University since 2001. He has been connected with Georgetown since his undergraduate days, obtaining a Bachelor’s in English. He earned his Ph.D. in 1995. Before being appointed as president, DeGioia held a series of academic and administrative positions at the university.
At the time of his appointment as the first lay president of Georgetown, questions were raised about whether or not it implied a lessening of the commitment by the Jesuits to Catholic higher education. There could be no doubt about DeGioia’s position. In his Inaugural Address he stated:
As a Catholic and Jesuit University, we heed the Church’s call to powerfully engage the world, human culture, the environment, all ways of knowing”¦ Jesuit Universities have a unique resource. In the words of the last General Congregation: “…The core of all true religion consists in its capacity to lead people to an authentic and deeper spiritual experience…” For Georgetown, shaped and sustained by the Society of Jesus, at our core is a “spirituality.”
Since 2001, DeGioia has worked tirelessly to enhance Georgetown’s Catholic and Jesuit identity. He has consistently pointed the university towards helping the vulnerable and the marginalized and is himself a member of the Order of Malta, a Catholic organization which serves the sick and the poor.