Hubert Benitez, D.D.S., Ph.D., Named 23rd President of Saint Peter’s University

Mar 26, 2024

Jersey City, N.J. – March 26, 2024 – The Saint Peter’s University Board of Trustees today announced the appointment of Hubert Benitez, D.D.S., Ph.D., as the 23rd president of Saint Peter’s University. He will begin his appointment on July 1, 2024.

The trustees unanimously selected Dr. Benitez to succeed Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., who is retiring in June after 17 years as president. The seven-month national search was conducted by a 16-member presidential search committee comprised of trustees, student leadership, faculty, staff, and academic and administrative leaders, as well as the external higher education community.

Dr. Benitez has most recently served as president and chief executive officer of American International College (AIC) in Springfield, MA and has significant experience with public, private and Jesuit higher education institutions.

“With his outstanding academic credentials, considerable experience and dynamic leadership, the Board and I are confident that Dr. Benitez will not only steer the University toward continued success in its next chapter, but also be a strong advocate for our students and champion for our faculty,” said Kenneth Moore, CFA ’91, chair of the Saint Peter’s University Board of Trustees. “We were all deeply impressed with his Jesuit values of service and cura personalis as well as his personal commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We are certain he is the right person to lead our institution forward, and we welcome Dr. Benitez to Saint Peter’s University.” 

“I want to thank the Board of Trustees for the distinction of being appointed president of Saint Peter’s University. As a person spiritually rooted in the Catholic faith, with personal values that align with those of Jesuit education and traditions, I feel blessed to be returning to Jesuit higher education and joining the Saint Peter’s community. As we begin this journey together, I look forward to working with the faculty and staff of the University, as we collectively continue to build the future of this great institution,” said Dr. Benitez.

“I believe that today, more than ever, our nation needs more institutions like Saint Peter’s, which educate the whole person, nurturing the personal, spiritual and professional needs of our students. With the people, resources and education the University offers, we are very well-positioned to continue to assist our diverse student body, as they enter the workforce, serve compassionately and make a difference in our communities. The possibilities at Saint Peter’s are endless,” he continued.

Dr. Benitez has dedicated the last two decades of his career in higher education as an academic, administrator and faculty member, and had previously spent 15 years as a clinician. Prior to his appointment as president of AIC, Dr. Benitez served as vice president for strategic initiatives and academic innovation as well as acting chief inclusion officer at fellow Jesuit institution Rockhurst University and as president and chief executive officer for Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences. Over his career, he  has also served in other executive leadership roles, including provost and chief academic officer, dean of health sciences, department chair and assistant dean, while also holding an academic rank at the associate professor level.

Dr. Benitez has significant experience in academic administration and leadership, strategic planning, academic program development, health sciences education and with institutional and programmatic accreditation. He serves as a peer reviewer for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has assisted academic institutions in the design and implementation of academic assessment and evaluation as well as with accreditation-related matters.

A native of Colombia, Dr. Benitez received his first doctoral degree in dentistry from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, a Jesuit, research-intensive institution of higher education in Latin America. Subsequently, Dr. Benitez completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Connecticut Health Sciences Center focused on education and research, and later earned a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Saint Louis University. In addition, Dr. Benitez completed executive training through the Institute for Educational Management (IEM) at Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and the Executive Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.

Added Moore, “I am grateful for the tireless efforts of the Presidential Search Committee throughout this process as well as the assistance of our search firm –  Isaacson, Miller –  for their trusted guidance.”  

Media Contact 
Angeline Boyer
(201) 761-6238
aboyer1@saintpeters.edu

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