Raise DC Leadership Council



University of the District of Columbia

Ronald Mason, Jr. began his tenure as the ninth president of the University of the District of Columbia in July 2015. His reputation for strong leadership and responsible governance is bolstered by more than 30 years of experience in the higher education, community development, and legal fields. 

Prior to being appointed president of the University of the District of Columbia, Mason was president of the Southern University and A&M College System, where he provided oversight for the Historically Black College and University System’s five campuses. Before joining the Southern University System, Mason was president of Jackson State University (MS). Under his leadership, Jackson State experienced unprecedented growth in fundraising, information technology proficiency, and the construction of new buildings. 

Earlier in his career, Mason held various positions over an 18-year period at Tulane University in New Orleans, including Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Vice President for Finance and Operations. He also served as the founder and Executive Director of the National Center for the Urban Community at Tulane and Xavier Universities. Mason started his career as an attorney with the Southern Cooperative Development Fund, Inc.

Mason holds current membership on the White House Board of Advisors for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the Board of Directors of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. He also serves on the Board of the American University of Nigeria and the International Foundation for Education and Self Help. His previous board service includes the American Council on Education and the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, Office of Postsecondary Education.

He received his B.A. and J.D. degrees from Columbia University in New York City. He attended the Harvard Institute of Educational Management and is the recipient of the Mayor’s Medal of Honor from the City of New Orleans, the Martin Luther King Lifetime Achievement Award from Dillard, Loyola, Tulane, and Xavier universities, and was one of five recipients of Columbia University’s 2008 John Jay Award for distinguished alumni.