Dr. Edward B. Montgomery became the ninth president of Western Michigan University on Aug. 1, 2017. He came to WMU from Georgetown University, where he had served as dean and professor of economics at that university's McCourt School of Public Policy since 2010.
Montgomery earned a bachelor's degree in economics, with honors, from Pennsylvania State University and both master's and doctoral degrees in economics from Harvard University.
During a more than 35-year academic career, Montgomery has held faculty positions at Carnegie Mellon and Michigan State universities as well as the University of Maryland, winning teaching awards some five times over the years. During his tenure at Maryland, he served for six years—2003-2009—as dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
During President William Clinton's administration, Montgomery served as chief economist, then counselor and assistant secretary for the Department of Labor, before being named deputy secretary of labor. In the latter role, the department's second highest position, he oversaw operations of a $33 billion federal department. During President Barack Obama's administration, Montgomery was a member of the president's auto task force and led the inter-agency White House Council for Auto Communities and Workers. That position put him in a role national media dubbed "the Auto Czar."
As a researcher, Montgomery has focused on state and local economic growth, wage and pension determination, savings behavior, productivity and economic dynamics, social insurance programs, and unions. For more than two decades, he has been a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and since 2006, he has been a fellow of Stanford University's Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality.
Since 2011, he has served on the Comptroller General's Educators Advisory Committee in Washington's General Accountability Office. In 2011, he was elected a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. He serves on the board of directors of the Center for Law and Social Policy. He also serves on the Committee on Economic Statistics for the American Economic Association.
Montgomery and his wife, Kari, a Michigan native, have three grown children—Lindsay, Elizabeth and Edward.