The TIAA Institute Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for leadership excellence in higher education

Christina H. Paxson

Christina H. Paxson, President of Brown University, has won the 2023 TIAA Institute Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education. An independent panel of judges chose President Paxson in recognition of all she has done to solidify Brown's standing as a leading research university, increase access and inclusion across campus, and fuel economic development through community and government partnerships.

Soon after being appointed Brown University's nineteenth president in 2012, Christina Paxson put forth an ambitious strategic plan designed to keep Brown at the forefront of teaching and research. It called for connecting top scholars to complex 21st-century challenges, fostering innovation in undergraduate education, promoting inclusion and access, and supporting community development. The plan's impact is now evident.

In the decade since President Paxson's arrival, Brown has grown stronger financially, operationally and academically. Through major investments in faculty, departments and facilities, the 259-year-old institution has made meaningful advancements in the arts, humanities and sciences, generating breakthrough research discoveries and ranking among the top student Fulbright scholarship producers in the U.S. for seven consecutive years.

The Hesburgh Award is named in honor of the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., past president of the University of Notre Dame and longtime member of the TIAA and CREF Boards of Overseers. A world-renowned educator and humanitarian, Father Hesburgh (1917-2015) was a lifelong champion of human rights, the cause of peace, and care for the poor.