Rev. James J. Maher, C.M.

President,Niagara University, Doctor of Ministry, expert on issues relating poverty. Past executive vice president, St. John's University.

The Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., D.Min., a member of the Vincentian community, was appointed the 26th president of Niagara University on March 13, 2013. He assumed office as on Aug. 1, 2013, and was formally inaugurated on April 4, 2014, following a comprehensive listening tour with numerous members of the campus community. As president, Father Maher serves as the university’s chief executive officer and ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees, charged with the execution and administration of all university matters. He is responsible for overseeing an operating budget that exceeds $69 million, and implementing the vision for the university’s academic colleges and divisions, including Administrative Council members and senior management. Father Maher’s inaugural address, titled “The Miracle of Niagara University: Action is Our Entire Task,” focused on the university’s living-learning community embracing the eternal mission of St. Vincent de Paul, making central the lives of the poor and marginalized. He stated that Niagara University would be inventive with the times, continuing to transform the lives of its students, and inspiring them to make a difference in the lives of others through their professional and service endeavors. Before coming to Niagara, Father Maher served for 23 years at St. John’s University in New York City. While there, he acted as the executive vice president for mission and student services, vice president of student affairs, vice president of university ministry and campus minister, and executive director of the Vincentian Institute for Social Action (VISA). As executive vice president for mission and student services, Father Maher administered a $26 million budget while leading the Division of Student Affairs, the Department of University Ministry, VISA and the Vincentian Center for Church and Society. Father Maher also previously served as chairman of the Board of Directors of the St. John’s Bread & Life Program. During his tenure, he worked very closely with the executive director to expand services to the poor, raising over $1 million, growing the donor base from 800 to 2,500 and completing 10 New York City marathons in the establishment of the Run Against Hunger, leading a team of dedicated runners to raise funds and awareness of hunger and poverty in New York City. Father Maher earned his doctor of ministry degree from the Immaculate Conception Seminary and Graduate School of Theology. He earned two master’s degrees in theology from the Mary Immaculate Seminary, and a bachelor of arts in sociology from St. John’s University. He has also completed professional leadership and management programs at the Harvard University Institute of Educational Management and Management Development Program, the Stevens Institute and the Scott Academy’s Senior Student Affairs Officers Institute, among others. Father Maher is a Trustee of St. John’s and DePaul universities. Father Maher also served on the University and Collegiate Executive Committee of the Fair Labor Association, and was a leading member of the Global Alliance for Workers and community. Currently, he is a provincial consulter for the Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Mission. A frequent instructor and lecturer, Father Maher has written and presented the following: Advancing the Vincentian Tradition through Strategic Service and Research, Catholic Education: Journal of Inquiry and Practice (with Sinatra, R.) (2012); Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility, Association of Colleges and Universities, 96th Annual Meeting Integrating Academics, Washington, D.C., (2011); A New Transformational Role for Youth Volunteers: Cultivating Constituency Voice, National Conference on Volunteering and Service, NYC, (2010); The Essential Components of Student Affairs in the University, Hanoi National Education University, NYC (2009); St. John’s University School of Law (guest lecturer), Corporate Responsibility and Global Labor Issues, (2005-Present); Foreign Trade University, Hanoi, Vietnam, Globalization and Corporate Social Responsibility (2005); Vietnam net Bridge: Nike in Vietnam, A New Labor Model (2005). Father Maher’s awards and honors include the Pietas Medal from St. John’s University (2009); Madison’s Who’s Who, Outstanding Leader in Education (2008); Student Affairs’ Outstanding Administrator Achievement Award from St. John’s University Student Government Inc. (2005); Epsilon Kappa, Sigma Delta Phi, the National Hispanic Honor Society (2005); Top 100 Irish-Americans in the U.S. by Irish America Magazine (2004); and New Yorker of the Week, New York 1 News (1995).