Pamela Brooks Gann became president of Claremont McKenna College on July 1, 1999. She is CMC’s fourth president.
Claremont McKenna College is a residential liberal arts college of 1200 students with a focused mission on educating leaders for business, the professions, and public affairs. Its economics and government departments are considered the best at any liberal arts college in the United States, and The Henry R. Kravis Leadership Institute is one of the three best leadership programs for undergraduates in the United States. It is a member of a consortium of colleges known as The Claremont Colleges, located in Claremont, California. In September 2007, CMC announced a $200 million gift to establish the Robert Day Scholars Program and the creation of the Robert Day School in Economics & Finance. At that time, this gift was the 20th largest in American higher education, and the largest gift ever in the field of economics. In March 2008, CMC publicly commenced a $600 million Campaign, the largest ever announced by a liberal arts college, and it has raised $620 million toward this goal. This amount is the largest ever achieved in the history of liberal arts colleges.
Since joining CMC, President Gann has led a multi-year strategic planning process involving more than 130 faculty, staff, students, alumni, and trustees. Student selectivity has continued to increase with only 14% of the applicants for the fall 2011 being admitted, and the geographical diversity of the entering classes has also increased, with 67% of the students originating from outside of California, including 18% from outside the United States. CMC is one of approximately 35 private colleges and universities who admit all students without regard to the family’s income and then meet all financial need of the student (this is need-blind admission). In 2008, CMC also announced that it was increasing its scholarship grants in order to eliminate all loans from students’ financial aid packages. President Gann has been actively involved in the expansion and replenishment of the College’s faculty across all departments, but especially in the development of the economics, government, history, literature, philosophy, psychology, and science faculties. Over 65 percent of CMC’s tenured and tenure-track faculty have been hired since she became president ten years ago. Two new research institutes have been created. The Financial Economics Institute is designed to provide a curricular sequence in financial economics and to support faculty and student research in financial economics. The Center for Human Rights Leadership builds on CMC’s historic strengths in the area of Holocaust studies and international relations. The Kravis Leadership Institute has been extensively expanded to include more professors, over 125 summer student leadership internships in the United States and around the world, and the Henry R. Kravis Leadership Prize to recognize exceptional leaders in the non-profit sectors in the world. The College has expanded its commitment to a global liberal arts education, including the creation of a Center for Global Education. It has also added new resources for the education of responsible citizens through the establishment of a Center for Civic Engagement. The College is also pursuing a significant revision in its campus master plan that includes over $200 million in proposed new facilities.
Prior to her arrival in Claremont, President Gann served for 11 years as dean of the Duke University School of Law and as a faculty member for 24 years. Her academic fields are federal income taxation and international economic law, including international trade and investments.
President Gann has an extensive background in international education, including teaching American law and international trade in the People’s Republic of China, France, Denmark, and at the Salzburg Seminar, Salzburg, Austria, as well as an intensive training session in Hanoi, where she helped train 100 Vietnam government officials in preparation for bilateral trade agreement negotiations. She has also visited at the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan, and was awarded an International Affairs Fellowship by the Council on Foreign Relations, through which she worked at the International Monetary Fund and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Gann is an active leader in law, higher education, and international policy. She has been elected to membership in the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Women’s Forum, the Society of International Business Fellows, and the American Law Institute. She is an elected Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. She serves as a member of the Deloitte Council on the Advancement of Women (WIN); she is an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, She is a Trustee of the Southwestern Law School; the Committee for Economic Development, and The Institute for the International Education of Students (IES Abroad). She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education, the Presidents' Council of the NCAA Division III, and the Harvard Law School Visiting Committee. She was awarded the “Woman Lawyer of the Year” award by the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys.