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James P. Pellow, Ed.D.

President & CEO, CIEE


  • James Pellow has led The Council on International Educational Exchange since 2011. CIEE’s mission is to help people gain understanding, acquire knowledge, and develop skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world by bringing the world together through the most meaningful exchange programs available.

    Dr. Pellow has guided CIEE to increase access to international education for students from all socioeconomic, ethnic, and academic backgrounds by breaking down the barriers of cost, curriculum, and culture. In 2015, CIEE partnered with the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions to establish a series of programs to increase access to study abroad for students of color, including the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship, a student leadership and intercultural study abroad program; and Project Passport, a training and development program for college presidents, faculty, and students from Minority Serving Institutions. Under Pellow’s leadership, CIEE increased annual grants to $8 million, funded airfare for Pell-eligible students, and provided students with 10,000 free passports, resulting in an 85% increase in nontraditional students studying abroad.

    Dr. Pellow encourages innovation to overcome barriers to international exchange, leading to the establishment of CIEE’s Global Institute Network, Open Campus Block Program, Global Navigator High School Program, BridgeUSA Young Civic Leadership Summit, and BridgeUSA Exchange Visitor Access Scholarship.

    Previously, Dr. Pellow served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for St. John’s University, a private university in New York City with 20,000 students and an annual operating budget of $565 million. He played a leading role in the transformation of the university from a commuter school to an international university. This transformation included a $700 million capital expansion, the construction of 18 buildings, the acquisition of two campuses in New York, the establishment of two international campuses in Rome and Paris, and significant expansion of the university’s academic, student services, marketing, and information systems.

    Dr. Pellow served on the St. John’s faculty, teaching classes on strategy and management. An advocate for service-learning programs that impact lives, Pellow led a series of public/private service programs to alleviate poverty, including programs to reduce food insecurity, close literacy gaps for youth in NYC public housing, and education programs for homeless single mothers.

    Dr. Pellow earned his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, his MBA and BBA from Niagara University, and an honorary doctorate from Kokushikan University in Japan. He is the recipient of the Global Citizen Award (2019), the St. John’s University Spirit of Service Award (2011), the LSA Family Health Service Spirit of Community Award (2011) and the St. John’s Bread and Life Johnny’s Angel Award (2006). He splits his time between Massachusetts and Florida.