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Center for Leadership and Governance

The Center for Leadership and Governance provides executive leadership development opportunities and effective strategies for governing boards in higher education, nonprofits and government entities.  The Center offers consultation services, workshops, certificate programs and master classes for executives and governing boards. 

The University's Board of Trustees established the Center for Leadership and Governance in 2018 as a platform to support the post-presidential initiatives of George A. Pruitt, President Emeritus and Board Distinguished Fellow. The Center is an affiliate of the University's John S. Watson School of Public Service.

Melissa A. MaszczakMelissa A. Maszczak

Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Leadership and Governance

Phone: (609) 777-5660

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Degrees:
MALS, Thomas Edison State University
BA, Monmouth University

Melissa A. Maszczak was appointed Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Leadership and Governance at Thomas Edison State University on July 1, 2019. The Center for Leadership and Governance provides executive leadership development opportunities and promotes effective strategies for governing boards in higher education, non-profits and government entities. The Center focuses on leadership, board governance and institutional quality assurance by offering consultation services, training, workshops and master classes for senior executives and governing board members. The Center is an affiliate of the University's John S. Watson School of Public Service.

Prior to her role in the Center for Leadership and Governance, she served as Executive Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Board of Trustees at Thomas Edison State University. As a member of the president’s office management team since 2007, she had the unique opportunity to study the presidency under the mentorship of George A. Pruitt, who served as president of the University for 35 years. Her portfolio included planning and liaison responsibilities with the board of trustees and its committees and overseeing compliance and reporting obligations of the University as it related to board and trustee governance. She was also responsible for budget and fiscal planning for the President's Office. In 2018, she coordinated the presidential transition process, including the inauguration. Prior to joining Thomas Edison State University, she worked as a manager and corporate trainer in the private sector. Additionally, she was a writer and associate editor of the Monmouth Review Literary Magazine and a writer for the Red Bank Review Literary Magazine and the Coaster newspaper.

Maszczak currently serves as a member of the board of the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education (NAPAHE). Since 2016, she has served as a member of the board and as program committee co-chair of the University’s chapter of the American Council on Education (ACE) Women’s Professional Network, and a member of the program committee since the chapter’s inception in 2013.

Maszczak earned her bachelor’s degree at Monmouth University in English and psychology and master’s degree in liberal studies and industrial organizational psychology at Thomas Edison State University.  She resides in Bordentown, New Jersey with her husband and two children.

Dr. PruittGeorge A. Pruitt

President Emeritus and Board Distinguished Fellow

Phone: (609) 777-5660

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Degrees:
PhD, The Union Institute
MS, Illinois State University
BS, Illinois State University

George A. Pruitt currently serves as President Emeritus and Board Distinguished Fellow at Thomas Edison State University.

Dr. Pruitt was appointed the institution’s third president in December 1982 and served for over 35 years. He is among the longest-serving public university presidents in the nation and was identified as one of the country’s most effective college presidents in a study of presidential leadership funded by the Exxon Education Foundation. Prior to his tenure at Thomas Edison State University, he served in executive leadership positions at Illinois State University, Towson State University, Morgan State University, Tennessee State University, and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning.

Dr. Pruitt is active in the formulation of educational policy nationally and within the State of New Jersey. He has served five secretaries of education under three presidents of both parties during his tenure as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, which advised the United States Secretary of Education on the recognition of accrediting agencies. He is the recipient of six honorary degrees, numerous awards, honors and commendations, and has consulted widely in higher education, business and government.

He is a member and past chairman of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, member and past chairman of the board of directors of SEEDCO (Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation), and member of the board of directors of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. He is the former chairman of the board of trustees for the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL); former vice chair, National Commission on Higher Education Attainment; and past member and chairman of the board of trustees of The Union Institute & University and Rider University. He is a former member of the boards of directors for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, American Council on Education, Choose New Jersey, Inc., Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Greater Trenton, Inc., New Jersey State Planning Commission, Mercer Medical Center, Millennium Leadership Initiative, Sun National Bank and The Trenton Savings Bank. He is a former advisor of the Kellogg National Fellowship Program, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, past member and chairman of the New Jersey Presidents’ Council, and of the board of directors of the MidJersey Chamber of Commerce and Capital City Partnership.

He has an adult daughter, Shayla and grandson, Landon. He and his wife, Pamela reside in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

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