APLU's day-to-day operations are led by President Peter McPherson and more than 50 staff members. The Board of Directors provides oversight and direction for their work and is charged with setting membership and governing policies for the association.
Peter McPherson came to APLU in 2006, having served as president of Michigan State University for more than a decade. His resume also includes senior leadership positions in government and business as well as on a multitude of boards of non-profit organizations.
The Board of Directors is the governing and ultimate policymaking body of the association. Under APLU’s bylaws, representatives from the association’s councils and commissions, seven president/chancellor representatives, and five elected officers constitute the board. Each representative is elected to a three-year term, with the exception of the officers, who are elected to one-year terms.
APLU has attracted a bright and talented cadre of public higher education experts – a quarter of whom hold Ph.Ds. Vice presidents of each office and their staffs work with colleagues across member institutions to undertake a broad array of projects and initiatives. APLU offices also work to directly serve the association's membership through the work of councils and commissions and the planning and coordination of dozens of meetings each year.
At a workshop organized by Rutgers University graduate students hosted at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, APLU’s Shalin Jyotishi spoke on a panel addressing the role of boundary organizations, associations, and professional societies for fostering public and policy engagement. He focused on the importance of engaging with local communities and leveraging economic and community engagement officers as resources for outreach.