H. James Towey is in his sixth year as president of Ave Maria University (AMU). His career has included previous service as a college president, senior advisor to the President of the United States, key aide to a Congressional leader, member of the cabinet of Florida’s governor, founder of a national non-profit organization, and legal counsel to Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. During his tenure as AMU’s second president, Mr. Towey has ushered in record enrollment, over $50 million in fundraising and 19 new majors.
Mr. Towey served as Assistant to the President of the United States. He was a member of President George W. Bush’s senior staff and attended meetings of his Cabinet. As director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives from 2002 to 2006, Mr. Towey tracked billions of dollars in federal grants that were awarded annually to faith-based charities serving the poor. In 1985 Mr. Towey became personal friends with Mother Teresa and served as her legal counsel in the United States during the last 12 years of her life. He was a full-time volunteer for her for two years, living with her order of priests in their seminary in Tijuana, Mexico, and caring for the dying in her home for people with AIDS in Washington. Mr. Towey was a member of the official delegations sent by the President of the United States for both Mother Teresa’s funeral in Calcutta in 1997, and her beatification at St. Peter’s Basilica in 2003.
He has received many honors, including the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal from His Holiness Pope John Paul II, and six honorary doctorate degrees. He and his wife Mary have five children and reside in the town of Ave Maria, Florida.