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Meet the President

salem building
Salem president clapping with graduates

Summer Johnson McGee, PhD, CPH, is a prominent advocate for the education and advancement of women in health and science, for the advancement of diversity, and for the power of educational innovation.

She currently serves as the President of Salem Academy and College where she has overseen two consecutive years of enrollment growth at both the Academy and College. Under her leadership, Salem College has experienced the first increase in total undergraduate enrollment in 10 years. In addition, during President McGee’s tenure, Salem successfully completed its 250th Anniversary Campaign, shattering the original $12.5M goal that was set by raising $15.5M in 18 months.

During Dr. McGee’s presidency, Salem College has become nationally recognized by US News and World Report becoming ranked #2 among all national liberal arts colleges in its Social Mobility ranking (2023). Washington Monthly also ranked Salem College in the top 25 national liberal arts colleges as well as #4 for graduation rate performance and #8 for the earning performance of its graduates. Salem Academy became the #1 boarding school in the Triad region according to Niche (2023).

salem president at health leadership forum

Under President McGee’s leadership, Salem College has also undertaken an ambitious transformation of its academic and student experience becoming America’s only national liberal arts college with a distinctive focus on health leadership.

This transformation has included the addition of 8 new academic programs, a new leadership development program, a campus-wide wellbeing initiative, and a prominent event called the Health Leadership Forum. At the same time, President McGee supported Salem Academy as it engaged in a transformational new approach to becoming the nation’s only day and boarding college preparatory academy for girls focused on STEAM.

During her presidency, Dr. McGee has also seen great financial progress for Salem Academy and College including securing additional debt for critical infrastructure and student experience projects and improved Salem College’s financial health grade from a C to an A- according to Forbes Magazine.

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Salem president giving speech

Prior to joining Salem, President McGee served for eight years at the University of New Haven, ultimately serving as its founding Dean of the School of Health Sciences.

At New Haven, Dr. McGee accomplished an ambitious strategic plan overseeing the creation of more than a dozen new in-person and online undergraduate and graduate level academic programs, including one of the only professional doctoral programs in health sciences in the nation. Under her leadership, the University of New Haven’s healthcare management graduate program became the ninth largest in the nation, including its executive program at Yale-New Haven Hospital, both of which were accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education and became the only program of its kind in Southern New England. She also led the University of New Haven’s COVID-19 response and became a sought after academic and media expert related to COVID-19 during the pandemic.

President McGee is an award winning educator and academic innovator. She has been recognized two consecutive years by the Triad Business Journal as a regional “Power Player”. She received the American College of Healthcare Executives Distinguished Faculty Regents Award in 2014, was named in 2015 one of the Top 50 U.S. Healthcare Management Professors, and was recognized as one of Connecticut Magazine’s “40 Under 40” in 2019. Dr. McGee received the University of New Haven’s Excellence in Teaching award in 2017.

Salem President speaking into microphone

Dr. McGee also serves extensively in the community to support institutions and causes she cares about.

President McGee is a member of the REACH Women’s Network Advisory Board, the NC Biotech Advisory Board for the Triad region, the Board of Trustees of Old Salem, Inc, and the Winston-Salem Alliance.

Dr. McGee has published widely on social, political, and ethical issues in healthcare and biomedical science with a particular focus on the importance of education and public engagement for solving problems of public health. Her comments have appeared in major international and national media including the New York Times, ABC News, USA Today, NBC News, Buzzfeed, Cheddar, the New York Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Houston Chronicle, Associated Press, Newsday, Yahoo Finance, and the Boston Herald.

Dr. McGee holds a PhD in Bioethics & Health Policy from The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Philosophy and a BA in Bioethics from Indiana University Bloomington (IU). She also is a graduate of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education Management Development Program. Dr. McGee also has served on the faculty of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, the University of Kansas School of Medicine, and Albany Medical College.

President McGee is married to Dr. Glenn McGee, Interim Dean of Admissions at Salem College. They reside in the Boner House on campus with their Maine Coon cat, Sam. They have three adult children, Ethan, Austin and Aidan.


Contact email:
Executive Assistant: Linda Shaytar (

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