George Mason University announces James Soto Antony as new provost and executive vice president


FAIRFAX, VA (April 29, 2024) – George Mason University President Gregory Washington today announced James Soto Antony as the next Provost and Executive Vice President. He is a nationally recognized higher education scholar and leader with substantial experience as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Washington, Yale University, Harvard University, and University of California San Diego. He will begin this new role on July 1, 2024.

“We searched the nation for the very best provost for George Mason University, and James Antony was our number one choice,” Washington said. “He has the perfect mix of academic credentials, knowledge, and temperament to lead our academic enterprise as this university takes its place as one of America’s new leaders in higher education. I look forward to having Jim on the team.”

Antony is currently Dean of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs at UC San Diego, where he also serves as Professor of Education Studies with a secondary appointment in the Rady School of Management. At UC San Diego, he has led a transformation of graduate and professional student financial support, created infrastructure to advance student professional development, prioritized student access and opportunity, and launched grant-funded initiatives to improve mentoring. 

As Provost and Executive Vice President, Antony will help cultivate a dynamic and forward-thinking academic environment. In collaboration with senior leaders, faculty, staff, and students, he will be instrumental in advancing academic excellence, research, and scholarly pursuits in alignment with Mason’s core values and strategic direction. He will oversee all colleges, schools, and academic support units. 

“George Mason University is an inspiring students-first institution that prioritizes inclusive access and opportunity. As a first-generation college student from a low-income family, this resonates deeply with me,” Antony said. “As a young top 50-ranked university with significant research investments, Mason is on a fast track as one of the most compelling institutions in the nation. I look forward to being part of the Mason Nation helping to advance student, faculty, and staff successes and collaborating to continue the university’s rise as a world-class research university.”  

A national search was conducted from September through March, following the departure of Mark Ginsberg, now president at Towson University. Interim Provost Ken Walsh will return to his position as chief of staff on July 1, 2024. Megan Healy, interim chief of staff, will also return to her role as special advisor.

"James Antony shares our strong commitment to ensuring access to a world-class education, an engaging campus experience, and a culture of belonging,” added Professor and Faculty Senate President Melissa Broeckelman-Post, who chaired the 20-member search committee. “His nearly three decades of leadership experience make him an ideal provost to help Mason navigate the many opportunities and challenges ahead.”

From 2015 to 2019, Antony served as Faculty Director of the Graduate School of Education’s Higher Education Program at Harvard University, and Co-Director of the Management Development Program. From 2012 to 2015, he was an Associate Provost at Yale University, where he worked on issues ranging from faculty development to the promotion of undergraduate student leadership. From 1995 to 2012, he held faculty and leadership roles at the University of Washington, including Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy and Adjunct Professor in Sociology; Associate Vice Provost and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the Graduate School; and Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the College of Education. While at Washington, he also served as Director of the Graduate Program in Higher Education and was founding Executive Director of the Center for Leadership in Athletics, and its associated degree programs. 

As a scholar, Antony’s research and teaching focus on the preparation of forward-thinking leaders in college or university settings, both domestically and globally. He has written about higher education faculty, the socialization and leadership development of future faculty and college leaders, and data-driven decision-making in higher education settings. He has taught courses in such topics as leadership theory, organizational change, assessment and evaluation, data-based decision making, introductory and advanced quantitative research methods, student affairs administration, leadership ethics, college athletics and athletic leadership, sociology of higher education, and the history of higher education.

Antony earned his baccalaureate degree in Psychology, and his master’s degree and PhD in Higher Education and Organizational Change, all from UCLA. 


About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 40,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility. In 2023, the university launched Mason Now: Power the Possible, a one-billion-dollar comprehensive campaign to support student success, research, innovation, community, and stewardship. Learn more at