Michael Hemesath became the 13th president of Saint John's University on July 1, 2012. A 1981 SJU graduate, Hemesath is the first layperson appointed to a full presidential term at SJU.
Hemesath graduated summa cum laude with a degree in economics and received his master's and doctoral degrees in economics from Harvard University. After graduate school, he was on the faculty for two years at Tufts University in Medford, Mass., and worked as a consultant for Health Economics Research in Needham, Mass. He returned to the Midwest and was an economics professor at Carleton College from 1989-2012 and served as faculty president from 2009-12.
In addition to teaching micro and macroeconomics, Hemesath taught courses on international economics, the economics of multinational enterprises, the British Industrial Revolution, Soviet and post-Soviet economics and health economics. He also taught in the master's degree program at Kiev-Mohyla Academy in the Ukraine. He has done research in health economics, student attitudes toward markets and education in transition economies. Hemesath was a Mondale Policy Fellow at the Hubert Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota during the 1992-93 academic year and was president of the Minnesota Economics Association in 1995-96.
Hemesath is deeply committed to off-campus studies programs, and has directed three Associated Colleges of the Midwest programs in Krasnodar, Russia. He was faculty director for Carleton's Economics Seminar at Cambridge University six times, most recently in the summer of 2012, and served as the director of the "Ethical Inquiry at Carleton" (EthIC) program.
Hemesath has a deep and abiding commitment to Catholic higher education. He is passionate about SJU's ability to transform young men's lives through its commitment to the liberal arts and its embodiment of Benedictine values.
Hemesath is married to Dr. Elizabeth Galbraith, who taught at Coe College, and most recently at St. Olaf College. They have three sons, Cameron, Sebastian and Alexander.