President Martha E. Pollack

Headshot of Martha Pollack

A private university with a public mission, Cornell has an abiding commitment to academic excellence across disciplines, to the development and curation of pure knowledge, and to the application of that knowledge in the world we share.

Cornell was founded with the radical ambition of being an institution “where any person can find instruction in any study” and where “truth shall be sought for truth’s sake.” Today, I am proud to lead Cornell as its fourteenth president and to uphold its founding ethos of equity and openness, its commitment to free speech and civil discourse, and its mission of knowledge for a public purpose.

With its flagship campus in Ithaca and a major presence in New York City, Cornell is rapidly expanding collaborations and synergies across its urban and rural communities, as well as around the world. At this exciting moment in Cornell’s history, I am delighted to work with our faculty, students, staff, and alumni to advance Cornell’s academic distinction, educational verve, civic responsibility, and “One Cornell” ethos in Ithaca, throughout New York, and beyond.

About the President

Martha E. Pollack is the fourteenth president of Cornell University and professor of computer science, information science, and linguistics. She took office on April 17, 2017.

As the only land-grant university in the Ivy League, Cornell combines the highest standards of teaching and research with a public mission to discover, preserve, and disseminate knowledge. President Pollack is committed to building upon Cornell’s academic distinction and unique strengths, investing in the creativity and experience of our exceptional faculty while also enhancing our culture of “educational verve” through new, evidence-based approaches to teaching and learning. She sees Cornell’s foundational commitment to diversity and equity as central to our identity and success, and has engaged the entire university in the work of building an open, inclusive community whose members communicate effectively across difference. In her leadership of Cornell’s many units and campuses, she works to cultivate productive and meaningful synergies across disciplines and geographies, realizing a vision of “One Cornell” that capitalizes on the complementary strengths of our urban and rural identities.

An expert in artificial intelligence with a research focus on natural-language processing, automated planning, and the design of assistive technology for people with cognitive impairment, President Pollack earned a bachelor’s degree in linguistics at Dartmouth College and an M.S. and Ph.D. in computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania. She was previously provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan, where she was also professor of computer science and information.

Recent speeches and writings