Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. is the 12th president of Purdue University and the former governor of Indiana.
He was elected Indiana’s 49th governor in 2004 in his first bid for any elected office and then re-elected in 2008 with more votes than any governor in the state’s history. During his tenure, Indiana went from an $800 million deficit to its first AAA credit rating, led the nation in infrastructure building, and passed sweeping education and healthcare reforms.
After a series of transformations, which included the biggest tax cut in state history, the nation’s most sweeping deregulation of the telecommunications industry, and a host of other reforms aimed at strengthening the state’s economy, Indiana was rated a top five state for business climate and number one for state infrastructure and effectiveness of state government as Daniels exited office. Indiana’s business climate is now rated among the nation’s best.
At Purdue, Daniels has prioritized student affordability and reinvestment in the university’s strengths. Breaking with a 36-year trend, Purdue has held tuition unchanged from 2012 through at least the 2020–21 academic year. Simultaneously, room rates have remained steady, meal plan rates have fallen about 10 percent, and student borrowing has dropped 33 percent, while investments in student success and STEM research have undergone unprecedented growth. It is less expensive to attend Purdue today than it was in 2012.
In recognition of his leadership as both a governor and a university president, Daniels was named among the Top 50 World Leaders by Fortune Magazine in 2015 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2019.
Prior to becoming governor, Daniels served as chief of staff to Senator Richard Lugar, senior advisor to President Ronald Reagan, and Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush. He also was the CEO of the Hudson Institute, a major contract research organization. During an 11-year career at Eli Lilly and Company, he held a number of top executive posts, including president of Eli Lilly’s North American pharmaceutical operations.
Daniels earned a bachelor's degree from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a law degree from Georgetown. He is the author of three books and a contributing columnist in the Washington Post.
He and his wife Cheri have four daughters and six grandchildren.