NEW YORK – Peter Kilpatrick, a chemical engineer and current provost at the Illinois Institute of Technology, has been appointed as the 16th president of the Catholic University of America.

Kilpatrick succeeds John Garvey, who announced last fall that this would be his last school year after 12 years. Kilpatrick takes office on July 1.

“We could not have asked for a better candidate to lead Catholic University,” Victor Smith, chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees said in a statement. “Peter Kilpatrick is both a distinguished researcher and a creative administrator who sees research at the service of the human person in keeping with his Catholic faith.”

Kilpatrick is a published scholar who holds or shares 12 patents in chemical engineering, and has more than a decade of higher education experience. Kilpatrick spent 24 years – 1984-2008 – at North Carolina State University advancing from assistant professor to department head of chemical and bio molecular engineering, and then founding director of the Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center.

Peter Kilpatrick has been appointed as the 16th president of the Catholic University of America (Credit: Catholic University of America.)

In 2008, Kilpatrick joined the University of Notre Dame as its dean of engineering. He held that role until 2018, at which time he joined the Illinois Institute of Technology as provost and vice president for academic affairs. He received his undergraduate degree from Occidental College in Los Angeles, and a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota.

Kilpatrick converted to Catholicism as an adult to join his wife Nancy in the faith and raise their children as Catholics.

“Serving as president of The Catholic University of America is a dream job for me, bringing together faith and reason in service to the human person and human dignity,” Kilpatrick said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the faculty and community to continue moving Catholic University forward as a top tier research institution that also embraces its excellence in theology and the arts.”

The Catholic University of America is a pontifical university that was founded by the U.S. bishops in 1887. To this day operates with their oversight. Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, the chancellor of the university, congratulated Kilpatrick on his appointment.

“I would like to warmly congratulate Dr. Peter Kilpatrick on his appointment as the 16th president of The Catholic University of America,” Gregory said in a statement. “His wealth of experience, pursuit of academic excellence, and commitment to the Catholic identity of the University make him well qualified to guide the University into its next era.”

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