Duquesne’s Office of the President Includes Two New, Strategic Positions

Duquesne University President Ken Gormley welcomed two staff members to the Office of the President effective July 1.

The Rev. James P. McCloskey, C.S.Sp., who has had a close association with Duquesne University for many years, is senior advisor to the president for strategic initiatives, providing leadership in identifying institutional priorities and developing strategic planning for the University.

Mary Ellen Solomon, who has been director of government and community relations since 2012, is now assistant vice president for executive affairs.

McCloskey works closely with Gormley on a wide range of projects and interacts with Duquesne leadership, faculty and staff as well as community leaders to identify new opportunities for alignment with University's institutional priorities.

He has served in various capacities at Duquesne, including as a member of the board of directors, vice president for University Relations, and the inaugural vice president for mission and identity. McCloskey also served as provincial superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit-United States East Province and as a member of the General Council of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit in Rome, with special responsibility in the area of education.

In 2013, McCloskey assumed the role of president at Holy Ghost Preparatory, where both enrollment and the school's endowment increased and he recruited his successor, who is the school's first lay president. He first served as president of Holy Ghost from 1990-2002, during which enrollment grew by 50 percent; the school conducted its first capital campaign; and construction and renovations led to the building of Founders Hall, improved science labs and school-wide technology.

McCloskey stepped down from Holy Ghost in 2015 to engage in scholarly pursuits that included advanced biblical study with the University of Notre Dame in Jerusalem. In addition to a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Duquesne University, McCloskey has an M.Div. in mission specialization from the Catholic Theological Union; a Th.M. from the Weston School of Theology; an M.Ed. in educational administration from Boston College; and a Ph.D. in education from Fordham University.

Solomon serves as the president's representative with key internal and external constituencies and manages a variety of matters and special projects of institutional importance. She also continues to oversee the government and community relations activities of the University, as well as the administrative staff in the Office of the President.

During the past three years, Solomon has worked with many members of the campus community to build and enhance Duquesne University's connections with the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, as well as elected officials at state and federal levels and civic organizations.

Prior to joining Duquesne, Solomon served as senior director and then assistant vice president of marketing and communications at Point Park University from 2008-2013. There, she created and implemented the university's first-ever comprehensive marking campaign, including a complete redesign of Point Park's website. Solomon also held communications and marketing positions at the University of Pittsburgh; the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership; Carlow University; and at several other full-service marketing agencies.

Solomon has bachelor's degree in English from Duquesne University and a master's degree in public policy and management from the University of Pittsburgh.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.