Connecticut College’s Interim President

Leslie E. Wong, Ph.D., is interim president of Connecticut College. He assumed office on July 1, 2023, and will serve until the appointment of the College’s 12th president.

Wong has extensive experience in higher education leadership and a strong understanding of Connecticut College through his service on Conn’s Board of Trustees since 2019. He has served on the Board’s Executive Committee, chaired the Faculty-Trustee Liaison Committee and served as vice chair of the Committee on Academic Affairs. When he was appointed as interim president, he resigned as a trustee and is serving on the Board in an ex officio capacity, as is customary, until the 12th president is appointed.

Wong earned a B.A. in psychology from Gonzaga University, an M.S. in experimental psychology from Eastern Washington University and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Washington State University. He previously served as president of San Francisco State University, where he is president emeritus, and Northern Michigan University; vice president of Academic Affairs of Valley City State University in North Dakota; interim president, provost and academic vice president of the University of Southern Colorado; and academic dean and faculty member at Evergreen State College in Washington. He is married to Phyllis Michael Wong, who is the author of the award-winning non-fiction book We Kept Our Towns Going.

Wong’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion has been evident throughout his career. He served on the NCAA’s Task Force on Equity and Inclusion, led a national effort to admit Mexican universities into Division II of the NCAA and since 1985 has worked closely with the State Department to promote U.S.-China relations as well as the well-being of Chinese Americans. He also led California’s statewide effort to expand Project Rebound, a social justice initiative that helps formerly incarcerated students to earn college degrees.

An educational psychologist by training, he is a widely published scholar in the fields of psychology, higher education leadership and diversity, equity and inclusion. His work includes cognitive aspects of supercomputing applications, cross cultural approaches to teaching math and cross cultural counseling, especially in the area of PTSD with Vietnam War veterans and Southeast Asian refugees.