Jens Frederiksen, Ph.D., President

Jens Frederiksen

Jens Frederiksen, Ph.D., joined the University of New Haven on March 1, 2024, as its seventh president. An innovative higher education leader with extensive experience in many facets of higher education administration, including enrollment management, fundraising, and academic/corporate pathways, he joined the University from Fisk University, a highly ranked historically black university in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has served as executive vice president for institutional advancement and enrollment management.

At Fisk, Dr. Frederiksen helped to usher in the revival of one of the nation's most highly regarded HBCUs. He helped envision and implement Fisk's strategic plan and oversaw enrollment management, financial aid, career services, alumni affairs, marketing/university relations, and institutional advancement. He also helped spearhead the John Lewis Center for Social Justice and launch Fisk's Business Incubation and Innovation Center. Under his leadership, Fisk raised more than $110 million, including 20 seven-figure gifts, and dramatically increased its enrollment, net tuition revenue, and endowment.

Dr. Frederiksen's efforts helped Fisk secure a number one national ranking by Forbes for academic stewardship. He was also instrumental in establishing academic and corporate partnerships with Vanderbilt University, HCA Healthcare, Ryan Specialty Group, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, the Los Angeles Lakers, Marsh McLennan, and Ingram Industries, among others. He collaborated with HomeFree USA to launch a successful financial literacy program and established an executive speakers program with leaders from every major industry. In addition, he coordinated visits to the Fisk campus by such distinguished guests as the late Congressman John Lewis, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson. He facilitated the Fisk Jubilee Singers performance with Grammy Award-winner Alicia Keys as well as their Juneteenth performance at the White House.

Dr. Frederiksen has served as a professor at Vanderbilt, Fisk, and the University of the South and as a consultant for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. He earned bachelor's degrees in political science, history, economics, and philosophy from Vanderbilt, where he was a member of the men's tennis team. He also earned both a master's degree in interdisciplinary social and political thought and a Ph.D. in contemporary political theory and comparative politics from Vanderbilt.

A native of Denmark, Dr. Frederiksen and his wife, May Wood Frederiksen, have two children, Gunnar and Lilly.

In the Media

In the Media

Hartford Courant: University of New Haven introduces new president

Jens Frederiksen, Ph.D., who has been named the seventh president of the University of New Haven, comments on his vision for the University, and Presidential Search Committee Chair Mike Ambrose ’84, ’19 Hon., shared what distinguished Dr. Frederiksen during the extensive search and selection process.