University of Maryland Global Campus's Office of the President leads the university in its mission of offering top-quality educational opportunities to adult students in Maryland, the nation, and the world, setting the global standard of excellence in adult education.

Meet UMGC's Interim President, Lawrence E. Leak, PhD

Dr. Lawrence E. Leak

Lawrence E. Leak, PhD

Interim President

Lawrence E. "Larry" Leak, PhD, was named interim president of University of Maryland Global Campus in September 2020, following the retirement of President Javier Miyares. He is the first African American to lead the university in its 73-year history.­

In a distinguished career spanning five decades, Dr. Leak has been a mainstay of Maryland education, serving as a high school teacher and principal, university professor and administrator, assistant state superintendent of schools, college trustee, and gubernatorial appointee.

The proud son of a 21-year veteran of the United States Air Force, Dr. Leak attended U.S. Department of Defense elementary schools in France and Germany through the sixth grade. He graduated from St. Mary's College of Maryland in 1976 and went on to earn master’s and doctoral degrees in educational administration and supervision from University of Maryland, College Park. He earned his doctorate under the competitive award now known as the Flagship Fellowship Program.

He began his professional career as a social studies teacher at Great Mills High School in St. Mary's County, Maryland. He went on to become principal of Manassas Park High School in Virginia before accepting an assistant professorship at University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Leak subsequently held tenured faculty positions at Morgan State and Towson universities. On a seven-year loan from Towson University, beginning in 1996, he joined the Maryland State Department of Education, where he served as assistant state superintendent in the Division of Certification and Accreditation. In that capacity, Dr. Leak oversaw the state's teacher certification/licensure process, as well as Maryland's 21 postsecondary teacher preparation programs and its nonpublic school accreditation process.

Dr. Leak first came to UMGC (then University of Maryland University College) in 2003 as vice provost for academic affairs and professor, later serving as interim provost and chief academic officer. He formally retired in December 2007 after a 31-year career in education.

Dr. Leak has remained active in higher education post-retirement. In 2009 he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of St. Mary's College of Maryland—and the following year to the Maryland Council for Educator Effectiveness—by then-Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. Dr. Leak also serves as vice chair of Historic St. Mary's City Commission.

Dr. Leak lives in Howard County, Maryland, with his wife, Dr. Debra Neubert, a University of Maryland, College Park, professor emerita. Their daughter, Emily, is a mental health psychotherapist at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

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