The Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University, is once again named as one of the region’s most influential leaders by Business First.

Father Maher is listed at No. 76 in the weekly newspaper’s ninth annual “Power 250,” a list of the 250 men and women who, in the publication’s opinion, wield the most clout in the eight-county region.

Father Maher has served as Niagara University’s 26th president since August 2013. His presidency has been distinguished by his ability as an inclusive and collaborative leader, as well as his desire to rebuild the Niagara Falls, N.Y., community. During his tenure, the town and gown relationship between the university and the region has been strengthened through programs such as the Niagara Global Tourism Institute’s TReC business incubator and the Levesque Institute for Civic Engagement’s work with the city’s South End Housing Initiative.

Father Maher also established Rose Bente Lee Ostapenko Center for Race, Equity and Mission to advance the institution’s commitment to diversity and social justice, and was selected by Mayor Robert Restaino to serve as a member of his Niagara Falls Social Justice Commission to address inequality across a variety of platforms in the community.

He was also one of the educational leaders from across New York state, and the only college or university president from the Buffalo-Niagara region, chosen to work on a plan to reopen colleges and universities safely during the coronavirus pandemic as a member of a task force established by the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU).

According to the Business First website, the “Power 250” is limited to persons who live and work in Western New York. It does not include owners of local businesses who live in other parts of America or the world.

To view this year’s “Power 250,” click here.

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