James P. Clements was born on March 11, 1964. Clements is a graduate of Randallstown High School in Baltimore County, Maryland. Clements earned a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and an M.S. in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University. He then returned to UMBC where he earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Operations Analysis.
Clements married wife, Beth Clements, on December 29, 1990. Dr. Clements and Beth have four children together, Tyler, 24, twin girls Maggie and Hannah, 21, and Grace, 16, as of 2016. His son Tyler, went to West Virginia University and studied Business Leadership and Political Science. Hannah and Maggie were born in Maryland on March 19, 1995 and graduated from Morgantown High School in Morgantown, West Virginia. Maggie Clements is currently a senior at West Virginia University and recently got married to Tanner Coombs. Hannah Clements is a senior at Clemson University and is a member of the sorority Alpha Chi Omega. Their daughter Grace has a neurological speech disorder called apraxia. Apraxia is when the brain does not communicate well with motor functions, the person knows what he or she wants to say but the brain does not communicate properly with the muscles needed for speech. In 2010 Beth Clements’ parents, Clifton and Priscilla Smith, donated $25,000 to West Virginia University in their granddaughter’s name for research, they established the Grace Clements Speech Pathology and Audiology Research Endowment. At Clemson, Beth is a member of the advisory board for ClemsonLIFE, a program designed to help young adults with special needs. In 2015, the Clemson Board of Visitors established the Grace Clements Scholarship Endowment to provide financial assistance to ClemsonLIFE students.
Previous to assuming presidency at Clemson University, James P. Clements was the Vice President of academic affairs for Towson University and president of West Virginia University. At Towson University, he held many positions like Robert W. Deutsch Distinguished Professor of Information Technology, Department of Computer and Information Sciences. He also led the Center for Applied Information Technology and was a consultant to many private companies during his career at Towson.
He had served as president for nearly five years at WVU. At West Virginia University, he set many records in private fundraising, enrollment, and research funding. WVU had grown and developed under James P. Clements through partnerships; he made nearly a billion dollars’ worth of capital improvements on campus, and around the community.
In 2013, he began his position as President of Clemson University.
James P. Clements became the 15th President of Clemson University on December 31, 2013. In addition to his responsibilities as President of the University he is also a Professor in the School of Computing. Under the leadership of President Clements, Clemson has reached several milestones including: the largest campus facilities development initiative in university history, a record number of student applications with the strongest academic profile ever, and back-to-back record breaking years in private fundraising.
In addition to his role as President, Clements is a nationally recognized leader in higher education. He served as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities in 2015. He also serves on the American Council of Education (ACE) board and serves on the executive committee of the APLU’s Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity. He also serves as chair of the ACE Commission on Leadership; co-chairs the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship and serves on the Council on Competitiveness. He is also the only university president to ever serve on the U.S. Commerce Department’s Innovation Advisory Board.
Clements’ book, Successful Project Management, is now in its 6th edition and is published in multiple languages and used in numerous countries. He also maintains a blog and is active on social media.