Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

On Campus

Former HHS Secretary Burwell Is American University’s Next President

Obama Cabinet Member is First Woman to Lead AU

Full Story

Welcoming American University's New President

33:00

We are pleased to introduce Sylvia Mathews Burwell as American University's 15th president.

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Presidential Search Timeline

Early Spring 2016

  • President Kerwin announces decision to step down (March 28, 2016)
  • Presidential Search Committee formed
  • Search firms interviewed; Spencer Stuart chosen
  • Open slots (one faculty; one student) on search committee filled, based on community nominations
  • Five listening sessions with campus constituencies to solicit feedback about:
    • Characteristics of the next president
    • Opportunities & challenges
    • Recruitment & nomination process

Late Spring 2016

  • Two listening sessions held
  • Community feedback incorporated into draft position specification
  • Ad and position specification finalized
  • Summer 2016

    • Community invited to nominate candidates for President
    • Search firm compiles nomination materials
    • Committee reviews candidate pool; search firm conducts outreach

    Fall 2016

    • Committee interviews candidates

Winter 2017

  • Finalist interviews
  • Committee recommends finalists to Board of Trustees
  • Board of Trustees selects final candidate, votes & extends offer
  • Board of Trustees makes announcement (January 26, 2017)

Late Spring & Summer 2017

  • President Kerwin steps down (May 31, 2017)
  • Sylvia Mathews Burwell becomes American University’s president (June 1, 2017)