Presidential Search

Presidential Search


American University is searching for its 15th president. On March 28, Neil Kerwin announced that he would step down after more than a decade as AU's president. Under his leadership and with the combined efforts of the board and senior administration, AU is now measurably stronger in terms of academic quality, financial position, facilities, and stature.

The Board of Trustees has established a search committee with representation from students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, and the administration. In the coming months, the committee, aided by executive search consulting firm Spencer Stuart, will gather the input of the community about requirements and characteristics that will be important to the success of the next president. They will develop and share a position profile that will become the basis of a competitive search, culminating in the recommendation of finalists to the board for final review and selection.

This website is designed to keep you informed about the various elements of the search process. We will post regular updates and are committed to maintaining open communication as much as possible.

We welcome your feedback at You may also provide feedback directly to the committee member(s) representing your constituency.

Jeffrey A. Sine
Chairman, Presidential Search Committee
Former Chairman, AU Board of Trustees

Jack C. Cassell
Chairman, AU Board of Trustees

Presidential Search Timeline

Subject to Revision

March 2016

President Kerwin announces decision to step down

Presidential Search Committee formed

Search firms interviewed; Spencer Stuart chosen

April 2016

Nominations for open slots (two faculty; one student) on search committee due April 11

Listening sessions with campus constituencies to solicit feedback about:

  • Characteristics of the next president
  • Opportunities & challenges
  • Recruitment & nomination process

Late Spring & Summer 2016

Ad and position specification developed

Community invited to nominate candidates for President

Search firm compiles nomination materials

Committee reviews candidate pool; search firm conducts outreach

Fall & Winter 2016

Committee interviews candidates

Finalist interviews

Committee recommends finalists to Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees selects final candidate, votes & extends offer

Board of Trustees makes announcement

Spring & Summer 2017

President Kerwin steps down (May 31, 2017)

New President in office

Submit Your Feedback

The Presidential Search Committee invites your questions, comments, and suggestions.

Contact Search Committee

Nominate a Candidate

To nominate a candidate to become the 15th president of American University, contact Spencer Stuart.

Contact Spencer Stuart

Contact the Search Committee: 202-885-2144 • Fax: 202-885-3279 •

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