Sylvia M. Burwell is American University’s 15th president and the first woman to serve as president. A leader with experience managing large and complex organizations in the public and private sectors, President Burwell brings to AU a commitment to education and research, a record of spurring innovation, and experience helping to advance solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. Burwell served as the 22nd secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2014 to 2017, was director of the Office of Management and Budget from 2013 to 2014, and spent 11 years at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, including roles as chief operating officer and president of the Global Development Program.
She earned undergraduate degrees in government from Harvard University and in philosophy, policy, and economics from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Sylvia and Stephen Burwell are the parents of two young children.