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Welcome to the Office of People & External Affairs

The Office of People & External Affairs leads AU’s work on supporting the workforce, secure a working and learning environment free of discrimination, engaging with our neighbors and the broader Washington, DC community, and implementing the university’s strategic plan.

OPEA Staff

Seth Grossman VP, People & External Affairs & Counselor to the President

Seth currently serves as the Vice President of People and External Affairs & Counselor to the President of American University and as an adjunct professor of law at AU's Washington College of

Sherri Kum Director of Finance and Administration

Sherri Kum joined American University June 2018 to provide direct support to the Chief of Staff & Counselor to the President and to the Secretary to the Board of Trustees. She currently is the Dir

  (202) 885-2164

Community and Government Relations

Maria Barry Director of Community Relations

Maria Barry joined American University in June 2019. Maria discovered a dedication to community development and social justice after working on a state-wide referendum in Maryland and completing her B

Equity and Title IX

Human Resources 

Beth Muha Assistant Vice President of Human Resources

I am like many members of the university community; I have enjoyed a long standing relationship that spans both staff and student status. Much has changed at AU and with me since I first joined as a s

  (202) 885-2451

Strategic Implementation

Geralynn Franceschini Executive Director of Strategic Implementation

Geralynn serves as Executive Director supporting the President and Chief of Staff of American University in the implementation of the Strategic Plan. <br /><br />She has extensive global c

Katherine Van Order Project Manager

Kate serves as Project Manager supporting the Executive Director of Strategy Implementation in the Office of the President. She has extensive management consulting experience and a successful track re

  (202) 885-2837


Erika Pulley-Hayes General Manager

Erika Pulley-Hayes is the general manager of WAMU, American University radio. She has been working in public media since 2005. She came to WAMU from Community Communications, Inc., in Orlando, Florida

Teney campus under construction

AU Campus Plan

American University's 2021 Campus Plan American University’s 2021 Campus Plan will support our strategic priorities and further our educational and research missions through a thoughtful and measured approach to campus growth

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Progress Report Strategic Plan 2020-2023

Our plan is organized into three strategic themes — scholarship, learning, and community — with key imperatives to guide our focused efforts. Check out our progress. Click "Learn More" to download the progress report

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