You are here: March 7, 2019

American University
Washington, DC

Memorandum March 7, 2019

To:
AU Community
From:
Sylvia M. Burwell, President
Subject:
David Taylor and Meg Clemmer

With deep appreciation for their impressive service, enduring commitment, and numerous contributions to the university, I’m writing to let you know that longtime members of the President’s Office, David Taylor and Meg Clemmer, will be stepping down from their positions in the coming weeks. When I arrived at American University, both David and Meg assured me that they would help me settle in before they considered a change. I am personally very grateful for all they have done to make my transition a smooth and successful one, just as they did for my predecessor, Neil Kerwin.

David joined the university in 1992 as director of media relations. Since then, there are few parts of the university that have not benefited from his dedication and impact. 

David has served in several leadership roles across campus, including as Chief of Staff to the President, Acting Executive Director of WAMU 88.5, and Acting Director of Athletics and Recreation. He has enhanced AU’s relationship with our neighbors through his work on multiple campus plans and his leadership of the Community Liaison Committee. David also has managed or been a leader in the development of previous strategic plans and several reaccreditations.

Most recently, David served as Secretary of the Board of Trustees and Special Counsel to the President. Both the members of the Board and I have regularly relied on David for his judgement, insights, and perspectives informed by his profound familiarity with the history and workings of our campus. Through his various positions, David has played a critical role in supporting faculty, students, staff, alumni, and our local community; improving how AU communicates internally and externally; supporting student-athletes; improving the operations of the Board of Trustees; overseeing WAMU during a time of incredible growth and increasing prominence; and many other critical initiatives.

Meg has worked to support AU’s presidents for over two decades. In this role, she has made sure that the Office of the President always functioned smoothly in matters big, small, and everything in between. From serving as a representative of the President’s Office to everyone from potential students to foreign leaders, to managing seemingly impossible schedules, to supporting major events of all types, Meg has been the heart of it all for 22 years.

I know that many across the campus have benefited from Meg’s professionalism, advice, and friendship, which we will all miss as she moves on to her next chapter. This time of transition at AU dovetails with Meg’s own professional transition, as she prepares to become a minister in the United Methodist Church.

With David and Meg’s departures, we have asked other colleagues to step up and assume new roles and responsibilities in support of the Board, the President’s Office, and our new strategic plan. Traevena Byrd will become the Secretary of the Board of Trustees, in addition to her duties as General Counsel. Seth Grossman, Chief of Staff and Counselor to the President, will oversee AU’s community and government relations and work closely with AU’s new assistant vice president of community and government relations, Ed Fisher, who joined AU earlier this week. Seth will also assume responsibilities for overseeing WAMU 88.5. Stephanie Leigh will become Senior Assistant to the President, leading support for the President’s Office.

All of us at American University have benefited from David and Meg’s unparalleled commitment and contributions to the university. They both have left an indelible imprint on AU that we will continue to appreciate for many years to come. Please join me in thanking them for their service and in wishing them the best.