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Courtney Surls Vice President, University Advancement


Courtney Surls, Vice President for University Advancement, arrived at American University in September 2015 to lead the university’s efforts to support strategic priorities, attract new sources of funding, and deepen lifelong relationships between AU and its more than 145,000 alumni.

Prior to joining the American University community, she was responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership for all fundraising, membership, and stewardship activities at the Newseum in downtown Washington, DC.

Prior to moving to Washington in 2011, Surls served as vice president for development at the University of Southern California, where she played a leadership role in developing the fundraising programs and infrastructure to support the university’s $6 billion capital campaign. Surls joined USC in 2004 to lead a 25-person staff of advancement professionals at the Marshall School of Business.

Previously, Surls was director of development for Loyola Marymount University’s College of Business Administration in Los Angeles, and as development director for St. Bernard High School in Playa del Rey, California.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Loyola Marymount University.