You are here: Office of the President

Sylvia M. Burwell

AU's New President

Welcome to American University!

In January 2017, I was honored to be named as the 15th President and become part of the AU community. I officially began this role on June 1.

I have received a warm welcome from all corners of campus, the national capital region, from across the country and world—which strongly emphasizes how this is an incredibly vibrant university with a distinctive mix of academic strengths, influential scholars, engaged students, successful alumni, and an extraordinary location.

AU’s trajectory over the last decade enables us to think in bold and ambitious ways. We are well positioned to promote learning, inform debate through scholarship and research, contribute to our community, and lead.

I invite you to review our website and become better acquainted with AU’s academic strengths, leadership team, campus news, creative initiatives, and tradition of service. We will continue to update the site over the coming months, and I hope that you will check back often.

I am excited to join the AU family, be part of the team, and help write the next chapter for this distinctive university. Feel free to contact me with questions or comments at

Sylvia M. Burwell
President, American University

Appointment of Traevena Byrd as General Counsel

Ms. Byrd will serve as a member of the president’s cabinet and chief legal advisor to the university’s executive officers and board. In the role of general counsel, she will provide, manage, and coordinate all legal services for the university.

Read the memo

Strategic Plan & Inclusive Excellence Update

We are on the path toward a new strategic plan for the university. There will be opportunities for your input and guidance. In addition, we are moving forward as a community and just released a Plan for Inclusive Excellence.

Learn more