You are here: May 31, 2019

American University Office of the Provost

Memorandum May 31, 2019

To:
AU Community
From:
Daniel Myers, Provost
Subject:
School of Communication Leadership

I write today to let you know that the dean of the School of Communication, Jeff Rutenbeck, will be leaving American University to become the provost at Arcadia University. Even in just my short time at AU, I have come to view Jeff as an extraordinarily valuable partner, and I know he will be missed by colleagues across the university. I am also, however, very happy for Jeff and know that he will make important contributions in his new role. We wish him a fond and heartfelt farewell!

I am pleased to announce that Professor Laura DeNardis has agreed to serve in the position of interim dean of the School of Communication effective July 1, 2019. As interim dean, Dr. DeNardis will be responsible for the school’s overall management and strategic leadership and will support American University’s national search for a new dean.

A globally distinguished scholar in the area of Internet governance and cybersecurity, she is the author of The Global War for Internet Governance (Yale University Press 2014) and other books and is a sought-after speaker and media commentator on global cyber control struggles. Her sixth book, The Internet in Everything: Freedom and Security in a World with No Off Switch is in press for publication this year, also with Yale University Press. She is a faculty director of the Internet Governance Lab at American University and has attracted significant external funding to the university. She holds an engineering science degree from Dartmouth College, a master of engineering degree from Cornell University, a PhD in science and technology studies from Virginia Tech, and was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from Yale Law School.

She has served in a number of senior leadership positions throughout her career. She joined American University in 2011 from Yale Law School, where she taught and served as executive director of the Information Society Project. As a tenured full professor and associate dean for faculty affairs for the past six years, she has been involved in all aspects of administrative leadership in the School of Communication. While at American, she has held affiliated fellowships with the Yale Information Society Project and Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and served as the director of research for the Global Commission on Internet Governance. She has also served as an appointed member of the high-level advisory committee on international communications and information policy at the U.S Department of State.

A passionate educator and advocate for students, she was the recipient of American University’s Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award in 2018. In 2012, she received an American University award for outstanding support of LGBTQ students. Following this interim dean appointment, she will return to her position as professor of communication studies. Please join me in welcoming Laura into this important role.