Proudly Announcing American University’s 16th President.

On behalf of the American University Board of Trustees, we are pleased to announce Jonathan (Jon) Alger as American University’s 16th president. Jon will join the AU community on July 1, 2024, when President Sylvia Burwell concludes seven years of changemaking impact and service.

Jon comes to AU after serving for 12 years as president of James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, Virginia. A native of Rochester, New York, Jon has more than 30 years of experience in higher education and is a nationally recognized scholar on higher education policy. The competitive national search led by our presidential search committee identified Jon as the top candidate and right person for AU.

See full announcement from the Board of Trustees >>

Jonathan Alger

Jonathan Alger announced as American University’s 16th president.

Presidential Search Timeline

August 2023

  • President Burwell announces decision to step down in 2024
  • Presidential Search Committee formed by AU Board of Trustees
  • Search firms interviewed; Russell Reynolds chosen

Fall Semester 2023

  • Listening sessions with AU community members to solicit feedback about:
    • Characteristics of the next AU president
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Position description
    • Recruitment and nomination process
  • Position description/specifications developed
  • Nomination materials compiled by Russell Reynolds
  • Search committee reviews candidate pool; search firm conducts outreach to potential candidates
  • Initial candidate interviews conducted

Spring Semester 2024

  • Candidate interviews continue
  • Search committee recommends finalists to the Board of Trustees
  • Board of Trustees interviews finalists, selects final candidate, and votes to approve

Announcement of 16th AU president

  • Jonathan (Jon) Alger announced on March 18, 2024 as American University’s 16th president

Summer 2024

  • President Burwell steps down 
  • Jonathan (Jon) Alger begins as AU’s 16th president

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