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Welcoming American University's New President


We are pleased to introduce Sylvia Mathews Burwell as American University's 15th president.

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Presidential Search Timeline

Early Spring 2016

  • President Kerwin announces decision to step down (March 28, 2016)
  • Presidential Search Committee formed
  • Search firms interviewed; Spencer Stuart chosen
  • Open slots (one faculty; one student) on search committee filled, based on community nominations
  • Five listening sessions with campus constituencies to solicit feedback about:
    • Characteristics of the next president
    • Opportunities & challenges
    • Recruitment & nomination process

Late Spring 2016

  • Two listening sessions held
  • Community feedback incorporated into draft position specification
  • Ad and position specification finalized
  • Summer 2016

    • Community invited to nominate candidates for President
    • Search firm compiles nomination materials
    • Committee reviews candidate pool; search firm conducts outreach

    Fall 2016

    • Committee interviews candidates

Winter 2017

  • Finalist interviews
  • Committee recommends finalists to Board of Trustees
  • Board of Trustees selects final candidate, votes & extends offer
  • Board of Trustees makes announcement (January 26, 2017)

Late Spring & Summer 2017

  • President Kerwin steps down (May 31, 2017)
  • Sylvia Mathews Burwell becomes American University’s president (June 1, 2017)