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Administrative Leadership

The president's council is composed of members of the:

The president's council meets once a month to discuss issues of importance to the university community. A copy of the AU organizational chart is available online.


President's Cabinet

AU President Sylvia Burwell

Sylvia Burwell President

Sylvia Burwell became American University's fifteenth and first female president on June 1, 2017. She leads an institution of 14,000 students, 1,300 teaching and administrative faculty, and 2,500 staff.

Photo of Peter Starr, interim provost

Peter Starr Provost and Chief Academic Officer

As provost, Peter Starr is American University’s chief academic officer. He is responsible for the guiding vision and leadership of the university's academic affairs.

Fanta Aw

Fanta Aw Vice President, Undergraduate Enrollment, Campus Life, & Inclusive Excellence

Fanta Aw and the Campus Life staff work to integrate students into a diverse university community; promote their intellectual, social, and spiritual development; and in collaboration with the faculty, prepare students for lifelong learning and global citizenship.

Sarah G. Baldassaro Chief of Staff

Sarah G. BaldassaroChief of Staff & Counselor to the President

Sarah G. Baldassaro works closely with President Burwell and the leadership team on university priorities, including engagement with the AU community, advancing the Change Can’t Wait comprehensive campaign, and other cross-cutting initiatives. 

Matt Bennett, VP and CCO

Matthew Bennett Vice President & Chief Communications Officer

Matthew Bennett oversees the university's official communications areas: University Communication, including the Media Relations and Web Communications offices; University Marketing; and University Publications.

Bronté Burleigh Jones

Bronté Burleigh-JonesVice President, CFO and Treasurer

Bronté Burleigh-Jones oversees the overall financial and investment management of the university. Her executive responsibilities also include controllership and treasury operations, student accounts, procurement and contracts, budget and payroll, capital and facilities planning, facilities management, sustainability, external relations, auxiliary services, public safety, risk management, transportation services, and internal audit.

Traevena Byrd

Traevena Byrd Vice President, General Counsel & Board Secretary

Traevena Byrd oversees the Office of the General Counsel and serves as Secretary to the Board of Trustees. The attorneys within the Office of the General Counsel provide, manage, and coordinate all legal services for the university.

Seth Grossman

Seth Grossman Vice President, People and External Affairs, & Counselor to the President

Seth Grossman is responsible for community & government relations and strategic plan implementation. He also oversees the Office of Equity and Title IX, the Office of Human Resources, and WAMU.

Steve Munson

Steve MunsonVice President and Chief Information Officer

Steve Munson is American University’s Vice President and Chief Information Officer.

Courtney Surls

Courtney SurlsVice President, Development and Alumni Relations

Courtney Surls works with the university leadership, alumni, and donors to support AU's strategic priorities, attract new funding, and build lifelong relationships between AU and more than 115,000 alumni.

Billy Walker

William Walker Director, Athletics and Recreation

Billy Walker oversees AU's athletics teams, intramural and club sports, and recreation programs. The Eagles compete in the Patriot League, which emphasizes athletics and academic competitiveness.

Academic Deans

Photo of Monica Jackson

Monica JacksonDeputy Provost and Dean of Faculty

As interim deputy provost and dean of faculty, Monica Jackson oversees all faculty appointments, tenure and promotion processes, faculty misconduct cases, new faculty onboarding and retirements, as well as the Career Center, CTRL, AU Abroad, and the International Accelerator programs.

Monica's Biography

Academic Affairs

Wendy Boland

Wendy Boland Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies

Wendy Boland works with the deans to develop AU’s strategy related to ensuring robust enrollment in graduate programs, planning for the future of graduate learning, and solidifying the university’s strong reputation for graduate study.

Wendy's Biography

Graduate Studies

Diana Burley, Vice Provost, Research

Diana BurleyVice Provost for Research

Diana Burley supports the faculty in building the influence and impact of AU’s scholarship and oversees the functions of research innovation and administration, including the offices of sponsored programs, research compliance, and university-wide centers.

Diana's Biography

Research at AU

SIS Dean Christine Chin

Christine Chin  Dean, School of International Service

Christine Chin, an expert on the political economy of transnational migration, Southeast Asian studies and intercultural relations, is interim dean of the School of International Service. The School of International Service is the largest school of international relations in the United States and is training future leaders to "wage peace" around the world.

Christine's Biography

School of International Service

Photo of Jeehyun Davis

Jeehyun Davis University Librarian

The university library, headed by Jeehyun Davis, serves as a gateway to AU's print resources and electronic information and supports student and faculty research.

Jeehyun's Biography

University Library

John Delaney

John T. Delaney Dean, Kogod School of Business

John T. Delaney became dean of the Kogod School of Business on July 18, 2016. He is a noted scholar in the fields of negotiation, dispute resolution, and labor-management relations. He comes to AU from the University of Pittsburgh where, as dean, he increased enrollment, improved student quality, grew annual fundraising, and surpassed the school's $50 million capital campaign goal a year ahead of schedule.

John's Biography

Kogod School of Business

Roger A. Fairfax, Jr.

Roger A. Fairfax, Jr.Dean, Washington College of Law

Roger A. Fairfax, Jr. is dean of the Washington College of Law.

Roger's Biography

Washington College of Law

Photo of Max Paul Friedman

Max FriedmanInterim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Max Friedman is the interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, which offers more than 150 majors, minors, master's, PhDs, and certificate programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences, and education.

Max's Biography

College of Arts & Sciences

Sam Fulwood III, Dean, SOC

Sam Fulwood IIIDean, School of Communication

Sam Fulwood III directs and develops the School of Communication’s scholar and professional programs in Journalism, Film and Media Arts and Public Communications, as well as its six academic and research centers.

Sam's Biography

School of Communication

Cheryl Holcomb-Mccoy

Cheryl Holcomb-Mccoy Dean, School of Education

Dr. Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy joined AU in 2016 as the Dean of the School of Education. In concert with her colleagues in the College of Arts and Sciences, she concentrates her efforts on recruiting and supporting a more research-active and diverse faculty, developing outstanding new curricula in education, and building bridges to school districts and education industries around the globe.

Cheryl's Biography

School of Education

Jessica Waters

Jessica Waters Vice Provost, Undergraduate Studies

Jessica Waters leads Undergraduate Studies. Her office oversees the undergraduate living learning communities and the university's general education program. She also provides academic leadership on undergraduate curricular development and reform, and oversees implementation of the university's academic regulations and policies.

Undergraduate Studies

SPA Vicky Wilkins

Vicky Wilkins Dean, School of Public Affairs

Vicky M. Wilkins leads the School of Public Affairs, a nationally top-ranked school offering education in the fields of political science, public administration, public policy, and justice at the graduate, executive and undergraduate levels.

Vicky's Biography

School of Public Affairs


Raina Lenney

Raina Lenney Assistant Vice President, Alumni Relations & Annual Giving

Raina Lenney is responsible for advancing the mission of the university through programs, benefits, and services designed to engage AU's alumni constituency.

Raina's Biography

Alumni Relations

Beth Muha

Beth Muha Assistant Vice President of Human Resources

Beth Muha is responsible for overseeing American University's Office of Human Resources.

Beth's Biography

Human Resources