You are here: American University Provost Communications June 8, 2022

American University Office of the Provost

MemorandumJune 8, 2022

AU Faculty and Staff
Peter Starr, Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Expanded Role for Diana Burley

American University’s Changemakers for a Changing World strategic plan emphasizes the importance of our research mission.  During the first three years of the plan, we have steadily strengthened our research infrastructure and seen record growth in our sponsored research portfolio.  As we enter the next phase of our work to implement the strategic plan’s ambitions in research, President Burwell and I recognize that future success will increasingly rely on strategic innovation and a diversified portfolio of partnerships designed to harness the collective expertise of our researchers and accelerate the impact of their work.  Advancing the strength of AU’s research will both enhance, and be enhanced by, strong new partnerships—both key elements of the strategic plan.

To lead this effort, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Diana Burley, our Vice Provost for Research, as Vice Provost for Research and Innovation.  In this capacity, Diana will continue to lead AU’s research enterprise while expanding her portfolio to:

  • Emphasize strategic initiatives and partnerships that support university-industry collaborations and the expansion of intellectual property and patent activities as well as potential technology transfer and licensing opportunities resulting from those collaborations;
  • Establish innovative partnerships that advance multi-disciplinary approaches to social challenges and strengthen our position in the global community; 
  • Advance AU’s ability to structure research-based collaborations with our donor communities to accelerate impact; and
  • Accelerate progress toward achieving the goals of strategic imperatives 1 & 2 through a set of new metrics that track industry engagement, the expansion of our sponsor portfolio, and strategic partnerships that build reputation and grow revenue, in and beyond our areas of strategic focus.

In her expanded role, Diana will work ever more closely with other university offices to define AU’s research brand, enable faculty innovation, and develop university-wide partnerships that accelerate the impact of our scholarship on policy and practice, both regionally and around the world.  

Of course, each of these efforts also enhances our primary mission—to provide a rich scholarly environment in which our students can thrive.   

As a community of changemakers, we recognize the importance of thoughtful and targeted innovation and see the expansion of Diana’s role as an important step in advancing the strategic plan and solidifying American University’s reputation as a leading force for impactful social change.