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Memorandum September 20, 2023

AU Community
Marc Duber (Kogod/BS '81), Chair, AU Presidential Search Committee;
Janice Menke Abraham (SIS/BA '79), Vice Chair, AU Presidential Search Committee
Presidential Search Update and Upcoming Community Input Opportunities

In addition to the many exciting activities happening on campus this semester, the search for American University’s 16th president is underway. Today, we want to provide an update on our work to date and highlight upcoming opportunities for your participation in this important process. Hearing from the AU community is a critical and valued step that will enhance the search and help us identify the next AU president.

The AU Presidential Search Committee met during the week of September 11 to outline the work for the fall. Our search firm partners from Russell Reynolds reported positive initial engagement with campus communities and feedback they have received from external audiences reflected the great potential and interest in American University and the presidential opportunity. These are important initial signals that will help the search move forward.

Engaging with the AU community and hearing your input is fundamental to a successful search. We have two ways for you to share your views and all community members are invited to participate.

The Russell Reynolds team will conduct individual community listening sessions (via Zoom) for students, staff, faculty, and alumni on the following dates. Please register for an individual session at the relevant link below:

  • Thursday, September 28 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Faculty register here.)
  • Friday, September 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (Staff register here.
  • Monday, October 2 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Alumni register here.)
  • Tuesday, October 3 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Students register here.)
  • Thursday, October 5 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (Faculty register here.)

In addition to the listening sessions, AU community members can provide their perspectives regarding the presidential search through our community survey. Please compete the survey by October 6.

Following the listening sessions and the completion of the survey, the search committee and Russell Reynolds will use the community input to support development of the position description and guiding priorities for the search. The goal is to finalize the position description in October and share it with the AU community. Our next update will include this information.

As the position description is completed, the search process will begin identifying and cultivating potential candidates. At any time during this process, community members may submit nominations of potential candidates to This stage of the search will take place throughout the remainder of the fall semester. Additional updates will be provided once this work moves forward, likely early in the spring 2024 semester.

The presidential search website will have the latest information, including schedules of the upcoming events, the position description once it is complete, and our community updates. Communications to the search committee can be sent to

Thank you for your engagement and support for this important work. We look forward to hearing from the AU community and advancing the search together.