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Sylvia M. Burwell

AU's 15th President

Welcome to American University!

In January 2017, I was honored to be named as the 15th President and become part of the AU community. I officially began this role on June 1.

I have received a warm welcome from all corners of campus, the national capital region, from across the country and world—which strongly emphasizes how this is an incredibly vibrant university with a distinctive mix of academic strengths, influential scholars, engaged students, successful alumni, and an extraordinary location.

AU’s trajectory over the last decade enables us to think in bold and ambitious ways. We are well positioned to promote learning, inform debate through scholarship and research, contribute to our community, and lead.

I invite you to review our website and become better acquainted with AU’s academic strengths, leadership team, campus news, creative initiatives, and tradition of service. We will continue to update the site over the coming months, and I hope that you will check back often.

I am excited to join the AU family, be part of the team, and help write the next chapter for this distinctive university. Feel free to contact me with questions or comments at president@american.edu.

Sylvia M. Burwell
President, American University

Two women in front of windows and book case

Annelise Straw named 2019 President's Award Winner

President Burwell has chosen Annelise Straw (SIS '19) as the 2019 President's Award recipient. The President's Award is presented to a graduating senior whose accomplishments reflect the highest ideals of American University.

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Changemakers for a Changing World

A Five-Year Strategic Plan

Our new strategic plan is organized into three strategic themes — scholarship, learning, and community — with key imperatives to guide our focused efforts.

See the Plan