CAIRO: The Board of Trustees of the American University in Cairo (AUC) has announced the selection of Lisa Anderson as the university's next president. Anderson will replace David D. Arnold who will be stepping down in December. Anderson has served as the university's provost since 2008.
Prior to joining AUC as it chief academic officer, Anderson served as the James T. Shotwell Professor of International Relations at Columbia University, as well as the former dean of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia.
In making the announcement, Richard A. Bartlett, chairperson of the university's Board of Trustees, noted that Anderson is uniquely suited for this position.
"Dr. Anderson," Bartlett said, "is a renowned scholar recognized internationally for her research and scholarship on politics in the Middle East and North Africa. In addition, she is a highly skilled administrator and leader who has made significant contributions to the university since being appointed provost, including the creation of the university's first PhD program, the establishment of three new schools and building the size and quality of the faculty."
Prior to being dean of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia, Anderson was the chair of the political science department at the university. She also served as the director of Columbia's Middle East Institute. Before joining Columbia, she was assistant professor of government and social studies at Harvard University.
Bartlett pointed out that Anderson becomes the university's 11th president at a critical time in its history.
"The university has completed its move to the new campus and is now turning its attention to ensuring that the university utilizes both of its campuses – AUC New Cairo and AUC Downtown – to provide our students with the highest quality education from a leading international faculty."
Anderson said that she was "honored by the confidence the board of trustees has extended to me in making this appointment and I look forward to working with them closely as we make AUC the center of excellence in higher education in the Middle East."
Anderson also thanked her predecessor for the contributions he has made to the university.
"As we all look to the university's future," Anderson said, "it is with deep appreciation for the contributions President Arnold has made to this university."
Anderson is the author of Pursuing Truth, Exercising Power: Social Science and Public Policy in the Twenty-first Century (Columbia University Press, 2003), The State and Social Transformation in Tunisia and Libya, 1830-1980 (Princeton University Press, 1986), editor of Transitions to Democracy (Columbia University Press, 1999) and co-editor of The Origins of Arab Nationalism (Columbia 1991). She is the past president of the Middle East Studies Association, chair of the board of directors of the Social Science Research Council, former member of the Council of the American Political Science Association and AUC's Board of Trustees. In addition, Anderson serves on the board of the Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs, is a member emerita of the board of Human Rights Watch, where she served as co-chair of Human Rights Watch/Middle East; and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Anderson holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. She earned a PhD in political science from Columbia University, 1981, where she also received a certificate from the Middle East Institute. She was awarded an honorary doctor of laws from Monmouth University in 2002.