Mary Papazian Headshot

Dr. Mary A. Papazian is a seasoned higher education leader with over 35 years of experience as a professor, provost and president. She was appointed to the APUS Board of Trustees in June 2024.

Dr. Papazian currently serves as Executive Vice President of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, where she is the primary thought leader on board governance and integrates AGB’s thought leadership throughout the association’s resources and services.

Previously, Dr. Papazian served as interim CEO of the Business-Higher Education Forum; and the 30th president of San José State University (SJSU), Silicon Valley’s public university of 38,000 students. Prior to that, she was president of Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU).

Previously, Dr. Papazian was Provost at Lehman College (CUNY); Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Montclair State University (NJ); and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences / professor of English at Oakland University (Mich.).

Throughout her career, Dr. Papazian has served on several volunteer boards, including Higher Education Resource Services (HERS), Business Higher Education Forum (BHEF), Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST), NCAA Board of Governors and Division I Presidents’ Council, Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), Urban Serving Universities (USU), Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), Bay Area Council, Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Joint Venture Silicon Valley. She is currently on the Board of Trustees of Haigazian University in Beirut, Lebanon.

Dr. Papazian holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). She also earned a Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts from UCLA.