Skip Navigation
 

Executive Leadership and Senior Management

APUS Executive Leadership

Dr. Wade Dyke
Dr. Wade Dyke
APUS President
Dr. Wade Dyke was appointed President of APUS in August 2020. Before coming to APUS, he served as CEO of Great Hearts Academies, a charter school network with some 19,000 students. 
Read more about Dr. Dyke
Dr. Vernon C. Smith
Dr. Vernon C. Smith
Provost
Dr. Vernon C. Smith has an extensive background in online learning, including effective quality, assessment, and retention strategies. He is an early adopter in the use of big data for predictive modeling and teaching excellence to promote student success.
Read more about Dr. Smith
Mr. Richard W. Sunderland, Jr. CPA
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Richard Sunderland has 20+ years leading the financial and operational functions of large established public companies, as well as building the financial operations of emerging growth companies. He was appointed APUS CFO in January 2014.
Read more about Mr. Sunderland
Mr. Robert Gay
Mr. Robert Gay
Senior Vice President, Chief Operations Officer
Mr. Robert Gay joins APUS with 17 years experience as a leader in higher education. Mr. Gay, who leads marketing and enrollment management initiatives for the university, brings deep business expertise to this new role.
Read more about Mr. Gay
Mr. Steve Somers, CFA
Senior Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development
Mr. Somers joined APUS in June of 2020 and is responsible for advancing APUS’s business strategy and corporate development initiatives. Prior to APUS, Mr. Somers spent almost 10 years in the education industry, serving most recently as VP of Corporate Development at Kaplan, Inc. 
Read more about Mr. Somers

 

APUS Senior Management

Mr. John Aldrich
Mr. John Aldrich
Vice President, Military, Veterans, and Educational Partnerships
Mr. John Aldrich oversees all military and community college outreach activities, and is the main liaison between the university and Department of Defense agencies. His former military career with the U.S. Navy gives Mr. Aldrich first-hand knowledge of our military student needs.
Read more about Mr. Aldrich
Mr. Frank Burhance
Mr. Frank Burhance
Vice President, Service Operations
Mr. Frank Burhance leads the university’s mission to create a superior student experience and works closely with all student-facing departments to streamline processes and identifying opportunities for positive change.
Read more about Mr. Burhance
Dr. Michael Cottam
Dr. Michael E. Cottam
Associate Provost, Academic and Faculty Services
Dr. Michael Cottam leads several departments including Instructional Design, Media Development, Faculty Hiring, Center for Teaching and Learning, Curriculum, Assessment, and Course Materials.
Read more about Dr. Cottam
Dr. Jennifer Douglas
Dr. Jennifer Douglas
Dean, Graduate Studies & Research
Dr. Jennifer Douglas joined the School of Graduate Studies as associate dean in 2015 and was promoted to dean in August of 2017. She has been instrumental in the creation of the school’s first doctoral level programs.
Read more about Dr. Douglas
Dr. Brian Freeland
Dr. Brian Freeland
Dean, School of Health Sciences
Dr. Brian Freeland started at APUS as a faculty member in 2006 and has steadily advanced into his current leadership roles. Dr. Freeland regularly presents at academic conferences on topics relative to sport management leadership and online education issues.
Read more about Dr. Freeland
Dr. Grace Glass
Dr. Grace Glass
Dean, School of Arts & Humanities
Dr. Grace Glass is responsible for ongoing management and development of the school’s liberal arts and social sciences programs. She brings 15 years of higher education experience, most recently as associate dean of general studies for Northcentral Technical College in Wausau, WI.
Read more about Dr. Glass
Mr. Mike Harbert
Mr. Mike Harbert
Vice President, Strategic Markets and Relationships
Mr. Mike Harbert built the university's first military outreach team. Today he manages all partnership and outreach activities for key communities in the public sector. Mr. Harbert's leadership skills stem from his 20-year career (active and reserves) as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps.
Read more about Mr. Harbert
Dr. Marie Harper
Dr. Marie Harper
Dean, School of Business
Dr. Marie Harper joined American Public University System in 2010 as a Program Director of Management. Prior to joining APUS, Dr. Harper was the Faculty Chair, Business Administration at Peirce College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Read more about Dr. Harper
Ms. J.J. Herbert
Ms. J.J. Herbert
Vice President, University Counsel
Ms. J.J. Herbert joined American Public University System in 2015 and serves as associate general counsel and university counsel. Prior to joining APUS, Ms. Herbert was an attorney with the international law firm Eversheds Sutherland f/k/a Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP based in their Washington, D.C. offices.
Read more about Ms. Herbert
Mr. Gregory Hill
Mr. Gregory Hill
Vice President, Admissions
Mr. Hill joined the American Public University System in 2007. His 12 years of recruiting and leadership experience have proven vital to transforming the onboarding experience for prospective students.
Read more about Mr. Hill
Dr. Ahmed Naumaan
Dr. Ahmed Naumaan
Dean, School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math
Dr. Ahmed Naumaan oversees the ongoing management, development, and assessment of the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), with a primary focus on ensuring academic quality, student retention, and best practices in faculty teaching and learning.
Read more about Dr. Naumaan
Ms. Barbara Netzer
Ms. Barbara Netzer
Dean, Educational Partnerships
Ms. Barbara Netzer has over 28 years of higher education experience. She joined APUS in 2012 after serving as a nurse educator at the Community College of Baltimore County for 20 years. She currently oversees the academic partnerships and outreach team.
Read more about Ms. Netzer
Ms. Michelle Newman
Ms. Michelle Newman
Assistant Provost, University Registrar
Ms. Michelle Newman oversees the academic appeals, disability services, graduations, registrations, and scheduling teams at APUS. In her previous role for the university, she led the growth of the academic advising team from 12 to 80 advisors staffed to meet the needs of our adult learners.
Read more about Ms. Newman
Dr. Chris Reynolds
Dr. Chris Reynolds
Dean, Academic Outreach & Program Development
Dr. Chris Reynolds' career includes roles as U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, division fire chief and certified emergency manager, and educator with 33 years of higher education experience in both the traditional and online classroom. He joined APUS in 2003.
Read more about Dr. Reynolds
Dr. Mark Riccardi
Dr. Mark Riccardi
Dean, School of Security & Global Studies
Dr. Mark Riccardi retired from the U.S. Army after 21 years of active service spent in intelligence, military support to civilian authorities, and special operations. He has presented at conferences around the world on topics that include Social Media use During Disaster Operations.
Read more about Dr. Riccardi
Ms. Caroline Simpson
Ms. Caroline Simpson
Assistant Provost, Student and Alumni Affairs
Ms. Caroline Simpson joined APUS in 2005 and played a large role in developing the online advising services offered to university students. She currently oversees academic advising, transfer credit evaluations, student and alumni affairs, career services, and student appeals.
Read more about Ms. Simpson
Dr. Jennifer Stephens Helm
Dr. Jennifer Stephens Helm
Vice President, Accreditation
Dr. Jennifer Stephens Helm has an extensive background in learning outcomes assessment. She has consulted with schools districts, state departments of education, and school reform organizations. She worked with the Accelerated Schools Project at Stanford University prior to joining APUS in 2005.
Read more about Dr. Helm
Ms. Claudine Stubblefield
Ms. Claudine Stubblefield
Vice President, Finance
Ms. Stubblefield works closely with the APUS President and leadership team, as well as the SVP and Controller of APEI, playing a central role in major undertakings at the institution.
Read more about Ms. Stubblefield
Mr. J.B. Tanner
Mr. J.B. Tanner
Vice President, Student Support and Continuous Improvement
Mr. J.B. Tanner specializes in contact center management, analytics, customer engagement, and operations management. He has been key in creating the Student Support Center, Workforce Management, Electronic Communications and Quality Assurance teams at APUS. 
Read more about Mr. Tanner
Ms. Carolyn Todaro
Ms. Carolyn Todaro
Vice President, Academic Advising
Ms. Carolyn Todaro joined American Public University System in 2005 and currently serves as the Vice President of Academic Advising. Among her accomplishments, she championed the implementation of a proactive academic advising model to better serve the university systems 80,000+ students.
Read more about Ms. Todaro
Mr. Keith Wellings
Mr. Keith Wellings
Vice President, Financial Aid and Compliance
Mr. Keith Wellings oversees all components of the university's financial services compliance and default prevention. He led the design and implementation of the university's process to identify and prevent potential student fraud with regard to Title IV funding.
Read more about Mr. Wellings