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Executive Leadership and Senior Management

APUS Executive Leadership

Dr. Wade Dyke
Dr. Katherine Zatz
Acting President
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Kate Zatz has agreed to step into the role as Acting President while we launch a search for a replacement. Most recently, Dr. Zatz has served as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for APUS. In addition to her doctorate in higher and adult education and two master’s degrees from Columbia University – Teachers College, Dr. Zatz brings approximately 15 years of experience as a trustee and an extensive range of higher education experience and insights to APUS. She was first appointed to the APUS Board in 2004, and during that time served as Chair for a combined approximately 10 years.
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Dr. Vernon C. Smith
Dr. Vernon C. Smith
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.
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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


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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Dr. Marie Harper
Dr. Marie Harper
Dean, Dr. Wallace E. Boston 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.
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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.
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Dr.. Barbara Netzer
Dr. Barbara Netzer
Dean, Educational Partnerships
Dr. 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.
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Dr. Michelle Newman
Dr. Michelle Newman
Associate Provost, University Registrar
Dr. 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.
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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.
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Dr. Nicole Drumhiller
Dr. Nicole Drumhiller
Interim Dean, School of Security & Global Studies

Dr. Nicole Drumhiller is the Interim Dean within the School of Security and Global Studies. In addition to her work as Interim Dean, Dr. Drumhiller is a Biosecurity Consultant consulting on industry best practices regarding personnel suitability and threat management. 

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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. 
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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.
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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.
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Dr. Daniel (Danny) Welsch
Interim Dean, School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math
Dr. Danny Welsch has been serving the students of American Public University System since 2007 as a part-time faculty member, full-time faculty member, program director, associate dean, and interim dean for the School of STEM. 
Read more about Dr. Welsch