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American Public University System Provost Dr. Karan Powell Appointed APUS President

Charles Town, WV – June 1, 2016  American Public University System (APUS) today announced that after an extensive search process, Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Karan Powell will succeed long-time President Dr. Wallace E. Boston, effective July 1, 2016.  As previously announced, Dr. Boston will remain CEO of APUS parent company American Public Education, Inc. (APEI) as part of an anticipated organizational realignment, providing strategic and leadership support to APUS, Hondros College of Nursing, and other APEI ventures.

“Dr. Powell’s contributions have been instrumental in helping achieve APUS’s leadership position in online higher education,” said APUS Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Kate Zatz. “We are very pleased to be able to maintain the momentum Dr. Boston has established in support of our academic reputation and providing superior learning outcomes for our students.”

“I am truly honored to have the opportunity to continue Dr. Boston’s successful legacy in serving APUS in this new role,” said Dr. Powell. “I look forward to working with the leadership team to help advance our core mission of educating those who serve, with an ongoing commitment to academic excellence and affordability.”

In her current role, Dr. Powell has led university initiatives to ensure academic quality and online teaching effectiveness, student success, faculty advocacy, and innovative online instructional strategies and technology. She has more than 30 years of experience in higher education, leadership development, organization performance enhancement, and transformation in education, non-profit, business, and government organizations.  In addition, she has specific expertise in distance learning, evaluating equivalent work learning for college credit, online faculty workload, program review and evaluation, leadership development, system change, and organization transformation.

Prior to assuming her position as provost in 2011, Dr. Powell served as APUS’s interim chancellor in 2004, dean of the school of business, management and graduate studies in 2005, and academic dean from 2006-11. She serves on multiple governing bodies, including as secretary of the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) board, Garrison Forest School board in Baltimore, Md., board and secretary of the Association of Chief Academic Officers, and as an advisor to John Gardner Gateways to Completion and APUS partner Fidelis Education. 

Dr. Powell originally joined the APUS Board of Trustees while serving as chief learning officer for IT contractor American Management Systems. There, the team transformed a traditional training department into a corporate university with distance and computer based learning components and developed strategic partnerships with other universities. Dr. Powell served as an executive faculty instructor at the Georgetown University School of Business and also as director of professional development programs in its School of Continuing Education, where she developed and taught leadership classes for the U.S. Senate, Verizon and other organizations. In addition, she has been an adjunct faculty member at George Mason University, University of Maryland University College and the University of Phoenix. 

Dr. Powell holds a doctor of philosophy in education from George Mason University, with a specialization in organization development and learning. She also holds a bachelor of science in business education from Western Illinois University, a master of divinity from Loyola University and a certificate in advanced organization design from the University of Southern California.  In addition, she is a graduate of the HERS Institute: Advancing Women in Higher Education Administration, the Harvard Institute for Educational Management, and the University of California Berkeley Executive Leadership Academy.

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