Northeastern University President Joseph E. Aoun has been elected to serve as the board chair of the American Council on Education (ACE), the largest organization representing presidents and chancellors of colleges and universities in the United States. Aoun officially assumed his role on Monday at the organization’s annual meeting in Los Angeles.
Aoun, who will serve a one-year term for the 94-year-old organization, will replace former chair Eduardo J. Padrón, the president of Miami Dade College in Florida. Aoun had previously served as the board’s vice chair.
“American higher education is at a critical inflection point,” President Aoun said. “Because of the preeminence of our system, the efforts we’re making to innovate and expand higher education have captured the attention of the world. I’m honored that my colleagues have elected me as board chair during a period of great challenge and opportunity.”
In his role as chairman of ACE, Aoun will continue to advocate for the strength and diversity of the American system of higher education, which, he said, “remains the envy of the world.”
“Joseph’s advocacy on behalf of American higher education and his leadership of Northeastern give him a breadth and depth of knowledge and experience that will serve him well as the chair of the American Council on Education’s board of directors,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. “I look forward to a productive and exciting year ahead.”
Aoun was named president of Northeastern in 2006. Over the last six years, he has strengthened the university’s leadership in experiential education anchored in Northeastern’s signature co-op program. He also took experiential learning global, to 85 countries on all continents. His leadership has fostered a use-inspired research environment in which faculty can address real-world challenges, with particular emphasis on the fields of health, security and sustainability. Over the past five years, Northeastern’s external research funding and its philanthropic support have doubled.
Aoun is the recipient of the 2011 Robert A. Muh Alumni Award in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Earlier this month, Aoun was named to a 19-member academic advisory council for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.