Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian

Interim President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian Takes the Helm at AUA

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YEREVAN, Armenia — On December 3, 2022, Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian assumed the position of Interim President of the American University of Armenia (AUA) following the resignation of AUA’s fifth president, Dr. Karin Markides. He will fulfill the duties of the office while the Boards of Trustees of the AUA Corporation and AUA Fund complete the process of selecting the next President of the University. 

Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian is a co-founder of AUA and has served in many capacities for the University, including as Founding Dean of Engineering from 1991 to 2007, as Interim Provost during the academic year 2011-2012, and as President from 2014 to 2019. He is a Founding Member of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Armenia Corporation. From 1978 until 2015, he served as a faculty member in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, the last 16 years as Taisei Chair Professor of Civil Engineering. 

On December 7, the newly appointed Interim President hosted a conversation with the faculty and staff of the University. Dr. Der Kiureghian started his remarks by thanking Dr. Markides for her 3.5 years of dedicated service to the University. He also thanked Dr. Brian Ellison for his service as Provost in the wake of his resignation. He then remarked on the institution’s resilience and ability to stay on track, to develop and grow despite changes in the leadership.

Dr. Der Kiureghian next focused on the work to be done moving forward. He highlighted several key issues, including strategic planning for the next phase of the University’s growth; the planned expansion of science and engineering programs, facilitated by the construction of the new Science and Engineering Building currently under planning; strengthening human capital especially by increasing the number of full-time faculty engaged in teaching, research, and service to the university and community; and preparing for re-accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College & University Commission (WSCUC), and its reviewing team’s visit scheduled for October 2023. 

“There is something special about our University community which has long characterized our students, faculty, and staff. It is the strong sense of dedication that prevails,” he beamed. “We are all involved in creating an educational institution that prepares the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs of Armenia.” He then concluded with an overture to everyone in attendance, emphasizing that he is always ready to hear their suggestions and concerns by maintaining open lines of communication with all.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.