Carol Folt Named Chair of the Association of American Universities

Carol L. Folt, president of the University of Southern California, was elected chair of the board of directors of the Association of American Universities. Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities is composed of 63 of America’s leading research universities. McGill University in Montreal and the University of Toronto are also members. Member institutions receive more than half of all federally funded research.

“I’m honored to have been selected by my colleagues, the presidents and chancellors of America’s leading research universities, to chair the AAU Board,” said President Folt. “AAU plays a central role in educating policymakers about the unique role that research universities play in our nation’s well-being and economic health, and I’m delighted in helping to lead such a wonderful organization.”

Carol L. Folt became the 12th president of the University of Southern California on July 1, 2019. She served as chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from July 2013 to January 2019. Dr. Folt’s career in higher education began as a professor at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where she served as a faculty member in biological sciences. At Dartmouth, she also held various administrative positions including dean of faculty, provost, and interim president. As an academic, her research has focused on the effects of dietary mercury and arsenic on human and ecosystem health, salmonid fisheries management and restoration, and global climate change.

Dr. Folt holds a bachelor’s degree in aquatic biology and a master’s degree in biology both from Santa Barbara City College. She earned a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of California, Davis.

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