President, American University
Sylvia Burwell is a broad-ranging, effective leader who has served at the highest levels of government, philanthropy, and academia. In 2018, she was inaugurated as the 15th president of American University, and the first woman president.  Burwell previously held two positions in the President’s Cabinet – serving as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for President Barack Obama. As HHS Secretary, she managed a trillion-dollar department with 12 operating divisions – including NIH, FDA, and the Medicaid and Medicare programs. As OMB Director, she worked with Congress to negotiate a two-year budget deal following the 2013 government shutdown. Burwell also held leadership positions at two of the largest foundations in the world – the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walmart Foundation.  Burwell is originally from Hinton, West Virginia. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband Stephen and their two children.