Sylvia Mathews Burwell

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under President Barack Obama, was selected to serve as the 15th president of American University in Washington, D.C. Burwell will begin her new role on June 1, 2017. Prior to serving as HHS Secretary, Burwell was director of the Office of Management and Budget, also a cabinet position. Prior to her roles in the Obama administration, she was president of the Walmart Foundation and served the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a decade as chief operating officer and then as the founding president of the Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program. Burwell also held leadership roles in the Clinton Administration, including as deputy chief of staff to the president and chief of staff to the U.S. Secretary of Treasury. She earned a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University as well as a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, policy and economics from the University of Oxford.