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Welcome to the President's Office

President's Office Building

The staff in the President's Office serve as a liaison between various constituencies (students, parents, faculty, neighbors, alumni) and the university administration. The office is open between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

The building once served as the residence for American University's chancellors (later called presidents). The building was completed in 1925 and is a reproduction of the Macey House, built in 1854 on Nantucket Island. The building stands in what was the front yard of the General Murdock Home, The Old Farmhouse, which originally stood on this property.

We welcome your questions and comments at

President's Office Staff

Seth Grossman VP of People and External Relations, Chief of Staff

Seth currently serves as the Vice President of People and External Affairs & Chief of Staff and Counselor to the President of American University and as an adjunct professor of law at AU's Was

Sarah Evans Special Assistant

Sarah Evans joined the Office of the President in June 2019 as Special Assistant. During her time as a graduate student at the School of Public Affairs, she served as a research assistant at The Lab @

  (202) 885-2143

Sherri Kum Senior Assistant to the Chief of Staff

Sherri Kum joined American University June 2018 to provide direct support to the Chief of Staff & Counselor to the President and to the Secretary to the Board of Trustees. Sherri has more than 20

  (202) 885-2164

Community and Government Relations

Maria Barry Director of Community Relations

Maria Barry joined American University in June 2019. Maria discovered a dedication to community development and social justice after working on a state-wide referendum in Maryland and completing her B

Special Events

Lisa Arakaki Senior Director of Special Events

Lisa Arakaki works closely with campus partners to coordinate large-scale events including commencement, Opening Convocation, Staff Appreciation, Celebrate AU, and the Faculty-Staff Holiday Party. In

  (202) 885-2430

Strategic Implementation

Geralynn Franceschini Executive Director of Strategic Implementation

Geralynn serves as Executive Director supporting the President and Chief of Staff of American University in the implementation of the Strategic Plan. <br /><br />She has extensive global c

Katherine Van Order Project Manager

Kate serves as Project Manager supporting the Executive Director of Strategy Implementation in the Office of the President. She has extensive management consulting experience and a successful track re

  (202) 885-2837