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Project Leadership

AAU is engaged in an initiative in collaboration with our member universities that aims to change the established culture surrounding doctoral education at AAU institutions.  The AAU PhD Education Initiative's mission is to promote more student-centered doctoral education at AAU universities by making diverse PhD career pathways visible, valued, and viable.

All AAU institutions have the opportunity to participate in the PhD Education Initiative.  If you are interested in getting involved with the initiative, please email [email protected] for further details.


Project Team

Emily Miller
Deputy Vice President for Institutional Policy, AAU
Tara King
Higher Education Project Manager, AAU
Chris Golde
Consultant, Stanford University

Advisory Board

To guide the Initiative, AAU appointed an advisory board of experts in graduate education.

Ansley Abraham

Director, SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program, Southern Regional Education Board (SREB)

Anthony M. (Tony) Boccanfuso

President & CEO, University-Industry Demonstration Partnership (UDIP)

Harry Brighouse

Mildred Fish Harnack Professor of Philosophy and Carol Dickson Bascom Professor of the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison

John Paul Christy

Senior Director of U.S. Programs, American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)

Brian P. Coppola

Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Chemistry and Associate Chair for Educational Development and Practice, University of Michigan

Cynthia N. Fuhrmann

Assistant Dean, Career and Professional Development in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Associate Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Chris M. Golde

Assistant Director of Career Communities for PhDs and Postdocs, BEAM Stanford Career Education, Stanford University

John C. Keller

Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Education, and Dean of the Graduate College, University of Iowa

Julia Kent

Vice President, Best Practices and Strategic Initiatives, Council of Graduate Schools (CGS)

Barbara Knuth

Professor of Natural Resource Policy and Management and Associate Director of the Center for Conservation Social Sciences, Cornell University

Jessica Liebowitz

Visiting Scholar, Brandeis University

Alan I. Leshner

Chief Executive Officer Emeritus, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Robert D. Mathieu

Albert E. Whitford Professor of Astronomy, Director, Wisconsin Center for Education Research and Director, Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL), University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tobin Smith

Vice President for Science Policy & Global Affairs, Association of American Universities

Lydia Snover

Director of Institutional Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Emily L. Swafford

Director of Academic Affairs, American Historical Association (AHA)

Haylie B. Swenson

Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow, appointed as Government Relations Project Manager at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Shirley M. Tilghman

President of the University, Emeritus and Professor of Molecular Biology and Public Affairs, Princeton University

Agency Liaisons

Kenneth Gibbs, Director, National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Postdoctoral Research Associate Training (PRAT) Program, National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Kim Barrett, Division Director, Division of Graduate Education, National Science Foundation (NSF)

Ex-Officio Members

Elizabeth S. Boylan, Senior Fellow, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Lorelle L. Espinosa, Program Director, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation



The AAU PhD Education Initiative is generously funded by:

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Charles Koch Foundation

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation