Meet Rachel Awad: Senior Director of Academic Affairs Projects


Rachel Awad is AUC's new senior director of academic affairs projects in the Office of the Provost. With more than 25 years of experience in educational management at universities, ministries of education and NGOs in the United States and the Middle East, Awad is looking forward to being part of AUC.


What’s your main role as the senior director of academic affairs projects?

I represent the provost by providing leadership to a wide variety of projects across the University’s academic areas. I work closely with the associate provosts, deans, and faculty, as well as with teams from the administrative and operational units, to help ensure that projects move forward in a coordinated and timely manner.

Why did you decide to join AUC? 

My love for Egypt, coupled with my passion for the liberal arts, made AUC a very natural choice as the only liberal arts institution in the country.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and your previous experience?

I have bachelor’s and master’s degrees in comparative religion and culture, and a doctorate in public administration and international public policy. I have been working in educational management for over 25 years, working with universities, ministries of education and NGOs in the United States and across the MENA region, including many in Egypt.  

What are your priorities during this coming year? 

As a newcomer to AUC, one of my immediate priorities is to learn what drives the University -- not only to know who’s who and what’s what, but to truly understand AUC’s unique culture. And, of course, helping to implement projects and initiatives that support the University's mission and mandate.

What’s your plan to further strengthen AUC’s academic position locally and regionally? 

I think it’s important to say that I personally don’t have a plan. But the Office of the Provost has a very detailed and ambitious plan that in turn is 100% aligned to the University’s broader strategic plan. Every project and initiative that I will be working on aligns with one or more of the key pillars of this plan. This means that through my day-to-day work I will be an integral part of the AUC’s commitment to maintaining and strengthening its unique position in Egypt, the region and globally.   

What do you like most about AUC? 

I love how the atmosphere and energy on campus are a true mix of Egyptian and American cultures and values.

Favorite movie: Depending on my mood, I have three favorites: The Philadelphia Story, My Cousin Vinny, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Favorite book: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Favorite music: My favorite genre is definitely rock and roll. There are so many bands that I love, but my top three are The Kinks, The Grateful Dead, and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.

Favorite activity: Hanging out at the pool with family/friends, a good book and good music.

Favorite Egyptian food: Koshary, mahshi and feteer.

Your hero/role model: Martin Luther King and Michelle Obama

Greatest inspiration: People who live by the courage of their conviction.

Accomplishment you’re most proud of: Raising my son and seeing him grow into a man who I’m proud to know and love to spend time with.

Fun fact: I lived in seven different homes in seven cities, five states and two countries by the time I was 8 years old.

What problem do you wish to solve in the world? 

I would love to see a world where everyone has access to quality education and healthcare, and safe housing, food and water.