John T. Swanson is currently associate provost for assessment, evaluation and special projects at The American University in Cairo (AUC), a position that he has held since 2005. He also holds the title of joint professor of Egyptology and history, which he was awarded in 2011. At various times over the past decade he has served as director of AUC’s core curriculum (2004 - 2009) and director of international programs (2006 - 2009). His duties are primarily administrative in character, but he is particularly interested in late Roman and early Islamic Egypt and he regularly teaches courses in AUC’s Egyptology program and in AUC’s freshman scientific thinking program.
Swanson joined AUC in 1978 after completing a PhD in African History at Indiana University. He earned a BA in history and Latin at Butler University (Indianapolis, Indiana) in 1972. From 1978 to 1989 he served as an administrator and occasional teacher in AUC’s programs of intensive Arabic language instruction. For most of this period he was the director of AUC’s Arabic Language Unit and Cairo Co-Director of the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) - a U.S. government-sponsored program dedicated to providing advanced instruction in Arabic language to outstanding American students of Arabic. Thereafter, he moved to the provost office as an assistant provost, and from 1989 to 2009 was responsible for one of AUC’s major outreach efforts, organizing programs of lectures for visiting college and university groups from the United States and Europe. He also served as lecturer and study leader for many Smithsonian Institution travel programs in Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Jordan and the Arabian Peninsula.