AUC Elects Mark Turnage as Chair of its Board of Trustees

The American University in Cairo (AUC) has elected Mark Turnage, CEO of DarkOwl, as chair of AUC’s Board of Trustees. For the past year, he has served as vice chair of AUC's Board of Trustees, alongside David Tirrell, provost and professor of chemistry and chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology. Turnage has served as an AUC trustee since 2016.

He is succeeding Richard Bartlett, three-time chair of the Board and first chair emeritus at the University. 

Turnage is no stranger to Egypt and AUC. He studied at the University during his junior year abroad in 1980, after which he decided to remain at AUC to practice his Arabic. His one-year stay at the University extended to three. 

 “I was a young student. I came here to study Arabic,” reflected Turnage. “I became introduced to Egypt and the broader Arab world. AUC had a great impact in introducing me to the region, and I have stayed involved in the region since.”

“Mark has been an active and deeply engaged trustee since joining the Board, bringing both enthusiasm and energy as an alumnus and business leader,” said Teresa Barger, head of the Trusteeship and Governance Committee that oversaw Turnage’s selection.

Looking forward to his new role, Turnage said, “I am honored to lead the Board of such a great University that has contributed to Egypt and the world through the education it provides to its students — a testimony to the power of liberal arts,” said Turnage. “I admire Richard Bartlett’s distinguished and talented leadership over the years and will build on it as we work together as a community to continue to advance AUC into its second century.” 

In addition to leading DarkOwl, a Colorado-based company that provides a dark net threat intelligence platform to allow companies and organizations to recognize, understand and mitigate their digital risks, Turnage is tech and telecom adviser to Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network Colorado and was senior adviser to the Colorado Impact Fund. A private investor in technology, software and manufacturing startups, he served at the helm of various cybersecurity companies. Previously, he was a consultant with McKinsey & Company as well as a practicing attorney with Davis Graham & Stubbs. Turnage holds a JD from Yale Law School, an MA in philosophy, politics and economics from the University of Oxford and a BA (summa cum laude) in international affairs, African and Middle Eastern studies from the University of Colorado Boulder.

A trustee since 2003 and elected chair in 2010, 2013 and 2018, Richard Bartlett, managing director of the New York-based Resource Holdings, will continue his longtime support of AUC as a member of its Board of Trustees and chair emeritus. “My time with AUC began as a child, and the University will forever be immensely important to me,” said Bartlett. “I am grateful to Mark Turnage for his service to the Board, bringing keen insights, expertise and a deep commitment to the University’s mission. The last decade has been consequential for Egypt and AUC, and the University is well-positioned in Egypt’s evolving higher education landscape. I intend to continue working with Mark and my fellow trustees to build on AUC’s strong legacy as a positive force for Egypt and the region.”


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Founded in 1919, The American University in Cairo (AUC) is a leading English-language, American-accredited institution of higher education and center of the intellectual, social, and cultural life of the Arab world. It is a vital bridge between East and West, linking Egypt and the region to the world through scholarly research, partnerships with academic and research institutions and study abroad programs. 

The University offers 40 undergraduate, 52 master’s and two PhD programs rooted in a liberal arts education that encourages students to think critically and find creative solutions to conflicts and challenges facing both the region and the world. 

An independent, nonprofit, politically non-partisan, non-sectarian and equal opportunity institution, AUC is fully accredited in Egypt and the United States.