Board of Trustees of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) Chair Huda Farouki announced April 11 that Dr. Kenneth Holland will be the next President of the University. The appointment follows an extensive search by the Board’s presidential search committee led by Dr. Akram Fazel. “Among the dozens of highly qualified candidates, Dr. Holland stood out as having the background, experience, vision and drive that AUAF needs to move to the next level of its mission of educating the future leaders of Afghanistan,” said Board Chair Farouki. Dr. Fazel stated that, “Throughout the selection process Dr. Holland impressed the committee with his combination of academic talents and leadership abilities, as well as his dedication to education and commitment to a positive future for Afghanistan. We are fortunate to have someone of Dr. Holland’s caliber joining us as the next AUAF president.”
Dr. Holland will succeed David Sedney, who has served as AUAF’s Acting President since September, helping to lead AUAF’s recovery from terrorist attacks last August. Under Sedney’s leadership AUAF made significant security improvements and reopened for classes last month. Sedney will continue as Vice President of AUAF’s Board and as a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Holland holds a Ph.D. degree in Political Science from the University of Chicago, an M.A. in Government and International Relations from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in Political Science from Furman University. He comes from a rich and diverse academic background, having served in a variety of positions at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the University of Vermont, the University of Memphis, Luther College, and Kansas State University. Currently Dr. Holland is Professor of Political Science and Executive Director of the Center for International Development at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, USA.
Dr. Holland has received multiple awards for his achievements as an academic. He is the winner of a Fulbright Specialist Award in Burma, Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Research in the Area of Social Sciences and the Fulbright Scholar Award in Japan.
He also has extensive experience in managing grants funded by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development, focused on developing countries in order to strengthen higher education and improve the rule of law. Dr. Holland has assisted several universities in Afghanistan, including Kabul University, Balkh University, Kandahar University and Shaikh Zayed (Khost) University.
Dr. Holland has published more than 60 articles and 8 books. He has also edited five issues of internationally known academic journals. Dr. Holland’s strong academic background and his experience in strengthening and improving higher education systems will be valuable assets to AUAF. He is excited to be a part of restoring AUAF and helping the university in reaching its goal of becoming a model university at the national and regional level.
Dr. Holland will begin his service as AUAF president on June 1, 2017