Power 100: Sylvia Burwell


President, American University

“I will admit that in November I did not think I would be the one referred to as the first woman president.” So said Sylvia Burwell, referring to Hillary Clinton’s widely presumed election as president. A longtime member of the Clintons’ inner circle, she had been an adviser to Hillary Clinton’s election campaign. Instead Clinton lost, and Burwell was chosen as American University’s first female president. Her ties date back to the Clinton White House where she was deputy chief of staff to the president. Since Trump’s election she has witnessed the Republican assault on the Affordable Care Act, which she had run as Obama’s secretary of health and human services. Of AU she said, “AU’s future is bright,” she says. “Today here the demand for undergraduate admission has never been greater, AU endowment has grown and its financial strength is evident.”

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