Dr. Chris Howard | Markle
Dr. Chris Howard | Markle

Dr. Chris Howard

Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Arizona State University;
Member, Markle Board of Directors

Dr. Chris Howard is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Arizona State University. Howard works closely with President Michael Crow and the other executive vice presidents to coordinate enterprise-wide initiatives and advancement, oversee ASU Enterprise affiliates, advance new enterprise relationships and opportunities, and integrate ASU Enterprise planning and strategy.

He is a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and earned a doctorate from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He also earned an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School. Howard’s military career included service as a helicopter pilot and an intelligence officer, and he was awarded a Bronze Star for service in Afghanistan.

Previously, Howard served as the eighth president of Robert Morris University (RMU) in suburban Pittsburgh beginning on February 1, 2016. Under Howard’s leadership, RMU became a preferred strategic partner for corporations, organizations, and professionals in the Pittsburgh region and beyond. RMU also completed the largest capital project and comprehensive campaign in the university’s 100-year history. In 2021, U.S. News & World Report ranked RMU No. 48 on the magazine’s list of Best Value Schools, a reflection of RMU’s high academic quality and affordable price. Before serving at RMU, Howard was President of Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.

During Howard’s tenure at Hampden-Sydney College, the college grew enrollment, improved diversity, boosted retention, and raised its endowment. Previously, he served as a vice president at the University of Oklahoma, and also had a successful corporate career with GE and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Howard is also a former member of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. His wife, Barbara Noble Howard, serves as an Arizona State University Fellow for nonprofit leadership and hails from Johannesburg, South Africa. The Howards have two adult sons, Cohen (graduate of The University of the South) and Joshua (graduate of Middlebury College).