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Dr. Christopher Howard

  • President, Robert Morris University
    Member, Markle Board of Directors

Dr. Christopher B. Howard became the eighth president of Robert Morris University in suburban Pittsburgh on February 1, 2016. A nationally ranked, doctoral granting institution, RMU enrolls approximately 5,000 students.

Dr. Howard is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he earned a B.S. in political science in 1991. A Rhodes Scholar, he earned his doctorate in politics at the University of Oxford and an M.B.A. with distinction from the Harvard Business School. He is a recipient of the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award, which recognizes distinguished individuals on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of their college athletic careers. Dr. Howard has received the Armed Forces Merit Award from the Football Writers Association of America. He is a member of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and a former member of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee.

A retired Air Force reserve lieutenant colonel, Dr. Howard served as a helicopter pilot and then became an intelligence officer for the elite Joint Special Operations Command. Defense Secretary William Cohen asked Dr. Howard to accompany a 1999 U.S. delegation to South Africa as a political-military advisor. He was called back to active duty during 2003 in Afghanistan and was awarded the Bronze Star. Dr. Howard also served as the Reserve Air Attaché to Liberia.

Prior to his appointment as president of RMU, Dr. Howard for six years was the president of Hampden- Sydney College, near Richmond, Va. During Dr. Howard’s tenure as president, enrollment, retention, and alumni giving increased. Previously he served as vice president for leadership and strategic initiatives at the University of Oklahoma, where he also served as the director of the Honors College Leadership Center and a President’s Associates Presidential Professor.

Dr. Howard enjoyed a successful career in the corporate world, working at General Electric and Bristol- Myers Squibb. At both companies, Dr. Howard’s responsibilities included sales, marketing, international project management, strategic planning, internal consulting, and business development.

Dr. Howard is highly sought after as a speaker by the nation’s premiere higher education organizations, including the College Board, the Education Advisory Board, Ruffalo Noel Levitz, and the National Association of College and University Business Officers. He has been featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed. Dr. Howard has taught seminars in the Harvard Graduate School of Education Management Development Program and spoken at the Arizona State University-Georgetown University Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership.

Dr. Howard is married to Barbara Noble Howard from Johannesburg, South Africa. Barbara is a Temple University graduate, director of the Impact Young Lives Foundation, a member of the Virginia War Memorial Board of Directors, and a trustee of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The Howards have two sons, Cohen and Joshua.