Research fellow and former Obama advisor Susan Rice receives University’s higher honor
“AU’s made me feel very much at home from the very beginning"
Former ambassador to the United Nations and National Security Advisor Susan Rice was awarded AU’s highest honor, the Cyrus A. Ansary Medal, at the University’s 37th Annual President’s Circle Celebration.
The medal is awarded to members of the AU community who have displayed extraordinary commitment and leadership, both within the university and their professions, and who have significant accomplishments, either in service to the university or for the benefit of the community at large, according to a university press release.
Rice joined AU in March 2017 as a distinguished visiting research fellow in the School of International Service following the end of her position as former President Barack Obama’s national security advisor.
As a D.C. native, she was drawn to come back to the city at the end of her tenure in the Obama White House, she said in an interview with The Eagle.
“I was interested in joining a university entity, particularly one with strong international service programs,” Rice said.
As for what set AU apart from other D.C. universities, Rice noted that AU is “hungry and up-and-coming,” and she knew several administrators and faculty members, most notably University President Sylvia Burwell, whom she met while studying at Oxford University. Burwell presented Rice with the award at the ceremony.
“It was obviously a very moving and nice occasion,” Rice said. “It was a really nice gathering of members of AU’s board and members of the community.”
In Rice’s position as visiting research fellow, she mentors small groups of students in SIS, talking about policy issues and professional developments. Rice said her position also gives her the opportunity to continue to read and write.
“AU’s made me feel very much at home from the very beginning,” Rice said. “I’m very pleased with the partnership.”