Appointment of Professor Margee Ensign as the new Vice-Chancellor of USIU-Africa
July 18, 2022
Dear USIU-Africa Community,
The University Council of the United States International University-Africa is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Margee Ensign as the new Vice-Chancellor of USIU-Africa with effect from September 1, 2022.
Prof. Ensign has an outstanding track record with a stellar academic career including 12 years as a successful Vice-Chancellor in Nigeria and in the US, where she was a formidable ambassador and successful fund-raiser. Her experience leading two very different organizations as Vice Chancellor will enable her to address the challenges and opportunities for USIU-Africa. She brings an undoubted commitment, passion and vision around deepening international and intercultural education in Africa: it has been at the heart of her teaching, research, publications, and administrative life, and has led her to experience working in numerous international environments including Rwanda, Uganda, and Nigeria.
Prof. Ensign currently serves as the President of the American University of Nigeria (AUN) in Yola, where she had been President from 2010 to 2017. She was requested to return to AUN in 2021, having assumed the position of Vice Chancellor (or President) of Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania from 2017 to 2021. Prior to her AUN Vice-Chancellorship, Professor Ensign was Associate Provost for International Initiatives, Dean and Professor, School of International Studies, University of The Pacific (1999-2010), work in Rwanda & Uganda (2003-9), and she held administrative and faculty positions at both at Columbia and Tulane Universities. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in International Politics and Economics.
A well-respected scholar on development, on Africa, and - growing out of her experience in Rwanda - on genocide, Prof. Ensign is the author and editor of six books, including Rwanda: History and Hope, and Confronting Genocide: Dehumanization, Denial, and Strategies for Prevention. She has presented at numerous international fora, including the World Economic Forum, the American Council on Education, and US Congress, and most recently was a panel member at the Commonwealth Women's Forum in Rwanda which focused on gender equity and education. She has received many awards including Distinguished Leadership Award for Excellence in Education; African Leading University of the Year; African Leadership Award from the World Center for Corporate Social Responsibility. She holds Honorary Doctorates from the American University of Paris and New College.
Exuding energy and optimism, her leadership style and experience are to work hard to bring people of many different backgrounds and perspectives together to work for the common good, fostering a spirit of enthusiasm, of collaboration and of cooperation. Building a sense of common purpose, and of a shared vision, both within the institution and in conjunction with its host community, has been one of the most rewarding parts of her jobs in the USA and Nigeria. Social responsibility, or ‘civic learning and action’ are key values and high priorities for Prof. Ensign. At AUN, her mission was to create a “development university,” very much in line with USIU-Africa’s focus on community and sustainable development. She is excited by the tremendous potential of USIU-Africa to have a much bigger reach.
Prof. Ensign will work in close alignment with the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs and other members of the Management Board, to oversee a broad spectrum of activities including the five academic schools, student affairs, admissions, registration, library, faculty development, information technology, operations, and the implementation of the 2021-2026 strategic plan. Prof. Ensign particularly enjoys interacting with students and with all members of the university and is looking forward to engaging with the USIU-Africa community when she arrives in September.
Finally, the University Council would like to take this opportunity to thank Prof. Freida Brown for her magnanimous facilitation during the transition between our former Vice-Chancellor and Prof. Ensign. Words cannot express how grateful we are as the University community for your selfless service to this institution.
Chair, University Council
United States International University-Africa