For over 60 years, The American University of Paris has enjoyed the leadership of presidents of both vision and accomplishment. Though they have varied in their professions, academic disciplines听and backgrounds, BT天堂鈥檚 presidents have always been unified by their dedication to and love for the University.

Celeste M. Schenck (2008-2022)

Dr. Celeste M. Schenck assumed office as the 12th president of The American University of Paris on October 15, 2008. She was the second woman to assume leadership of the University, and the first president to have risen from the University鈥檚 professorial ranks.

In her 27 years at BT天堂, Dr. Schenck听also听served as Professor of Comparative Literature, Associate Dean for Curriculum Development, Vice President for Academic Innovation, Vice President for Development and Grant Planning, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dean of the University, and Provost.

As Chief Academic Officer of BT天堂, Dr. Schenck focused on curriculum development听鈥 leading a major review of general education, founding the first master's programs and fostering those that were听subsequently developed 鈥 and accreditation. She also attended to the integration and development of technology and teaching at BT天堂, creating the first Academic Resource Center with all of its attendant activities. In tandem with each project, she raised substantial foundation funding for academic programs, technology and infrastructure. As President, she has been responsible for creating the University鈥檚 professional leadership team;听developing a 鈥渞esidential life鈥 program for incoming students;听leading two strategic planning processes;听developing innovative research centers;听launching a five-year campus redevelopment plan, which culminated in听the opening of the Quai d'Orsay Learning Commons and the Monttessuy Center for the Arts;听launching BT天堂鈥檚 first capital campaign for 鈧26 million, BT天堂 Ascending; and creating the University's first-ever endowment听and its associated endowed scholarship,听the Celeste Schenck Presidential Scholarship fund.

A leader in global higher education, Dr. Schenck founded AMICAL in 2004, a consortium of American universities across Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa, holding in common the mission of sharing resources, technologies, curricular projects and faculty and student exchanges across 27 institutions, 21 countries and 19 languages. She has also served as president of AAICU, the Association of American International Colleges and Universities, a presidents' organization spanning American-style universities across the world. In 2018, she joined the G20, a group of visionary liberal arts college presidents in the United States.

Prior to coming to France, Dr. Schenck was an Associate Professor with tenure at Barnard College, where she held the Ann Whitney Olin Junior Chair for excellence in scholarship and teaching. While at Barnard, Schenck received several prestigious awards for her work in feminist literary studies and founded two important series, the Barnard New Women Poets Series, an annual poetry prize with public readings, and Reading Women Writing, an imprimatur of Cornell University Press in international feminist criticism. She is the author of four books, two on the literary subjects of the pastoral and women鈥檚 autobiography, and two with colleague Susan Perry on women, culture and development practices. She regularly writes and speaks on issues of global higher education and women鈥檚 leadership.

Dr. Schenck received her BA听summa cum laude听from Princeton University and her PhD from Brown University.

Gerardo Della Paolera (2002-2008)

Dr. Gerardo della Paolera is Profesor of Economics at the Universidad de San Andres, Buenos Aires, Argentina ( From 2009 to July 2012, Dr. della Paolera was GDN鈥檚 ( president residing in New Delhi, India. During this period he was pivotal in developing the organization鈥檚 Business Plan and strengthening GDN鈥檚 role in building research capacity in developing and transition countries around the world.

Dr. della Paolera is well-known for his work as the Founding President and Rector of Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (听in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1990-2001), and at The American University of Paris (听in Paris, France (2002-2008), in both cases as President of these institutions as well as in research. Both universities strengthened institutionally under his leadership in terms of academic profile and resources. At present, Dr. della Paolera is a Professor at the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest (on leave). He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago, with a specialization in economic history.

In addition to his broad experience in educational administration, he was Professor of Economics at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (UTDT) from 1992-2002, and at The American University of Paris (BT天堂) from 2002-2010 and also a Visiting Fellow at the Paris School of Economics (PSE). He recently was appointed Chair of Excellence Banco Santander as Visiting Professor in the Department of Economic History at Universidad Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.

Dr. della Paolera is a world-renowned expert on Latin American economic history. He was a Visiting Professor at Doshisha University in Japan (2002) and at the London School of Economics and Political Science (2002) and served as a Visiting Scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University (1998 and 1999), Northwestern University (1997), the International Monetary Fund (1997); was the听Marcos Garfunkel Fellow and Senior Associate Member at St Anthony's College at Oxford University (1992), Instituto Torcuato Di Tella (1990-1991), and Centro de Estudios Macroecon贸micos (1990). He has given seminars in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, China, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and the United States and has participated in over 40 conferences worldwide on topics including globalization, local and global culture, education, economic development, and institutions.

Along with his research, teaching, and managerial background in academia, Dr. della Paolera has extensive experience in the finance and consulting industries. He acted as Chief International Economist of the Banco R铆o de la Plata S.A. 鈥 New York Branch (1988-1989), working at length on projects involving sovereign debt for equity swaps. He was one of the framers of the Argentine Private Development Fund (APDT), which channelled equity into privatized Argentine state-owned companies working with stakeholders such as the IFC-World Bank.

Dr. della Paolera was also a consultant for the Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID) and helped execute Bolivia鈥檚 Macroeconomic Stabilization plan from 1990 to 1995, travelling frequently to La Paz and Cochabamba to work with the UDAPE and UDAPSO units. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Fundaci贸n Pent in Buenos Aires (2001-2006) and has been a member of the Board of Advisors of the Graduate School of Business at Universidad de San Andr茅s in Argentina since 2003.

Dr. della Paolera鈥檚 service on not-for-profit boards includes the American Chamber of Commerce in Paris, France (2002-2009), the Fundaci贸n Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (19912001), the Fulbright Commission (1999-2002), and the Fundaci贸n Pro Vivienda Social in Buenos Aires, Argentina (2000-2005). He served as Vice-Chairman of the University of Chicago Club in Argentina from 1992 to 2000. He is also an active member of the Tennis Club Argentino.

During his time in Argentina, Dr. della Paolera contributed op-ed articles to and was regularly interviewed by major Argentine newspapers such as 颁濒补谤铆苍, El Cronista, La Naci贸n and 笔谩驳颈苍补 12. He holds an M.A. in Economics (1985) and a PhD in Economics (1988) from the University of Chicago, having studied under scholars such as Sherwin Rosen, Larry Sjaastad, and Nobel Laureates Robert W. Fogel and Gary Becker.

Dr. della Paolera is the winner of the Arthur Cole Prize for the best article published in the Journal of Economic History in 2000: "Economic Recovery from the Argentine Great Depression: Institutions, Expectations, and the Change of the Macroeconomic Regime." He has co-edited and co-authored two books with Alan M. Taylor: A New Economic History of Argentina (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and Straining at the Anchor: in Search of Monetary Stability, Argentina and the Gold Standard, 1880-1935 (University of Chicago Press, 2001).

Michael K. Simpson (1998-2002)

Dr. Michael K. Simpson is Executive Director of the Secure World Foundation and former President of the International Space University. He has also been President of Utica College and the American University of Paris with a combined total of 22 years of experience as an academic chief executive officer. He currently holds an appointment as Professor of Space Policy and International Law at ISU. After graduating from Fordham University, Simpson accepted a commission as an officer in the U.S. Navy, retiring from the Naval Reserve in 1993 with the rank of Commander. His naval experience included service as a Political颅Military Action Officer at US European Command in Stuttgart, Germany. He completed his PhD听at Tufts University, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, holds a Master of Business Administration from Syracuse University途 and two Master of Arts degrees from The Fletcher School. He has also completed two one颅year courses in Europe: the French Advanced Defense Institute (Institut des Hautes 脡tudes de D茅fense Nationale) and the General Course of the London School of Economics. He is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, a member of the International Institute of Space Law and a Senior Fellow of the International Institute of Space Commerce. He is the author of numerous scholarly papers, presentations, articles and book contributions. His practical experience includes service as an observer representative to the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, participation in the IAF committees on Commercial Spaceflight Safety and Space Security, participating organization representative to the Group on Earth Observations and member of its Ministerial Working Group, the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the World Space Week Association, and the Board of Governors of the National Space Society.

Andrea Leskes (acting, July 1997-January 1998)

Andrea Leskes was National intellectual and policy leader on the meaning of quality undergraduate education; offered consulting expertise in undergraduate curricular reform, general education, international education, strategic planning, and aligning institutional practices for better learning; and was Director of AAC&U鈥檚 Greater Expectations initiative. She has thirteen years of campus鈥恇ased academic administrative experience in both the US and Europe, including program enhancement, curricular design, building consensus, tenure and promotion, departmental reviews, program evaluation, faculty governance, reaccreditation, resource allocation, strategic reorganization, faculty development, and grantsmanship. Her consultation experience reflects a听wide range of institutional types both private and public, working with senior鈥 and mid鈥恖evel administrators and with faculty groups.

Lee W. Huebner (January 1995-1997)

Prior听to听joining听the听SMPA,听Lee听Huebner听was听a听professor听of听communication studies听and听journalism听at听both听the听School听of听Communications听and听the听Medill School听of听Journalism听at听Northwestern听University.听He听also听served听for听14听years as听publisher听and听CEO听of听the听Paris颅based听滨苍迟别谤苍补迟颈辞苍补濒听贬别谤补濒诲听罢谤颈产耻苍别,听the world's听first听global听newspaper.听A听native听of听Sheboygan,听Wisconsin,听Huebner听was听an undergraduate听at听Northwestern听University听and听received听his听M.A.听and听Ph.D. degrees听in听history听from听Harvard听University.听

Huebner听was听a听co颅-founder听and听president听of听the听Ripon听Society,听a听political research听organization.听He听also听worked听as听a听special听assistant听to听the听President of听the听United听States听and听deputy听director听of听the听White听House听writing听and research听staff听during听the听Nixon听administration.听A听former听president听of听The American听University听of听Paris听and听of听the听American听Chamber听of听Commerce听in France,听he听has听served听on听the听boards听of听media听companies听and听schools听in听Hong Kong听and听Kenya,听and听leads听GW's听International听Media听Seminar听in听Paris听during the听annual spring break.

Glenn W. Ferguson (July 1992-January 1995)

Glenn W. Ferguson听(January 28, 1929 in听Syracuse, New York听- December 20, 2007 in听Santa Fe, New Mexico) was an听American听diplomat and university president. He received a bachelor's degree in Economics in 1950, an MBA in 1951, both from听Cornell University, and a law degree from the听University of Pittsburgh. He was the听United States Ambassador to Kenya听from 1966-1969 and the head of several universities, including Chancellor of听Long Island University, President of听Clark University, the听University of Connecticut, and the听American University of Paris. He was the first director of the volunteer program听VISTA听and, for a short time, Director of the听Lincoln Center听in听New York City. He died on December 20, 2007 from听prostate cancer听at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

William F. Cipolla (acting, March 1992-July 1992)

William Cipolla is a phi beta kappa graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where he majored in French and minored in English.听He pursued his education at the Johns Hopkins University earning his M.A. and Ph.D. in French Literature and Critical Theory.听In preparation for writing his thesis, he studied at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and the Ecole Normale Sup茅rieure under Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, and G茅rard Genette, among others.

Bill鈥檚 career took him from Hopkins to a small college in Westminster, Maryland currently known as McDaniel College (Western Maryland College at the time). After achieving the rank of professor at WMC, he moved on to chair the Foreign Language Department at Potsdam College of SUNY.听From there he was recruited to direct the Foreign Language Program at NYU鈥檚 School of Professional Studies.听

It was at NYU that Bill came to the attention of BT天堂 and he was named Vice President/Dean for Academic Affairs in 1989.听He served twice as the Interim President at BT天堂, first in 1990 and a second time in 1994.听Bill is very proud to remember that while he was serving at BT天堂 the university hosted an important conference on Edith Wharton, two conferences on World War II, and became the Paris center for the NEH funded project to edit the Beckett correspondence for publication.听It also was annual host to a gathering of the world鈥檚 most important physicists, the colloquium on chaos theory.听

In 1995, Bill left BT天堂 to return to NYU, this time as Associate Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies where he was in charge of all degree granting programs and all non-credit liberal arts offerings.听 One of his first accomplishments in this role was the creation of the Center for Advanced Digital Applications, the first university-based facility for training in digital post-production for the entertainment industries.

Currently, Bill has retired from full-time teaching but continues to offer graduate courses in communications theory and French at St. John鈥檚 University in Queens, New York.听He devotes much of his time to cultivating the classical guitar and is currently preparing Bach鈥檚 "First Cello Suite" for solo performance.

Catherine W. Ingold (1989-1992)

Dr. Catherine Ingold was the executive director of the National Foreign Language Center (NFLC) at the University of Maryland until June, 2015. She served as principal investigator for the Analysis and Language Learning (ALL) contract, which was formerly LangNet, the NFLC's federally funded project to develop e-learning materials at high levels of proficiency in critical languages. She was the principal investigator of the STARTALK project, which sponsors summer programs for teachers and learners of critical languages in more than 40 states. In addition to her leadership role, Dr. Ingold's other interests include US language policy, heritage language development, education of translators and interpreters, and support of language access under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Her languages, in descending order of proficiency, are English, French, Spanish, American Sign Language, German, Italian, and Portuguese.

Dr. Ingold joined the NFLC in 1996 after a varied career in higher education that included service as a foreign language department chair, dean of Arts and Sciences, and provost at Gallaudet University, and as president of the American University of Paris. She retired from the NFLC in 2015.

Dr. Ingold holds an MA in Romance Linguistics and a PhD in French from the University of Virginia.

Daniel J. Socolow (1983-1989)

Daniel J. Socolow听has been Director of the听MacArthur Fellows听Program since 1997.

Before coming to the Foundation, he was President of the听Socolow Group, Senior Advisor and Director of Programs in the听Jimmy Carter Presidential Center, President of the American University of Paris, and Vice President of听Spelman College.

He holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, an M.A. from Harvard University, a PhD听from the University of Chicago, and a DHL from the American University of Paris.

Damon B. Smith (1971-1983)

Damon Brainerd Smith was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1934.听 In 1956 he graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in English, then spent three years as an officer in the US Navy based in France before going on to pursue a master鈥檚 degree in International Relations at the University of Stockholm, graduating in 1963. He began his career at UNESCO, initially within the Department of State in Washington DC, and then in Paris, where he worked as a liaison assistant until 1967. His career then took him back to the United States in 1967 where he served as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Hartford until 1971 when he once again returned to France, this time to head the American College in Paris (now the American University in Paris). Smith served as ACP President from 1971 to 1983. After leaving ACP, he moved to New York City to become Vice President at the Council on Educational Exchange until his retirement in 1998.

Damon Smith and his wife Patricia have three children and eight grandchildren. They currently divide their time between Old Lyme, Connecticut and Paris, where they met, raised their children and have always maintained a base.

John E. McNary (1969-1971)

President John E. McNary was appointed president on June 22nd 1969.

This was a turbulent year word-wide, and the many student-driven movements and political protests were evident within BT天堂.听On June 2, the Student Strike Committee petitioned for the removal of Dr. DeLamater.听Faculty members supported the petition and demanded a restructuring of the College鈥檚 governance.听In a faculty meeting on June 3, Professor John E. McNary described the situation saying, 鈥淎CP is now in a very precarious position.听Should unrest continue, it would worsen the situation and eventually lead to the closing of the College.鈥

On June 22, the Board met again and voted to replace Dr. DeLamater with Professor John E. McNary temporarily until a new president could be appointed.听Dr. DeLamater would be the Vice-Chairman of the Board for Development.听Madison explains that 鈥淏y a hairsbreath, Lloyd [DeLamater] missed the moment of triumph.听He had created too many enemies both in the community and in the College.听The constant backbiting, litigation and public embarrassment had become too much for the Board.鈥

Lloyd A. DeLamater (1962-1969)

Lloyd DeLamater was the Founder of the American College in Paris (ACP), its first Dean, first President, and first Vice-Chairman for Development from the day ACP鈥檚 first students arrived in Paris on September 6, 1962, through 1972. Dr. DeLamater conceived of the College and recruited the initial professors, some of whom came from ivy-league universities, and chose the student body, he ran its administration, its external relations and its quests for space and funding for most of the institution鈥檚 first decade. Without any funding whatsoever and against all odds, he created the American College in Paris. He used his own personal savings and the family鈥檚 furniture to launch the first year of the college. He states, 鈥淎ll this was done without any financial assistance from any organization, public or private.鈥

He advertised the new college by contacting one hundred schools in Europe and five hundred colleges in the US. He devised publicity for press, radio, and television, and received a full article in Time Magazine in September 1962, as well as some television exposure on CBS, broadcast nationally.

Incidentally, en route to Athens in 1964 for an educational conference, he stopped in Rome to give a recruitment talk. Lloyd and Marie鈥檚 rented car broke down on their way back to Rome to catch the plane for Athens. As they arrived at Fiumicino Airport, they saw their plane on flames on the runway and learned that their friends and educator colleagues perished in the takeoff crash. At the airport, paparazzi filmed Lloyd and Marie as the fortunate airplane survivors, who had missed the tragedy by a matter of minutes. Through this sad event, The American College in Paris inadvertently received much publicity.

Concurrently, a year later, in 1963, he founded the American Pre-College Summer Program in Paris with study tours in Europe, and which last a few years. A number of students from this program, which lasted a few years,听went on to study at the College.

He carefully chose a number of vital people who helped him with the creation of the American College in Paris. Retired Colonel Karl Cate and Ray Flowers were particularly instrumental to its creation. One can read Dr. Lloyd DeLamater鈥檚 The Founding Years of The American University of Paris. There is no question that without him as a driving force, intent on his vision and passionately devoted to his cause, The American College in Paris would not have come into existence.

Some of the character traits Lloyd developed in childhood were fundamental to the founding of the college. His boyhood as entrepreneur, his adolescence as adventurer, his early adulthood, pushing the limits of the known, the freedom to go beyond the ordinary limits of one鈥檚 immediate environment, the refusal to accept that one鈥檚 dream cannot or may not be realized, the hard-work and practical step-by-step application leading to the bigger picture, the vitality and passion accompanying important phases, the love and devotion to the creation of an idea, manifested in the real world as a tangible institution, the personal and intense involvement that any pioneer in a field takes on his quest, all those factors and more came together for Lloyd in the evolution and culmination of his character and personality. As he was extremely demanding of himself, he would push others to go beyond mediocrity and create something of their lives. In the context of the early founding years of ACP, he asked those around him for a devotion to the cause more than to an ordinary job. This sometimes caused some friction. In a sense, ACP听was his offspring, one he nourished and protected, almost becoming one with it. This was also a source of suffering, as he had difficulty relinquishing aspects of it and delegating responsibilities听for fear it would stumble, difficulty allowing it to follow its own natural course, as he watched it take more independent, risky steps. After more than a decade of devotion, sacrificing his family and himself, it was best for his health and well-being to separate his personal life from it. Thus, the next career phases emerged from the pain of separation from his creation.