President-Elect Christopher Howard: Robert Morris University President-Elect Christopher Howard | Robert Morris University


NEW-RMU-PRESIDENT-Headshot DR. CHRISTOPHER B. HOWARD , the 24th President of Hampden-Sydney College, is one of the youngest college presidents in the United States. Hampden-Sydney, a private, liberal arts college for men, has been in continuous operation since classes began in 1775 on its historic campus 60 miles southwest of Richmond, Virginia. In 2011-12, Hampden-Sydney improved 17 spots in the US News & World Report rankings, the largest such jump of any of the top 100 liberal arts colleges.

Dr. Howard is a distinguished graduate of the US Air Force Academy, where he earned a BS in political science. A Rhodes Scholar, he earned his Doctorate in politics at Oxford University and an MBA with distinction from the Harvard Business School. At the Academy he received the Campbell Award (previously known as the Draddy Award), the highest academic award in the country presented to a senior football player; he was inducted into the Verizon Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 2003.

Before his appointment as President of Hampden-Sydney College in 2009, Dr. Howard served as Vice President for Leadership & 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 was a 2012 honoree of Dominion Power's Strong Men and Women: Excellence in Leadership Series. He was named a 2010 African-American Trailblazer in Virginia History by the Library of Virginia. Dr. Howard was featured in an Associated Press story published by The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Times, among numerous others. He has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered and interviewed on CNN, PBS, and PRI's The Tavis Smiley Show and is a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Centre College.

Radio Interview with Dr. Howard and Krista Tippet of "On Being"

President-Elect Christopher Howard speaking at the 2015 President's Council Dinner

  • A member of Governor Terry McAuliffe's Commission to Ensure Integrity and Public Confidence in State Government.
  • Appointed by Secretary of Veteran Affairs, Robert McDonald, to serve on the "MyVA" Advisory Committee.
  • A member of the NCAA Division III Presidents Council, a 15-member board composed of chief-executives from NCAA Division III member institutions.
  • A recipient of the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award.
  • A founder, former chairman, and current trustee of the Impact Young Lives Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides scholarship and travel opportunities for South African university students of color.
  • A member of the National Council of Advisors of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, a non-partisan, non-profit organization founded in 1965. The Center is the only organization that systematically examines past successes and failures of the Presidency and relates its findings to present challenges and opportunities.
  • An Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow. The Aspen Institute fosters values-based leadership and provides a neutral and balanced venue to discuss and act on critical issues.
  • A graduate of the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents.
  • One of the few college or university chief executives in the US invited to join Young Presidents' Organization (YPO).
  • A member of the Veteran's Advisory Council of the Virginia War Memorial Educational Foundation.
  • A member of the Leadership Council for The Aspen Institute's Franklin Project encouraging civic responsibility.

In areas related to education,

  • A member of the Board of Directors at the American Council on Education.
  • A member of the Board of Regents at Baylor University.
  • A member of the Higher Education Working Group on Global Issues of the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries.
  • A trustee of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges.
  • A member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Independent Colleges of Virginia.
  • On the Board of Episcopal High School, a 9-12 co-educational boarding school located in Alexandria, Virginia.
  • On the Advisory Board of the Morehouse Research Institute; Morehouse College is one of four liberal arts colleges for men in the nation along with Hampden-Sydney College, Wabash, and St. Johns University in Minnesota.
  • On the Board of the Olmstead Foundation, which provides young military leaders the opportunity to achieve fluency in a foreign language and pursue their graduate studies at an overseas university.
  • Member of the Council of Independent Colleges "Future of Independent Higher Education" Steering Committee.
  • A former member of the National Security Education Program Board, nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate.
  • A former trustee at The Fessenden School, a K-9 Boarding and Say School for boys in West Newton, Massachusetts.
  • A former trustee of The Association of American Rhodes Scholars.
  • A former member of the National Intelligence University Board of Visitors.
  • Selected by Steve Schwarzman to serve on the inaugural selection committee for the Schwarzman Scholars Program, an education initiative focused on connecting today's leaders with the brightest minds in the world and providing those individuals the opportunity to study in China and address the geopolitical landscape of the 21st Century.

In areas related to business,

  • Dr. Howard has co-authored a book with David Snider, Money Makers: Inside the New World of Finance and Business.
  • He is a member of the OLO Systems Advisory Board and was formerly on the Board of Directors of Converge, an IT de-manufacturing firm.
  • He is a former Senior Advisor on African Affairs at the Albright Stonebridge Group, an international advisory firm for Fortune 1000 companies.
  • He served as the youngest member of the annual Washington Post-Harvard University "America's Best Leaders" selection committee.
  • He served in General Electric's Corporate Initiatives Group.
  • He has worked in sales, marketing, international project management, strategic planning, internal consulting, and business development at Bristol-Myers Squibb.
  • He has also served as the acting Managing Director of Endeavor South Africa, a global initiative that supports entrepreneurs in the developing world.
  • Dr. Howard was a regular guest on Ali Velshi's CNN television program, where he participated via Skype in roundtable discussion and commentary as a member of the "Stream Team."
  • A member and noted expert on the millennial generation, management, and leadership formerly with the International Speakers Bureau.

In the military,

  • A retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, he was called to active duty during 2003 in Afghanistan, where he was awarded a Bronze Star.
  • He served as the Reserve Air Attaché to Liberia.
  • While on active duty, Howard served as intelligence operations and plans officer with the elite Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)


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. They have two sons, Cohen and Joshua. Cohen is a senior at Sewanee: The University of the South, and Joshua is a freshman at Middlebury College.