Board of Trustees Starts Search For a Permanent Leader

Karen A. Holbrook will serve as university president in the interim.

In its ongoing search for a permanent president to fill the opening created by the retirement of John Johnson in 2015, the Embry-Riddle Board of Trustees named Karen A. Holbrook, a member of the board since 2007, interim university president. Announced at the board’s March 25, 2016, meeting, Holbrook will serve in this role during an executive search for the sixth university president.

John R. Watret, who served as interim university president from June 2015, stepped down from the role. On May 1, he was named the Worldwide Campus chancellor, a position he has held in the past. Brad Sims, who had been the Worldwide Campus chancellor since January 2015, is now chief academic officer at the Worldwide Campus.

“Dr. Watret has demonstrated his executive leadership skills throughout the past nine months. We will consider his experience and proven track record at Embry-Riddle; however, we must continue our due diligence to ensure that we have chosen the absolute best person to lead our university to the next level,” says Embry-Riddle Board Chairman Mori Hosseini (HonDoc ’13; ’78, ’79, ’82, DB).

As an Embry-Riddle trustee, Holbrook has served as chair of the Academic Committee and is a member of the Committee on Trustees and the Executive and Investment committees. She currently serves as senior adviser to the president of the University of South Florida. Read more about Holbrook:

Trustees, faculty, staff and students will serve on a presidential search committee, and Hosseini will oversee the group. Following the conclusion of the search, Holbrook will return to the board of trustees.