Olympics 2024:

Information about Campus Tours, Access and Visits

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 and backgrounds, AUP’s 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’s professorial ranks.

In her 27 years at AUP, Dr. Schenck also 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 AUP, Dr. Schenck focused on curriculum development – leading a major review of general education, founding the first master's programs and fostering those that were subsequently developed – and accreditation. She also attended to the integration and development of technology and teaching at AUP, 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’s professional leadership team; developing a “residential life” program for incoming students; leading two strategic planning processes; developing innovative research centers; launching a five-year campus redevelopment plan, which culminated in the opening of the Quai d'Orsay Learning Commons and the Monttessuy Center for the Arts; launching AUP’s first capital campaign for €26 million, AUP Ascending; and creating the University's first-ever endowment and its associated endowed scholarship, 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’s 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’s leadership.

Dr. Schenck received her BA summa cum laude 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 (www.udesa.edu.ar). From 2009 to July 2012, Dr. della Paolera was GDN’s (www.gdn.in) president residing in New Delhi, India. During this period he was pivotal in developing the organization’s Business Plan and strengthening GDN’s 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 (www.utdt.edu) in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1990-2001), and at The American University of Paris (www.aup.fr) 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 (AUP) 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 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 Macroeconómicos (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 Río de la Plata S.A. – 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’s 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 Fundación 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 Andrés in Argentina since 2003.

Dr. della Paolera’s service on not-for-profit boards includes the American Chamber of Commerce in Paris, France (2002-2009), the Fundación Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (19912001), the Fulbright Commission (1999-2002), and the Fundación 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 Clarín, El Cronista, La Nación and Página 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 Political­Military Action Officer at US European Command in Stuttgart, Germany. He completed his PhD at Tufts University, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, holds a Master of Business Administration from Syracuse University; and two Master of Arts degrees from The Fletcher School. He has also completed two one­year courses in Europe: the French Advanced Defense Institute (Institut des Hautes Études de Défense 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’s Greater Expectations initiative. She has thirteen years of campus‐based 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 wide range of institutional types both private and public, working with senior‐ and mid‐level administrators and with faculty groups.

Lee W. Huebner (January 1995-1997)

Prior to joining the SMPA, Lee Huebner was a professor of communication studies and journalism at both the School of Communications and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He also served for 14 years as publisher and CEO of the Paris­based International Herald Tribune, the world's first global newspaper. A native of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Huebner was an undergraduate at Northwestern University and received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from Harvard University. 

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

Glenn W. Ferguson (July 1992-January 1995)

Glenn W. Ferguson (January 28, 1929 in Syracuse, New York - December 20, 2007 in Santa Fe, New Mexico) was an American diplomat and university president. He received a bachelor's degree in Economics in 1950, an MBA in 1951, both from Cornell University, and a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He was the United States Ambassador to Kenya from 1966-1969 and the head of several universities, including Chancellor of Long Island University, President of Clark University, the University of Connecticut, and the American University of Paris. He was the first director of the volunteer program VISTA and, for a short time, Director of the Lincoln Center in New York City. He died on December 20, 2007 from prostate cancer 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. He pursued his education at the Johns Hopkins University earning his M.A. and Ph.D. in French Literature and Critical Theory. In preparation for writing his thesis, he studied at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and the Ecole Normale Supérieure under Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, and Gérard Genette, among others.

Bill’s 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. From there he was recruited to direct the Foreign Language Program at NYU’s School of Professional Studies. 

It was at NYU that Bill came to the attention of AUP and he was named Vice President/Dean for Academic Affairs in 1989. He served twice as the Interim President at AUP, first in 1990 and a second time in 1994. Bill is very proud to remember that while he was serving at AUP 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. It also was annual host to a gathering of the world’s most important physicists, the colloquium on chaos theory. 

In 1995, Bill left AUP 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.  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’s University in Queens, New York. He devotes much of his time to cultivating the classical guitar and is currently preparing Bach’s "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 has been Director of the MacArthur Fellows Program since 1997.

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

He holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, an M.A. from Harvard University, a PhD 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.  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’s 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 AUP. On June 2, the Student Strike Committee petitioned for the removal of Dr. DeLamater. Faculty members supported the petition and demanded a restructuring of the College’s governance. In a faculty meeting on June 3, Professor John E. McNary described the situation saying, “ACP is now in a very precarious position. Should unrest continue, it would worsen the situation and eventually lead to the closing of the College.”

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. Dr. DeLamater would be the Vice-Chairman of the Board for Development. Madison explains that “By a hairsbreath, Lloyd [DeLamater] missed the moment of triumph. He had created too many enemies both in the community and in the College. The constant backbiting, litigation and public embarrassment had become too much for the Board.”

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’s 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’s 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’s furniture to launch the first year of the college. He states, “All this was done without any financial assistance from any organization, public or private.”

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’s 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, 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’s 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’s immediate environment, the refusal to accept that one’s 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 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 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.