Educator Directs Iraq University (The Washington Diplomat)

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Dawn Dekle, PhD ’93, president of the American University of Iraq, is the first woman president of any university in Iraq, notes The Washington Diplomat.

Dekle, who earned a PhD in psychology from Dartmouth and a law degree from Stanford University, tells the Diplomat that it has “been my dream to be president of a university in a developing country with an interesting political situation.”

The Austin, Texas, native “knows a thing or two about living dangerously,” writes the newspaper. Before taking the helm at the American University of Iraq, Dekle spent two years in Kabul as provost of the American University of Afghanistan, whose campus is surrounded by razor wire and has snipers on the roof in case of attack. “More than once, female students off campus had acid thrown in their faces by Taliban militants outraged by the idea of girls getting an education,” writes the Diplomat.

Often asked why she wants an academic position in such a volatile part of the world, Dekle says, “The truth is I want to be part of history, and right now Iraq and Afghanistan are making history and I have a front-row seat. It’s an absolute honor to be there. I’m completely committed to this dream.”

Read the full story, published 11/3/13 by The Washington Diplomat.