Trustees to Launch Executive Search for Next President of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


The sixth president of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will be recruited through an executive search process, according to a Board of Trustees’ decision on Friday, March 25, during a meeting at the university’s headquarters in Daytona Beach.

Dr. John R. Watret, who has served as interim president since June 2015, has decided to step down and will return to Embry-Riddle’s senior administration.

Watret, who has served the university in various appointments for 26 years, is being invited and encouraged to apply, said Chairman of the Board Mori Hosseini. “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.”

Dr. Karen A. Holbrook, an Embry-Riddle Board of Trustees member, will act as Interim President during the search. She currently serves as Senior Advisor to the President of the University of South Florida. Her past positions include Senior Vice President for Global Affairs and International Research at the University of South Florida, President of The Ohio State University, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of Georgia, Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Florida, and Associate Dean at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Holbrook will assume the post on April 18.

Trustees, faculty, staff and students will serve on a presidential search committee. Hosseini, a three-time Embry-Riddle alumnus who also holds an honorary doctorate from the university, will oversee the group. Following the conclusion of the search, Holbrook will return to the Board of Trustees.

The presidential search process will begin immediately. “Choosing Embry-Riddle’s next leader is the most important responsibility of the Board of Trustees,” Hosseini said. “The future president has a unique opportunity to shape the university’s growth and prepare the next generation of great innovators.”

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