Dr. Karan Powell is executive vice president and provost of American Public University System. Dr. Powell leads the academics department to ensure academic quality and online teaching effectiveness, focusing on student success, advocating for the faculty, and collaborating in the advancement of online instructional strategies and technology.
Dr. Powell holds a doctorate in education from George Mason University, with a specialization in organization development and organizational learning. She has more than 30 years of experience in learning, leadership development, organization performance enhancement, and transformation in education, non-profit, business, and government settings.
Prior to assuming her position as provost in 2011, Dr. Powell served as the University System’s interim chancellor in 2004, dean of the school of business, management and graduate studies in 2005, and Academic Dean from 2006 to 2011, advancing the academics department in areas of curriculum, programs and faculty. Her expertise in online education, management education and development, organization transformation, leadership development, and organizational learning is critical to the University System’s growing online curriculum and student body. Collaborating with WCET, Dr. Powell is engaged in the evaluation and study of optimal online faculty workload to ensure student success. Dr. Powell is a member of the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) board and a member of the board of Garrison Forest School (Baltimore, MD) .
Dr. Powell first joined the University System’s Board of Trustees while chief learning officer for American Management Systems, a large business and information technology consulting firm. There, she transformed a traditional training department into a corporate university in less than a year, developed strategic partnerships with universities, designed and implemented an online corporate performance management system, and incorporated online learning into the corporate university.
She owns and has led Powell and Associates, an organization transformation and executive development consulting firm. Dr. Powell served as an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University. There, she has designed and taught leadership classes for the U.S. Senate, Verizon, and others. She has been an adjunct faculty member at University of Phoenix Online, George Mason University, and University of Maryland University College.
In addition to her doctorate, Dr. Powell holds a bachelor of science in business education from Western Illinois University and a master of divinity from Loyola University. She earned a certificate in advanced organization design from the University of Southern California. Dr. Powell completed the HERS Institute: Advancing Women in Higher Education Administration and the Harvard Institute for Educational Management. Dr. Powell’s work has special emphasis in learning at a distance, evaluating equivalent work learning for college credit, online faculty workload, program review and evaluation, leadership development, system change, organization transformation, and spirituality in the workplace.