AUBG Appoints New Interim President, Chair of the Board of Trustees

The American University in Bulgaria (AUBG) today announced that Dr. David Evans was appointed AUBG’s new Interim President and Dr. Carolyn J. Stefanco will serve as AUBG’s new Chair of the Board of Trustees. Both decisions were taken during the regular board meeting in May on the AUBG campus. Dr. Evans’ interim presidency will begin on June 24.

“I am thrilled that we will be working with such an exceptional professional like David Evans,” Dr. Stefanco said. “With over 29 years of experience in both academic and leadership roles, David is well respected within the higher education community in the United States. He is an imaginative leader, experienced fundraiser, excellent communicator, and someone who inspires trust in everyone he meets.”

“It is a privilege to be appointed as AUBG’s Interim President,” Dr. Evans said. “I have heard so many astonishing success stories about the AUBG alumni, faculty and students and am thrilled to become a part of this special institution that is transforming the region and the world. Meeting with some of the AUBG Board members, alumni, students, faculty and staff recently, I was impressed by their shared passion, love and dedication for the university. I look forward to working with such an impressive group of people and am confident that together we will continue to contribute to the prosperity of AUBG.”

“It is a great honor to be elected Chair of the AUBG Board, and to play a leadership role for this fine academic institution, said Dr. Carolyn J. Stefanco. I look forward to partnering with Interim President Evans and the trustees to realize the strategic goals of AUBG. As the Board Chair, I will be pleased to serve as an ambassador for the University, and to continue our efforts to develop best practices in university governance.”

“I am very happy to welcome new AUBG Interim President Dr. Evans and AUBG Board Chair Dr. Stefanco,” said U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria Eric S. Rubin. “With their leadership, AUBG will continue to build on its quarter-century legacy of success here in Bulgaria and throughout Southeast Europe. Dr. Evans and Dr. Stefanco, along with the new members of the AUBG Board, have my unwavering support.”

AUBG’s current President, Dr. Steven Sullivan, announced that he will be returning to his full-time teaching position at AUBG.  “We are beyond grateful for Dr. Sullivan’s service to the American University in Bulgaria,” Dr. Stefanco said. “He has been with AUBG for more than 20 years, and he is deeply loved and respected by the entire university community.  During his time as president, Dr. Sullivan’s efforts were instrumental to the increase in student enrollment, elevating AUBG’s position in Bulgaria’s university rankings, and enhancing academic programs in both Blagoevgrad and Sofia.”

AUBG will start an international search for the new President of the university, who is expected to join the AUBG community in July 2020.


Dr. Carolyn J. Stefanco is President of The College of Saint Rose (Albany, New York), where she leads the institution in an ever-changing global environment, with a strong focus on student success and service to the urban community. She joined the College in 2014 after serving as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia. She has also served as the Founding Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at California State University, Stanislaus; as a tenured Professor, History Department Chair, and Women’s Studies Program Director at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly); and as Assistant Professor at Wheaton College (Massachusetts). Dr. Stefanco was recently elected to the Board of Directors for the (U.S.) National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), where she has served on the Student Aid Policy Committee since 2016. She is also on the Board of Directors of the International Leadership Association, the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York, Albany Medical Center, and Hearst’s Women@Work. A women’s leadership scholar with global reach, Dr. Stefanco was recently awarded a Helen Gurley Brown Genius Grant, and she announced recent gifts totaling $2.3 million for women’s leadership initiatives at Saint Rose. Dr. Stefanco earned her Ph.D. in History from Duke University, her M.A. in Women’s History from Binghamton University, and her B.A. in History and a Women’s Studies Certificate from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She was a Senior Fulbright Scholar to the University of Zagreb in Croatia; served as Resident Director of a London Study Program; created programs for student exchange and faculty research in Brazil, Croatia, Honduras, and Portugal; and worked as a higher education consultant for Saudi Arabia.


Dr. David Evans served as President of Southern Vermont College from January 2015 through May 2019. He has also served as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Buena Vista University (2008-2014). Prior to joining Buena Vista University, he was Dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences at Oklahoma City University (2005-2008), Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English, Speech and Journalism at Georgia College & State University (2000-2005), and a member of the faculty (1990-2000) and Chair of the Department of English (1996-2000) at Cornell College. Dr. Evans was elected as a board member for The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) to represent the Northeast region in 2016, and served as Chair of the Policy Analysis and Public Relations Committee until his departure for Bulgaria. He was active on the Board of the Bennington Chamber of Commerce since 2015,  and served as President in 2019. He also served as board president of the Vermont Higher Education Council from July, 2016 through June, 2017. Dr. Evans was also the New England Collegiate Conference representative to the NCAA Division III Presidents Advisory Group from 2017-2019. He holds a B.A. from Pomona College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, all in English.


New Developments

In addition to the appointment of Dr. Evans and Dr. Stefanco to leadership positions, AUBG also elected new University Council and Board of Trustees members and approved a new Major and Minor in Physics.


The New Major and Minor in Physics

The new Major and Minor Programs in Physics will provide students with a solid understanding of the most fundamental laws of nature and will help them develop strong analytical and quantitative skills and the ability to apply a variety of mathematical models to natural phenomena. A new science lab opened its doors at AUBG last year that will be an important asset for the program.


The New Members of the Board of Trustees

The new members of the Board of Trustees are:

C. Evan Stewart, a senior partner at the New York law firm Cohen & Gresser. Mr. Stewart was featured by the New York Law Journal in the “Top Trials of 2005” and holds the Sanford D. Levy Award. He is a visiting professor at Cornell University and an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School;

Marcia L. MacHarg, J.D., Independent Director and Chair of Nominating Committee of Japan Smaller Capitalization Fund, Inc., an NYSE-listed fund; member of the Board of Trustees, Chair of the Audit Committee and member of the Executive Committee of Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts;

Michael Marvin has served on dozens of not-for-profit, public and private company boards and has extensive experience in public and private educational institutions at every level. He currently serves on the Bulgaria Entrepreneurship Center and two private company boards, having been the CEO, Chairman, and founder of a NASDAQ company;

Kristina Bakardjiev Hunt is currently the CEO of KBH Investments LTD, and an attorney with twenty years of business litigation experience.  Formerly, Ms. Bakardjiev Hunt was a partner at the law firm of Cozen O’Connor — ranked among the top 100 law firms in the United States.  She also continues to teach trial skills to other attorneys for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.


The New Members of the University Council

The Board of Trustees elected AUBG alumnus from Bulgaria Daniel Tomov (‘97) as Chair of the AUBG University Council for a three-year term (May 2019– May 2022) and as a Board Member. Tomov is a Founding Partner at Eleven Ventures, a firm that is one of the pioneers in early-stage investments in Eastern Europe. Bulgarian Alumnus Eftim Eftimov (BA ’08; EMBA ‘18), CEO of Montway Bulgaria, was also elected to the University Council.