Dr. Chris Howard is the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the ASU.
Howard works closely with President Crow and the other executive vice presidents to coordinate enterprise-wide initiatives and advancement, oversee ASU Enterprise affiliates, advance new enterprise relationships and opportunities, and integrate ASU Enterprise planning and strategy.
He is a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and earned a doctorate from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He also earned an M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard Business School, and in 2018 received the school’s Alumni Achievement Award.
Howard won the Campbell Trophy, the nation’s highest academic award for a senior college football player.
Howard’s military career included service as a helicopter pilot and an intelligence officer, and he was awarded a Bronze Star for service in Afghanistan.
Previously, Howard served as the eighth president of Robert Morris University in suburban Pittsburgh beginning on February 1, 2016. Under Howard’s leadership, RMU became a preferred strategic partner for corporations, organizations, and professionals in the Pittsburgh region and beyond. RMU also completed the largest capital project and comprehensive campaign in the university’s 100-year history. In 2021, U.S. News & World Report ranked RMU No. 48 on the magazine’s list of Best Value Schools, a reflection of RMU’s high academic quality and affordable price.
Before serving at RMU, Howard was president of Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. During Howard’s tenure at Hampden-Sydney College, the college grew enrollment, improved diversity, boosted retention, and raised its endowment.
Previously, he served as vice president for leadership and strategic initiatives at the University of Oklahoma, and also had a successful corporate career with GE and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Howard is a trustee on the Harvard University Board of Overseers and also serves on the Board of Directors of AvalonBay Communities, a publicly-traded real estate corporation. Howard is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Young Presidents Organization, the Aspen Strategy Group and Trilateral Commission, and Sigma Pi Phi, the oldest African-American fraternity in the United States. He previously served on the Baylor University Board of Regents, the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, chaired the NCAA Honors Committee, and holds five honorary doctorates.
His wife, Barbara Noble Howard, serves as an Arizona State University Fellow for nonprofit leadership and hails from Johannesburg, South Africa. The Howards have two adult sons, Cohen (graduate of The University of the South) and Joshua (graduate of Middlebury College).