Fresh faces bring diverse experiences to leadership positions

At the start of any school year, the students get all the attention—and with good reason. But this fall, the University of Denver also welcomed a number of new leaders who will ensure that students enjoy the best possible experience throughout their DU journey. 

Mary Clark

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

When Mary Clark’s twin sons started college this fall, DU’s new provost and executive vice chancellor could certainly relate. After all, she, too, had an unfamiliar campus to explore.

“DU is an extraordinarily dynamic and exciting community,” Clark said after taking the job this summer. “I can’t wait to get to know and work with DU’s faculty, staff, students, alumni and broader community.”

Clark joins DU from American University in Washington, D.C., where she most recently served as deputy provost and dean of faculty. Previously, she served as American’s dean of academic affairs and senior vice provost. Her experience at the institution included oversight of everything from study abroad programs to its Center on Teaching, Research and Learning.

With a law degree from Harvard, Clark has also been appointed a tenured full professor at the Sturm College of Law. She previously taught at Yale Law School and Georgetown University Law Center.

“I am enthusiastically looking forward to working with Mary,” says Chancellor Jeremy Haefner, crediting her with “a singular ability to ask the important questions” and “to think critically about complex issues.” 

Todd Adams 

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Todd Adams had established himself as a compassionate, collaborative leader as Northwestern University’s associate vice president and dean of students—and then DU came calling. With family nearby and a passion for the outdoors, Adams came to campus in September to lead the division of Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence (formerly Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence).

In his previous role in Evanston, Adams spearheaded the creation and implementation of a university-wide sexual misconduct policy and helped launch the school’s Office of Equity. In addition, he improved student disability services and increased funding to support students experiencing health-related and other emergency needs.

At DU, he says, he’s looking forward to working with the entire DU community to support a caring, inclusive and vibrant environment where students can thrive. 

Aisha Ahmad-Post

Executive Director of the Newman Center for the Performing Arts

It is impossible to typecast Aisha Ahmad-Post. When it comes to the performing arts, the new executive director of the Newman Center, has played a variety of roles.

Before taking center stage at DU this summer, Ahmad-Post launched an acclaimed series at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, engaged audiences at the New York Public Library and worked at a number of artist agencies.

Taking this job “comes at a time when the performing arts industry faces, quite literally, an existential crisis, and our country grapples with how to better uphold our pledge to justice for all,” Ahmad-Post says. “I envision the Newman Center playing an important role in rebuilding our local and national arts communities, while using performing arts as a tool for investigating who we are as a society.”

Ahmad-Post holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and has served on several boards in the Rocky Mountain region.

Doshia Woods

Women’s Basketball Head Coach

When the Pioneers women’s basketball team next takes to the court, expect Doshia Woods to be running the point. Woods brings 19 years of Division I coaching experience to Denver, where she will serve as the 11th head coach in program history.

A graduate of Western Illinois University, Woods most recently helmed the program at Tulane, which, under her eye, produced six-straight 20-win seasons and seven-straight postseason berths.

She’s looking forward to getting the Denver team up and running, literally, with a relentless, up-tempo style on offense and defense.

“To be chosen to mentor, coach, encourage and inspire the young ladies in this program is a truly humbling experience,” says Woods, who has a reputation as a tireless recruiter. “The rich tradition of academic and athletic achievements at DU is a perfect fit.”

Trake Carpenter

Men’s Golf Head Coach

For Trake Carpenter, excellence is just par for the course. As an assistant coach at Marquette, he helped bring home back-to-back conference honors for coaching staff of the year. During a subsequent stint at Stanford, he helped coach the Cardinal to three top-six finishes during a truncated season.

Now, a head coach for the first time, Carpenter believes he has everything he needs to drive DU to the next level.

“[DU] checks all the boxes of what you need to be really successful,” Carpenter says, noting the number of high-quality courses in the area, including the University of Denver Golf Club at Highlands Ranch. “There’s a real commitment to excellence. It’s walking the walk, not just talking the talk. I’ve been lucky to work with some of the best coaches in the country and see the blueprint of how programs take things to the next level.”

Naazneen Barma

Director of the Scrivner Institute of Public Policy

Who better to lead a center that prides itself on transdisciplinary work than Naazneen Barma? After all, Barma, the new director of the Doug and Mary Scrivner Institute of Public Policy, is considered an expert in economic development and institutional reform, peacebuilding in postconflict societies, foreign aid, democratization, and the nature of the liberal world order and its ongoing evolution.

Barma comes to DU from the Naval Postdoctorate School, where she was a faculty member in the Department of National Security Affairs. Previously, she worked at the World Bank and is a co-founder of the Bridging the Gap initiative, devoted to enhancing the policy impact of contemporary international affairs scholarship. 

The Scrivner Institute, based in the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, brings experts and practitioners together across disciplines to address pressing public policy issues. It hosts the only master of public policy program in the Rocky Mountain West.

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