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University Leaders

Brian Jones Brian W. Jones

Brian W. Jones joined the University as general counsel. In 2015 he was appointed to serve as Strayer University's interim president. Prior to joining Strayer University, he co-founded and served as president of Latimer Education, Inc., an early stage venture-backed company partnering with an historically black college to provide online postsecondary education solutions to African American working adults. He also served for four years as the U.S. Department of Education's general counsel, a Senate-confirmed presidential appointment, under former Secretary of Education Rod Paige; among other senior higher education roles. Jones currently chairs the board of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and serves on the board of directors of College Loan Corporation.  He previously served as chair of the D.C. Public Charter School Board (PCSB).  He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law.

Andrea Backman, Ph.D. Andrea Backman, Ph.D.
Provost and Chief Academic Officer

Dr. Andrea Backman joined the University in 2013 to oversee the academic functions of the Jack Welch Management Institute.  Her previous tenure at Strayer University includes establishing the University’s virtual Center for Teaching and Learning and serving as senior vice provost for faculty affairs.   Outside of Strayer University, she has served as chief academic officer at Rasmussen College and director of new program development and academic approvals at the University of Virginia.  She has also held leadership positions at DePaul University. Her academic work has been focused on adult learning, online learning and innovation in higher education.  Dr. Backman holds a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Virginia.


Nicole Morris, Ed.D. Nicole Morris, Ed.D.
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

As dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Morris applies the power of engagement to elevate learning. Through continuous enhancements to curriculum, course content, delivery methods and communication tools, she helps to create an enriching, interactive student experience. Dr. Morris has served in many roles at Strayer University, including faculty member, campus dean and regional dean. Previously, Dr. Morris held academic roles at the University of Memphis, overseeing seminars and writing grants that helped students prepare for college life. She holds a Doctor of Education in higher and adult education from the University of Memphis and a master’s degree in leadership from Austin Peay State University.

Mary Carr, J.D. Mary Carr, J.D.
Dean, College of Business

As dean of the College of Business at Strayer University, Mary Carr is committed to shaping the business leaders of tomorrow, navigating with innovation and vision. She provides an engaging and relevant educational experience for every student and delivers a rigorous business curriculum taught by industry-experienced faculty. Carr previously served as senior vice provost of faculty affairs and held several academic and operational leadership positions at Strayer University. Prior to joining the University, Carr was a practicing attorney in Boston and has more than a decade of corporate legal experience. She holds a Juris Doctorate in health law studies from the St. Louis University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Boston College.

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