CLARA M. LOVETT
Northern Arizona University
Born in Trieste, Italy, Dr. Lovett received her
undergraduate education at the University of Trieste and Cambridge University
in the United Kingdom. She came to the United States in 1962, earning her
master’s and doctoral degrees in history at the University of Texas, Austin.
As a faculty member at Baruch College and the Graduate
Center of the City University of New York, Dr. Lovett made her mark as a
teacher and scholar in the field of Modern European History. Her doctoral
dissertation and two monographs that followed won scholarly awards. The
National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned
Societies, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson International Center
for Scholars, and the Research Foundation of the City University of New York
supported her research.
During her years in the Washington, D.C. area, Dr. Lovett
held national leadership roles as chief of the European Division of the
Library of Congress, dean of arts and sciences at The George Washington
University, and provost at George Mason University. She lectured at the
Foreign Service Institute of the Department of State, wrote for The
Chronicle of Higher Education and Change magazine, and participated
in national projects for higher education reform. In 1989, she was on
Washingtonian magazine’s list of most influential women in Washington; in
1992, the Virginia Federation of Business and Professional Women named her
Educator of the Year; in 2005 she was honored by the American College
Personnel Association for lifetime contributions to higher education. In
2011, Dr. Lovett was among 12 women from around the world to be named "Women
Who Make a Difference" by the International Women's Forum, an organization
of senior women leaders with chapters in the U.S. and 25 other countries.
In October 1993, Dr. Lovett was named president of
Northern Arizona University. During her tenure, the University became the
leader in Arizona in partnerships with community colleges and in distance
learning. Targeted program initiatives, especially in the environmental
sciences, attracted world-class senior faculty, produced a threefold increase
in sponsored research, and allowed the University to launch a successful $100
million fund-raising campaign.
Following her retirement from the NAU presidency, Dr.
Lovett became president of the American Association for Higher Education. In
that role, she advocated for expanded access to higher education, diversity
in curriculum and staffing, and effective use of technology in instruction
and institutional operations. As a national thought leader, Dr. Lovett
frequently gives interviews, lectures, and writes about important issues in
Since her days in the Washington, D.C. area, Dr. Lovett
has advised and worked with appointed and elected officials on issues of
higher education policy. In the 1990's, she collaborated with several
governors of western states on the creation of Western Governors'
University, one of the first online universities in the world and, to date,
the only accredited university that awards baccalaureate and master's
degrees based on demonstration of competency rather than accumulation of
credit hours. More recently, Dr. Lovett has assisted the Chancellor of the
City University of New York with a number of projects.
Dr. Lovett serves as a trustee of Thunderbird, The
Graduate School of Global Management, and of the National Council on Teacher
Quality. During her years in Flagstaff and Phoenix, Dr. Lovett served as
vice chair of the board of the B&L Charitable Foundation, established by her
late husband, Dr. Benjamin F. Brown IV. The Foundation supported social
service and arts organizations in Flagstaff and Phoenix.
Following the death of her husband in 2011, Dr. Lovett
returned to the D.C. area. She can be reached at
Clara.Lovett@nau.edu and by phone