Dr. Chris Howard

EVP and COO, Arizona State University Enterprise

About Dr. Chris Howard

Dr. Chris Howard is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of ASU Enterprise and the former president of Robert Morris University, a professionally focused, nationally ranked, doctoral-granting university in Pittsburgh named after a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Dr. Howard didn’t arrive at his current position in the traditional way. Instead of rising through the ranks of the academic world, Dr. Howard parachuted in. Dr. Howard attended the United States Air Force Academy, where he played football and ultimately received a degree in political science. For his hard work in the classroom, he was awarded the Campbell Trophy, the highest academic award in the country presented to a senior college football player. A Rhodes Scholar, he went on to attend the University of Oxford, where he received a doctorate in politics. He didn’t stop there. Continuing on to Harvard Business School, Dr. Howard earned his master’s in business administration. His academic career was rich. His military career was just as impressive. He served as a helicopter pilot in the Air Force Reserves and went on to become an intelligence officer the refounder’s mentality 165 for the elite Joint Special Operations Command. Returning to active duty during 2003, just as he was graduating from Harvard Business School, he was deployed to Afghanistan, where he served with distinction. His service was so distinctive, in fact, that he earned the coveted Bronze Star, a decoration awarded for heroic achievement or meritorious service in a combat zone.

A Preview of His Refounder Story – Chapter 9: The Refounder’s Mentality

At the conclusion of his military service, Dr. Howard enjoyed a successful career in the business world, serving at both General Electric and Bristol-Myers Squibb. And though he could have continued climbing the corporate ladder, he took a different path. He wanted to bring what he’d learned in his varied career to the educational system, a system he believed was in need of fresh thinking. Put another way, he could use what he’d learned to engage in a little educational refounding. 

Dr. Howard and his team have created an educational model that’s prepared for whatever the pandemic VUCA(R) world throws at them, whether through in-person classes, hybrid learning, or online-only classes. And in this way, Dr. Howard (and so many other educators around the country) are functioning as real-time Refounders. They are using their collective experience to see the gaps in the educational system and address them in real-time. 

To read Dr. Chris Howard’s Refounder story in full, order the book.


Office of the President - Robert Morris University

The eighth president of Robert Morris University, Dr. Howard is a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. As a Rhodes Scholar, he earned a doctorate in politics (D.Phil.) from the University of Oxford. He also has an M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard Business School. Dr. Howard earned a Bronze Star for service in Afghanistan, and also served with the elite Joint Special Operations Command and as the Reserve Air Attaché to Liberia.

RMU President Dr. Chris Howard awarded to National Football Foundation Board of Directors

As the RMU 2020 football season resumes this spring, RMU President Christopher Howard is continuing his efforts in expanding the impact of football on college campuses. On Thursday, Howard has was awarded a position on the Board of Directors of the National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame Inc. Howard, one of only a limited number of university presidents to play Division I football, told RMU’s “Newsroom” that he is appreciative of the opportunity to represent Robert Morris.

Dr. Chis Howard on LinkedIn

Specialties: Leadership; Managing in a 4 Generation Workforce; Higher Education (The College Presidency, Educating Men, Educating Minorities / Minorities Pursuing Education, Post-Grad Scholarships); Starting a career (Helping young people find the right career, Helping young people land the proper job)