Dr. Susan E. Saxton is the Chief Operating Officer at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. She has over 25 years of education and business expertise focused on transformational leadership and corporate strategy in both developed and emerging parts of the world, most recently in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region. Previously, Dr. Saxton was the Founding President at the American University of Bahrain, where she established a first-of-its-kind campus to deliver a unique style of education in the evolving Gulf-Cooperation-Council (GCC) market. Dr. Saxton held senior leadership positions within the Laureate Education network including Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Academic Officer, and Senior Vice President for the Global Products and Services Division; Chief Executive Officer and Senior Vice President for the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences; and Chief of Staff for the ImagineAfrica Alliance, a public private partnership (PPP) supported by the Clinton Global Initiative, 4-H National Council, USAID, MasterCard Foundation, ImagineNations Group, DuPont, and Laureate Education, Inc. In these positions, Dr. Saxton played a key leadership role in the acquisition and expansion of campuses, requiring extensive due diligence and regulatory negotiations, as well as the restructuring, transformation and scaling of institutions, and the development and growth of entrepreneurial initiatives. She also served as Chief Strategy and Development Officer for the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) in The Hague, Dean of Students and Vice President of Strategy and Product Development at Kaplan University, and Founding Dean of the School of Business and Technology at Capella University.

Dr. Saxton has participated on the Boards of the American Chamber of Commerce (Bahrain), Glion Institute (Switzerland and UK), African Initiative for Agribusiness Research (Kenya), HSM (Argentina), Santa Fe University of Art and Design (New Mexico US), Touro College South (Florida US), and several other youth-oriented, business, and educational institutions. She served as a Non-Resident Senior Fellow (Rafik Hariri Center and Middle East Programs) for the Atlantic Council, and is a member of the Climate Action Committee for MENA 2050.

Dr. Saxton taught and mentored at the masters and doctoral level, and has served as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, on the Editorial Board of the Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal, and on the Editorial Advisory Board for the HLRC Journal; and is the recipient of the Distinguished Research Award from the International Academy of Case Studies. She has published numerous works including: The Impact of Conflict Management on the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Dispute Settlement System, Global Protection of Communities and the Trend Toward Harmonization of Law: A Historical Perspective and Best Practices for the Future, The International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme: An International Gateway to Higher Education and Beyond, and Six Sigma and the US Army: A Potential for Excellence.  

Dr. Saxton holds the following degrees: PhD in Human Services, PhD in Organization and Management, LLM in International Business, MSBA in Finance, and BA in Mathematics. 

Contact Information

Phone: 202-785-1141

Download Photo