President Joseph E. Aoun is already a leading voice on the need to protect federal financial aid, and his first official act as newly elected chair of the board of directors for the American Council on Education reinforced this priority. On May 8, he hosted Martha J. Kanter, Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, for a roundtable discussion of President Obama’s proposed changes to federal student financial aid programs. Twenty-one college and university presidents gathered at Northeastern’s Egan Research Center for the closed-door dialogue, which was followed by a public town-hall event with Kanter.

Aoun has been equally vocal in response to proposed cuts to federal research dollars. In response to his call for continued support for security research, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano appointed Aoun, and 19 prominent university presidents and academic leaders, to the newly formed Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council. He was also named leader of the research sub-committee.