The George Mason University Board of Visitors voted unanimously Thursday to appoint former Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton as the university’s interim president. Holton is the wife of U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine.
The appointment will take effect Aug. 1, with Holton replacing current President Ángel Cabrera. He'll serve in an advisory role until leaving for Georgia Teach on Sept. 1.
Holton has served as a visiting professor in both the Schar School of Policy and Government and the College of Education and Human Development since May 2017.
“Her knowledge of state government and her leadership in statewide higher education, where she was instrumental in bolstering the Commonwealth’s talent pipeline, will be particularly useful as Mason strives to grow programs to meet the talent and innovation opportunities generated by Amazon’s arrival in Northern Virginia,” said George Mason University Rector Tom Davis.
Holton indicated to the board that she does not intend to be a candidate for the permanent position, according to a news release.
“George Mason University is a special place for me and my family, and I look forward to serving the institution during this interim period,” Holton said. “The university has made tremendous strides for such a young institution, and it’s my privilege to continue that momentum and ensure a smooth transition to the next president.”
The board will immediately begin planning a search for the new president. Additional details will be communicated over the next few weeks. As part of this process, the board indicated its commitment to engaging the full breadth of the Mason community in identifying the desired characteristics of the next president, the release noted.