Senior Advisor to the President, University of South Florida

Karen A. Holbrook, Ph.D., is the Senior Advisor to the President of the University of South Florida, having served as Senior Vice President for Global Affairs and International Research following her role as Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at USF and Professor of Molecular Medicine. Most recently she has been the Interim President of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Before joining USF, Dr. Holbrook served as president of The Ohio State University from 2002-2007, the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and professor of cell biology at the University of Georgia, Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Florida, and Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Biological Structure and Medicine at the University of Washington, School of Medicine.

Dr. Holbrook has served on the boards of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the American Council of Education (ACE), the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (now APLU), the Association of American Universities (AAU), The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), ACT Inc., the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), past chair of the board for Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), among others.

She has participated on numerous advisory panels and councils for the National Institutes of Health, including the NIH Blue Ribbon Panel for the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Boston, and was a member of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the NIH. She is currently on several boards: CRDF Global, including the boards of the Institute of International Education (IIE), BioTechne, Inc. and is a Distinguished Fellow of the Global Federation of Councils of Competitiveness. She is a trustee of KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology) and a past Trustee for Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

Dr. Holbrook had a productive research career in the biomedical sciences and was a MERIT Award recipient from the NIH and served on several editorial boards of professional journals and was awarded with numerous awards and prizes nationally and internationally. She earned bachelors and master’s degrees in zoology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, a doctorate in biological structure at the University of Washington, School of Medicine where she also served as a postdoctoral fellow in dermatology and a faculty member.