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Karen Nercessian

Associate Vice Provost - Strategy and Chief of Staff

Karen Nercessian is Associate Vice Provost for Strategy and Chief of Staff to the Provost, where she oversees the Provost’s strategic initiatives and priorities, with a particular focus on faculty well-being and the faculty lifespan, including the needs of faculty as community members, parents, and caregivers. She serves as primary spokesperson for the Provost and manages the administrative components and communications interface for the Office of the Provost.

In her role, Karen serves as the Provost’s designee on various committees and working groups and helps coordinate efforts with the Office of the President. She identifies opportunities and connects diverse needs with realistic solutions through partnerships and collaborations, acting as the point of contact with and the coordinator for schools and various units such as Public Safety, Facilities, Office of General Counsel, University Budget Office, Human Resources, Compliance and Faculty Housing. Karen also helps guide the many Provostial committees and working groups mostly around Disabilities, Inclusion and Accessibility, Work Life, and Art in Public Spaces, and plays a role in Provostial support for cross school initiatives such as Urban, Aging, Strategies to Reduce Inequality, and entrepreneurship.

Since joining NYU in 2006, Karen has held a variety of senior leadership roles, working with deans and faculty across all the schools and gaining a wide-ranging understanding of the university. Karen served as senior project manager for NYU Abu Dhabi, leading to the development of its interim campus, as well as the planning and space programming for the Saadiyat campus. She led Faculty Housing, where she focused equally on improving the move-in and housing experience for newly recruited faculty and the quality of life for all faculty in university housing. As Associate Vice President in Public Safety, Karen was responsible for budget management, personnel support, data analysis, and transportation services in New York, as well direct management of overall public safety for the 11 Global Academic Centers; in that role, she launched a set of strategic initiatives to improve operations across the department. Karen’s most recent role was Interim Vice President for Global Campus Safety.

Karen holds a Master's in Public Administration from NYU|Wagner and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from American University. Karen is also presently completing a Master's in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness from NYU|Steinhardt, expected in May 2020.