American University of Central Asia - AUCA - About the President

AUCA Leadership /


Jonathan Becker



Dr. Jonathan Becker has been appointed acting president of the American University of Central Asia (AUCA). Becker, whose appointment became effective June 6, 2021, has been a trustee of AUCA since 2009 and led the university’s historic partnership with Bard College.

It has been my privilege to be connected with the American University of Central Asia over the past decade, to watch it grow from strength to strength, and to flourish as a beacon of liberal arts education in the region. I am pleased to have this opportunity to lead the university during this transitional period, working together with senior administrators and faculty members whom I have come to know and respect during my time as a trustee and Bard College representative.


 — Dr. Jonathan Becker

AUCA Acting President

In addition to his work with AUCA, Jonathan Becker has a lengthy and outstanding record of promoting international education and innovative educational programs, including the Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program in New York City, Bard’s Institute for International Liberal Education, and longstanding College partnerships with St. Petersburg State University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences (Smolny College) in Russia and Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. 


Becker is executive vice president, vice president for academic affairs, and director of the Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, where he has worked since 1997. He is also an associate professor of political studies and co-director of the Global and International Studies Program. He works primarily with Bard’s international and national networks of liberal arts institutions, including Bard’s dual-degree partnerships with the American University of Central Asia, Al-Quds University, and St. Petersburg State University Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Bard College Berlin; Bard Early Colleges; Bard Prison Initiative; Bard Microcolleges; and Clemente Course in the Humanities. He focuses on educational and co-curricular activities that link students, faculty, and staff of network institutions and partners with Bard’s main campus in Annandale-on-Hudson. Previously, he served as assistant vice president of Central European University and European director of the international Civic Education Project.

Dr. Jonathan Becker also serves as Vice Chancellor of the Open Society University Network.


Becker earned his BA from McGill University in 1987 and his DPhil from St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, in 1993. He is author of Soviet and Russian Press Coverage of the United States: Press, Politics and Identity in Transition (1999; revised and expanded edition, 2002), co-editor of Svobodniye Iskusstva i Nauki na Sovremennom Etape: Opyt SShA i Evropy v Kontekste Rossiiskogo Obrazovaniya (2014), and author of chapters and articles in a variety of books and publications, including Demokratizatsiya, European Journal of Communication, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, and Voprosy Obrazovaniya. In 2015, Becker served as guest editor of a special issue of Voprosy Obrazovaniya: Educational Studies Moscow, dedicated to liberal arts and science education.


The Board of Trustees of the University has asked Dr. Jonathan Becker, the Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Bard College, and a member of the Board of Trustees of AUCA, to assume the title of President on an interim basis, and he has graciously agreed to do so.  Dr. Becker has been on AUCA’s Board of Trustees for more than a decade and served as interim President for most of the 2018-2019 academic year.   


—David Lakhdhir

Chair, AUCA Board of Trustees

It is expected that Becker will serve as president until a longer-term successor to former President Andrew Kuchins is appointed.

Here you can find information about Dr. Jonathan Becker's publications >>


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American University of Central Asia
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