President’s Bio

David Woodward

ACU President 

In his role as President of the American Consortium of Universities (ACU) since 2017, David Woodward has worked with the INTERLINK International Institutes team and its university partners to build an innovative higher education ecosystem with a global reach and a particular emphasis on creative collaboration. Along with leading ACU, Woodward is Senior Advisor for Strategic Outreach for INTERLINK. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, Woodward reached out to global leaders in higher education and the EdTech sector in particular to assist and accelerate ACU’s transition from a site-based U.S.-focused consortium to one which reaches across national borders, institutional sectors, and educational delivery models to quickly quadruple ACU in size. As a result, ACU is becoming a virtual hub for peer professionals in higher education innovation and collaboration.

Woodward brings a wealth of significant experience in global business, international program administration, language education, and cross-cultural communication. His previous core activities have included managing personnel nationally, marketing internationally, organizational development, and setting up strategic relationships worldwide. In the past 25 years Woodward has led in the formation of several key international marketing consortia and collaborative initiatives across professional disciplines at the state, national and international level. In addition, Woodward has led the development of various business startups and educational projects involving small businesses, universities, corporations, and government agencies within the U.S. and in peer regions of the world.

Woodward was born in Iran where he spent his early youth and developed a fascination for languages and cultures of the world. As a result, he became fluent in Persian, French, and Arabic, studied a variety of other languages. Woodward holds four degrees from the University of Washington, including a Master of Education in Higher Education with a specialization in Teaching English as a Second Language, a Master of Arts in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics, and a Bachelor of Arts in History.

Woodward is the U.S. Secretary of Commerce-appointed District Export Council for Washington State, a member of the Seattle International Affairs Advisory Board, founder of the Diplomacy Roundtable of the Rotary Club of Seattle, and a member of numerous boards and advisory boards for EdTech companies and social venture NGOs. In recent yeas Woodward served as the Sponsored Program Agency Liaison for NAFSA’s International Enrollment Management Knowledge Community as well as the Co-Chair for NAFSA’s Middle East Member Interest Group, as well as serving as a Commissioner for the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA).