Prof. Margee Ensign assumed the position of Vice Chancellor of the United States International University—Africa after an extensive international search. She came to USIU-Africa having been
the President (Vice-Chancellor) of both a very old and distinguished university in the United States—Dickinson College—and a very new and pioneering African one—The American University of Nigeria.
A native of California, Prof. Ensign earned her BA from New College in Florida and her Ph.D. in Economics and Politics from the University of Maryland, with a dissertation in Artificial Intelligence and Economics.
Her distinguished career as both a teacher and an academic administrator has taken her to Columbia University, Georgetown University, Tulane University, and the University of the Pacific where she was Dean of the School of International Studies and Associate Provost prior to taking up her first university presidency.
In all these programs, she was able to pursue her interests in development, global and international education, and community development. The author of six books, she has worked as a consultant for several African governments, testified before the US Congress, has appeared on CNN and the BBC, is widely published in both academic journals as well as the popular press, and is frequently called upon to speak at international conferences. She has received honorary degrees from the American University of Paris and New College in the U.S.
Professor Ensign was particularly drawn to USIU-Africa by its international character, its leadership role in African education, and its exceptional quality and promise. She considers her greatest challenges to have been dealing with the refugee and educational crisis in NE Nigeria following the Boko Haram uprisings there, and with the COVID Pandemic crisis which necessitated the closing of Dickinson College and the rapid transition to online learning. In both cases, building bridges between the university and the local community proved essential, and she looks forward to building similar bridges in Nairobi. She believes that universities should be active and constructive members of their communities and nations.
She loves to play squash, is a fierce opponent, and takes enormous pride in her daughter,
Katherine, who has just completed her Ph.D. the University of Massachusetts