Mark Turnage, new chair of AUC’s board of trustees

Ahram Online , Monday 15 Mar 2021

Turnage is no stranger to Egypt and the AUC. He studied at the University during his junior year abroad in 1980, after which he decided to remain at AUC to practice his Arabic

Mark Turnage
Mark Turnage (Photo courtesy of AUC)

The American University in Cairo (AUC) has elected Mark Turnage, CEO of Dark Owl, as chair of AUC’s Board of Trustees on 14 March.

Turnage has served as an AUC trustee since 2016, and for the past year, he has served as vice chair of the Board of Trustees. He is succeeding Richard Bartlett, three-time chair of the Board and first chair emeritus at the University. 


Turnage is no stranger to Egypt and the AUC. He studied at the University during his junior year abroad in 1980, after which he decided to remain at AUC to practice his Arabic. His one-year stay at the University extended to three. 

“I was a young student. I came here to study Arabic,” reflected Turnage. “I was introduced to Egypt and the broader Arab world. AUC had a great impact in introducing me to the region, and I have stayed involved in the region since.”

“Mark has been an active and deeply engaged trustee since joining the board, bringing both enthusiasm and energy as an alumnus and business leader,” said Teresa Barger, head of the Trusteeship and Governance Committee that oversaw Turnage’s selection.

Looking forward to his new role, Turnage said, “I am honoured to lead the board of such a great University that has contributed to Egypt and the world through the education it provides to its students — a testimony to the power of liberal arts,” said Turnage.

“I admire Richard Bartlett’s distinguished and talented leadership over the years and will build on it as we work together as a community to continue to advance AUC into its second century.” 

A trustee since 2003 and elected chair in 2010, 2013, and 2018, Richard Bartlett, managing director of the New York-based Resource Holdings, will continue his long-time support of AUC as a member of its board of trustees and chair emeritus. 

“My time with AUC began as a child, and the University will forever be immensely important to me,” said Bartlett.

“I am grateful to Mark Turnage for his service to the Board, bringing keen insights, expertise, and a deep commitment to the University’s mission. The last decade has been consequential for Egypt and the AUC, and the university is well-positioned in Egypt’s evolving higher education landscape. I intend to continue working with Mark and my fellow trustees to build on AUC’s strong legacy as a positive force for Egypt and the region.”

In addition to leading Dark Owl, a Colorado-based company that provides a dark net threat intelligence platform to allow companies and organisations to recognise, understand, and mitigate their digital risks.

Turnage is tech and telecom adviser to Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network Colorado and was senior adviser to the Colorado Impact Fund.

A private investor in technology, software, and manufacturing start-ups, Turnage has served at the helm of various cyber security companies. 

Previously, he was a consultant with McKinsey and Co. as well as a practicing attorney with Davis Graham and Stubbs. 

Turnage holds a JD from Yale Law School, an MA in philosophy, politics, and economics from the University of Oxford, and a BA (summa cum laude) in international affairs, African, and Middle Eastern studies from the University of Colorado Boulder.

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