Nnenna Lynch ’93 Named Co-President of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars


Courtesy of Nova Nation All-Access

University alumna, trustee and former Rhodes Scholar Nnenna Lynch

Chloe McAloon Staff Writer

University alumna, trustee and former Rhodes Scholar Nnenna Lynch ’93 has been elected Co-President of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars (AARS). On Sept. 26, the AARS Board of Directors unanimously elected Lynch and Janice R. Ugaki as co-presidents. The AARS has elected three women to top leadership positions for the first time since its founding in 1907. This election marked the first time a woman has served as president since the organization’s founding. 

Established in 1902, Rhodes Scholarships are the oldest graduate fellowships in the world, presenting students from the U.S. and 44 other countries with the opportunity to pursue postgraduate education at Oxford University.  In 1979, an Act of Parliament presented women with the opportunity to become Rhodes Scholars for the first time in history. 

In 1993, Lynch was named the University’s first-ever Rhodes Scholar. Lynch earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. As an undergraduate, Lynch was a standout runner, earning five NCAA and nine Big East titles, in addition to NCAA Woman of the Year and NCAA Top Eight Awards. In 2011, the University inducted Lynch into the Athletics Hall of Fame. 

In 1996, Lynch earned her Master’s degree in Social Anthropology from Oxford. Upon completing her postgraduate studies, Lynch served as Senior Policy Advisor to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for six years. In this role, Lynch directed inter-agency teams, working towards the implementation of economic development policies, projects and initiatives. Later in her career, Lynch served as Director of Development at The Georgetown Company, LLC. 

A member of Villanova University’s Board of Trustees since 2015, Lynch is currently the Founder and CEO of Xylem Projects, a real estate investment and development firm committed to preserving housing and creating mixed-use projects.

Today, the AARS has a membership of more than 2,300 Rhodes Scholars elected from or currently living in the USA. The AARS serves to bring Rhodes Scholars in America together in support of the Rhodes Scholarships and Oxford University. 

The qualities of scholarship, leadership and service serve as the foundation of the awards. “The American Oxonian,” published by the AARS, promotes reunions, events and administers charitable trusts supporting Oxford, as well as the distinguished Eastman Professorship at Oxford.