Senior Leadership


Dr. Karen Holbrook

Dr. Karen Holbrook
Regional Chancellor

Karen A. Holbrook, PhD, was appointed regional chancellor at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus on Jan. 2, 2018, after serving as executive vice president at USF Sarasota-Manatee campus and senior advisor to the president of the University of South Florida since the summer of 2017. 

Dr. Holbrook was the interim president at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for one year before returning to USF. She previously served as USF’s senior vice president for global affairs and international research (2010-12), senior vice president for research, innovation and global affairs (2007-10) and as senior advisor to the USF president (2013-16).

Dr. Holbrook initially came to USF after serving as the president at The Ohio State University (2002-07); the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Georgia; vice president for research and dean of the graduate school at the University of Florida; and associate dean for research and professor of biological structure and medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. 

She has served on the boards of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), ACT, Inc., the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the American Council of Education (ACE), the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (now APLU), the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), Washington Advisory Group (WAG), among others. Dr. Holbrook has also participated on advisory panels and councils for the National Institutes of Health (NIAMS) and was a member of the Advisory Committee to the immediate past Director of the NIH (Elias Zerhouni). She currently serves on the boards of the Institute of International Education (IIE), CRDF Global, Bio-Techne, Academic Assembly, Inc., INTO USF, and is the immediate past board chair for Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) and until recently, served on the Board of Trustees for Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). She is a Distinguished Fellow of the Global Federation of Councils of Competitiveness (GFCC).

Dr. Holbrook was an active biomedical researcher and NIH MERIT Award investigator early in her career. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Zoology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a doctorate in Biological Structure at the University of Washington School of Medicine where she served as a postdoctoral fellow in dermatology, faculty member and research administrator.

She is married to Jim Holbrook, a physical oceanographer who spent his career with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at Pacific Marine Environmental Lab in Seattle, Washington and in Washington, D.C. They have one married son, James who is the Senior Art Director and Producer for ABC World News in New York City.

Mr. Eddie Beauchamp usfsm


Mr. Eddie Beauchamp
Regional Vice Chancellor for Business and Financial Affairs

Eddie Beauchamp serves as regional vice chancellor for business and finance. Beauchamp previously worked at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) in Lawrenceville about 30 miles northeast of Atlanta, where he served as vice president of operations.

During his time at GGC, Beauchamp played a pivotal role in the campus’ rapid expansion, helping it increase from 118 students in 2006 when the college opened to more than 12,000 students today. GGC is a four-year college with 15 majors and 42 concentrations.

Beauchamp holds a master’s degree in accounting from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., and a bachelor’s degree in accounting, with a focus on computer science and computer information systems, from David Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn.




Dr. Brett Kemker
Regional Vice Chancellor and Vice Provost, Academic Affairs and Student Success

Dr. Kemker is the Regional Vice Chancellor and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Student Success. He has served in a variety of campus leadership positions for more than two decades, most recently at the University of New Orleans and the University of Southern Mississippi. For the past six years, Dr. Kemker has served as the UNO dean of students within the Office of the Provost. As a member of the President’s Executive Cabinet, Dr. Kemker played a lead role in the development of the school’s master plan, which included centralizing all student-related services and re-branding the institution.

Dr. Kemker served as assistant provost at Southern Mississippi from 2009-2012, as associate dean of the USM College of Health and chair of the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences. In addition to earning a B.A in communication sciences and disorders at USF, Dr. Kemker earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in communication sciences and disorders at the University of Florida. He was an assistant professor at Florida State University within the Department of Communication Disorders from 1998 to 2004, and an associate professor at Louisiana Tech University in the Department of Speech from 2004 to 2006. Dr. Kemker has performed extensive research in cognitive functioning as it relates to sensory input; his work has been published in top-tier journals and presented at conferences worldwide.


Lee Williams senior leadership

Lee Williams, CFRE
Regional Vice Chancellor for Advancement

With more than 25 years of front-line fundraising and advancement leadership experience in both public and private universities, Lee launched a consulting group called “Williams & Associates” (W&A) in 2015.

Through W&A, Lee provides relationship building knowledge and solution based experience– derived first hand–for a variety of clients. Most recently, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University hired Lee to lead their advancement efforts, on a term basis, as Interim Senior Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations.

Throughout her career, Lee has held progressively higher development leadership positions and has participated as a teammate and team leader to achieve multimillion dollar campaign goals. Her experience includes the following universities: Mississippi State University, George Washington University, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of South Florida, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

She holds a B.S. in Secondary Education, an M. S. in Public Relations from the University of Southern Mississippi and is a certified fundraising executive (CFRE) through the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Casey Welch senior leadership


Mr. Casey Welch
Assistant Vice President for External Affairs and Government Relations

Casey Welch serves as the Assistant Vice President for External Affairs and Government Relations at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus. As a member of the University of South Florida Office of Government Relations he serves as the official liaison between USF Sarasota-Manatee campus and government entities. Under External Affairs he oversees Community Engagement and Corporate Partnership activities for USF Sarasota-Manatee campus.

Also, he is the Director of the Institute for Public Policy and Leadership at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus (IPPL). The Institute engages strong academic resources at USF as well as local, national and global experts to guide a dynamic exchange of ideas about important policy and leadership issues. IPPL hosts lecture series, policy forums, seminars and workshops to stimulate meaningful, civil discussion and promote public discourse in our community. As the leader of IPPL he serves on the Government Issues Council of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, the Career Edge Regional Workforce Council, the Government Affairs Committee of the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and Chair of the Legislative Committee for the Manatee Chamber of Commerce.

Before joining USF in 2011, he served as Deputy Legislative Director for the office of Congressman Adam Putnam who represented the 12th District; which included portions of the Tampa Bay area and central Florida in the United States House of Representatives. Prior to his position in Washington, D.C. he worked in the Florida House of Representatives and the office of Florida Governor Jeb Bush. He also represented two of Florida’s largest agricultural trade associations at the U.S. Congress and various federal agencies. He is a graduate of the Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History. He is a Sarasota native who is a past president of the Florida 4-H Foundation and a member of the Mote Marine Laboratory Advisory Council.


Shawn Ahearn Communications Director

Mr. Shawn Ahearn
Communications and Marketing Director

Shawn Ahearn serves as the Communications and Marketing Director. Ahearn comes to USF from the University of Pittsburgh where he served as director of marketing and communications for the Division of Students Affairs for the past 10 years.

While at Pitt, Ahearn oversaw a comprehensive multimedia marketing communications operation that provided a wide range of services for 12 student affairs departments, including development of marketing strategies and promotional materials for the many programs and services within the division to support student success.

Prior to his service in student affairs, Ahearn worked as a communications manager in Pitt’s Office of Public Affairs for more than five years, as public relations director for 84 Lumber Co. for two years, and as a college sports information director for 12 years.

Ahearn and his wife, Karen, live in Palmetto close to extended family. 


Greg Smogard USFSM

Dr. Greg Smogard
Assistant Vice President of Innovation and Business Development

Dr. Greg Smogard is the Assistant Vice President of Innovation and Business Development. He leads the campus’ business engagement efforts with a focus on creating and enhancing mutually beneficial partnerships with businesses by leveraging the university’s resources and innovation expertise.

He has worked at Fortune 500 companies and global brands in more than 40 countries and held management positions at American Express’ Latin American Division, Blockbuster/Viacom and other major corporations.

Recently, he worked at the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at the University of Miami Business School, serving as director of the Innovators for the Americas program, an experiential entrepreneurship course that partnered Miami students and professors with their counterparts at four Latin American universities. He also participated in the Global Business Consulting program, which enabled MBA students to consult with international corporations.

Dr. Smogard is author of the book, “A World of Opportunities for Aspiring Entrepreneurs: Creating Your Own Job in the New Normal.”

He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science at Minnesota State University-Moorhead, a master’s degree in psychology at St. Cloud State University and a PhD in international studies at the University of Miami. He was recognized as a Minnesota State University-Moorhead Distinguished Alumni in 2013.