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One of higher education’s most influential organizations has tapped veteran public university president Mary Sue Coleman as its next leader.

Coleman will begin leading the Association of American Universities -- a group of 60 U.S. and two Canadian selective public and private research universities -- in June. She was previously president of the University of Michigan for 12 years, retiring in 2014, and president of the University of Iowa.

Coleman will replace Hunter R. Rawlings III, who has led the AAU since 2011. While president at Michigan, Coleman served as chair of the AAU for the 2011 academic year.

She co-chairs the Lincoln Project, an initiative of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences to support public research universities, and serves on the board of trustees of the Society for Science & the Public. She’s also a member of the Johnson & Johnson Board of Directors.

“Hunter Rawlings has done an exceptional job as AAU president in advancing our collective impact as research institutions,” Coleman said in a written statement. “I am eager to continue the work of elevating the American research university as essential to our nation’s prosperity, security and well-being.”