About AIUS

AIU System Leadership

John Kline

John Kline

President of the AIU System

John Kline joined AIU in October 2015 as Senior Vice President of AIU. Reflecting AIU’s implementation of a University System, Mr. Kline currently serves as President of the American InterContinental University System (AIUS). Mr. Kline’s career includes executive leadership roles of several of the largest education companies in the nation. He served as Senior Vice President of Operations of Education Management Corporation, where he also served as President of its Online Higher Education Division. Prior to his service at Education Management Corporation, Mr. Kline was the Chief Executive Officer of Nelnet Enrollment Solutions (NES). NES provided solutions to higher education institutions in the area of marketing, recruiting, and retention of high quality students.

Prior to his service at NES, Mr. Kline held several roles of increasing responsibility at the University of Phoenix and Apollo Group Inc. (now known as Apollo Education Group, Inc.), including serving as the Chief Administrative Officer of Apollo. While under Mr. Kline’s guidance, these businesses were able to improve the quality of student outcomes by increasing student success rates while lowering student debt levels.

Mr. Kline received a B.S. degree from Arizona State University.

Dr. Ruki Jayaraman

Ruki Jayaraman

Provost & Chief Academic Officer

As the Provost and Chief Academic Officer for the AIUS, Dr. Ruki Jayaraman oversees curriculum and instruction, development and implementation of academic programs, policies and procedures, and accreditation across the System’s member institutions and ground campuses. She is an innovative leader and administrator with expertise is in the area of 21st century teaching and learning pedagogies for adult and post-traditional learners. She has an extensive track record of building innovative online, blended, hybrid, and competency programs, and driving technological innovations in the classroom. Dr. Jayaraman began her tenure with AIU in 2016, and her role expanded to the AIU System.

Prior to AIU, Dr. Jayaraman served as the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs for the Argosy University system, Vice President of Academic Strategy and Development at Online Higher Education, and the Dean of the College of Undergraduate Studies at Argosy. She was also appointed as the Dean of the College of Information Technology at Western Governors University. She has also served in various leadership capacities at Tomax Corporation and IKON Education Services, and as a faculty member at the Brigham Young University and University of Utah. She was on the Utah Governor’s Asian American Advisory Council from 1999 – 2003, and is currently serving on the substantive change committee for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. She has over 20 years of active involvement in education, and over 10 years of leadership in the IT sector.

Dr. Jayaraman holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Carleton University, Canada.

Sunitha Araamudhu

Sunitha Araamudhu

Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer, Sunitha Araamudhu evaluates strategies across the System to ensure it is best positioned to deliver quality outcomes to all of its constituents. She helps ensure that the System invests in and deploys resources to support the AIUS Mission, as well as executing diverse strategies across the System.

Ms. Araamudhu has an established record of successfully driving growth and revenue for mid and large cap consumer companies having worked in a variety of industries including retail and financial services. She is a proven leader with a track record of building high performance teams who consistently deliver. A collaborative C-suite member, uniquely able to seamlessly navigate from high level strategy to hands-on problem solving in a fast-paced, growth-oriented environment.

Ms. Araamudhu has been with the AIU System’s parent company, Perdoceo Education Corporation, since 2011.

She holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Master of Science from Cleveland State University.

Trisha Ganger

Trisha Ganger

Vice President of Admissions

Trisha Ganger has an extensive history with the AIUS. Prior to becoming Vice President of Admissions for the AIUS, she served as University Vice President of Admissions for AIU – a role she held since 2016. In her current role, she oversees the Admissions departments’ advisors, leaders, training, and operations team for all AIUS member institutions. Additionally, she provides strategic direction and leadership to instill a sense of admissions responsibility, team leadership, and ultimately improve the inquiry response rate, new application rate, student start and retention rate through quality customer service team performance, and follow-up.

Additionally, Mrs. Ganger has held several leadership roles in the Office of the Registrar within Perdoceo Education Corporation, AIUS’s parent company. She has a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry and is a strong education professional skilled in Student Development, Student Admissions, Accreditation, Training, Adult Education, and Academic Advising.

Mrs. Ganger holds an MBA in Global Technology Management from AIU and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology & Psychology from Indiana University Bloomington.

Jeff Sonnenberg.jpg

Jeffrey Sonnenberg

Vice President of Strategic Student Operations

Jeff Sonnenberg joined AIU as its Vice President of Strategic Student Operations in February of 2019. In late 2022, Jeff assumed System-level responsibility for other member institutions within AIUS. Mr. Sonnenberg oversees the Student Advising and Financial Advising teams, helping with retention, student financial options, and other strategic initiatives.

Prior to joining AIU, Mr. Sonnenberg spent 20 years in higher education in various leadership roles, with an emphasis in online adult education. In addition to consulting for several universities, Mr. Sonnenberg was the Senior Vice President of Operations and Services at University of Phoenix. In this role, he oversaw a variety of teams including student services, financial services, re-entry, registrars, veteran affairs, technology implementation, and business intelligence. Prior to this role, Mr. Sonnenberg was in various leadership roles within Apollo Education Group focused on strategy and operational execution for student and financial services.

Mr. Sonnenberg holds a Bachelor of Business degree from Central Michigan University.

Walid Kaakoush

Walid Kaakoush

Vice President of Educational Alliances & Inquiry Response Center

Walid Kaakoush joined AIU in March of 2017 as Vice President of Education Alliance Center. Mr. Kaakoush transitioned into the role of Vice President of Education Alliance Center and Internal Response Center in August of 2017, and has filled that role successfully since that time. Mr. Kaakoush’s experience and knowledge in the education industry has allowed him to serve in multiple capacities throughout his career.

Prior to his current position, he served as Vice President of Operations and Vice President of Enrollment and Student Success for Education Management Corporation, as well as various roles with Apollo Group. Mr. Kaakoush’s experience in these roles has contributed to his comprehensive knowledge and skill set in the higher education industry.

Mr. Kaakoush has previously been a business owner and is heavily involved in the youth community through his work with athletics at the high school and collegiate levels, maintaining a commitment to emphasizing the importance of education to the next generation. Mr. Kaakoush received his Bachelor’s Degree from Brigham Young University-Hawaii, and continued on to earn an MBA from University of Phoenix.

Julia Leeman

Julia Leeman

Vice President of Campus Operations

Julia Leeman is a higher education leader who enjoys being a part of positively impacting lives through education. She was appointed Vice President of Campus Operations for AIU in 2018, and oversees AIU’s Houston and Atlanta campuses. Under her leadership, there is a focus on how all aspects of the campus experience impact student and graduate success. Mrs. Leeman is leading the campuses through the changing times we are experiencing by adapting to the needs of AIU students and communities while ensuring students have the tools they need to achieve their academic goals. She enjoys mentoring, project management and uncovering areas of opportunity for continuous improvement. Mrs. Leeman has worked with the Perdoceo Education Corporation (PEC) since 2004 where she has served in various roles including Senior Vice President, Regional Vice President of Operations and Campus President. Prior to PEC, Mrs. Leeman was a Regional Executive Director of a multi-campus allied health college and has experience leading various campus departments including career services, admissions, and academics.

She holds a Master of Education degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree, both from University of Missouri.

Daniel Marzec

Chief Financial Officer and Director of Financial Planning & Analysis

Mr. Daniel Marzec is an established financial professional and leader. He has over two decades of financial experience within the AIU System as well as within its parent company, Perdoceo Education Corporation (PEC). In his current role as Chief Financial Officer and Director of Financial Planning & Analysis, Mr. Marzec is the System’s finance lead and associate to the Finance Committee for the AIUS Board of Trustees. He leads the budget, forecast, reporting, analysis, and expenditure approval functions of the System, ensuring resources are appropriately committed to short- and long-term objectives. Additionally, he builds comprehensive budget, forecast, and analytical models for strategic and capital planning.

Prior to his current role, Mr. Marzec has served in the roles of Director of Operational Analysis and Director of Financial Analysis role within PEC and also for Triumph Higher Education Group.

Mr. Marzec holds a BBA in Accountancy from the University of Notre Dame, IN. He is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Illinois and a member of the Illinois CPA Society.