New Hauenstein Center director brings lived experience, Laker commitment to role
Following a national search, Grand Valley announced the selection of Megan Rydecki as director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies.
Rydecki is currently the community affairs manager for Consumers Energy, where she serves as the company’s face, voice and leader in Kent County, engaging with local government, business and community stakeholders. She has previously served in leadership roles within local government, economic development organizations and state legislative offices.
Rydecki earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations and a master’s degree in public administration from Grand Valley. She recently completed an eight-year term as a member of the GVSU Board of Trustees, having also served for a term as its chair.
Rydecki possesses first-hand knowledge of the Hauenstein Center's programming, having participated as a Cook Leadership Academy Fellow during her time at Grand Valley. As a fellow, she had the opportunity to meet and learn from Ralph Hauenstein and Peter Cook, for whom the leadership academy is named. She has expressed her commitment to shepherding Hauenstein’s vision into the future.
“As a student scholar and someone who knew and understood Col. Hauenstein and his goals for the center, I am thrilled to be able to couple my leadership skills with my passion for GVSU,” said Rydecki. “The future of the center, rooted in the important legacy of its founder, is extraordinary. I am grateful for the opportunity to build and enhance the center’s impact on our students and the broader community.”
The national search to seat a permanent director was conducted by a third-party search firm, included many extraordinary candidates, and was inclusive of a search committee of passionate advocates for the Center.
Vice President for University Development Laura Aikens, who oversaw the search, celebrated the selection of Rydecki.
“Ms. Rydecki is a respected university ambassador who believes deeply in the Hauenstein Center’s mission to raise a community of ethical, effective leaders for the 21st century,” Aikens said. “As a leader with experience in business, government and nonprofit arenas – the same three sectors for which the Hauenstein Center seeks to provide a platform for emerging leaders – she possesses a unique skill set that makes her eminently qualified for the position.”
She will begin in her new role on Jan. 9, 2023, assuming responsibility from acting director, Brent Holmes, who will resume his position as associate director.