Lovette received her undergraduate education at the University of Trieste and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. She came to the United States in 1962, earning her master’s and doctoral degrees in history at the University of Texas, Austin.
As a faculty member at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Lovett made her mark as a teacher and scholar in the field of Modern European History. Her doctoral dissertation and two monographs that followed won scholarly awards. The National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Research Foundation of the City University of New York supported her research.
During her years in the Washington, D.C. area, Lovett held national leadership roles as chief of the European Division of the Library of Congress, dean of arts and sciences at The George Washington University, and provost at George Mason University. She lectured at the Foreign Service Institute of the Department of State, wrote for The Chronicle of Higher Education and Change magazine, and participated in national projects for higher education reform. In 1989, she was on Washingtonian magazine’s list of most influential women in Washington; in 1992, the Virginia Federation of Business and Professional Women named her Educator of the Year.
In October 1993, Lovett was named president of Northern Arizona University. During her tenure, the University became the leader in Arizona in partnerships with community colleges and in distance learning. Targeted program initiatives, especially in the environmental sciences, attracted world-class senior faculty, produced a threefold increase in sponsored research, and allowed the University to launch a successful $100 million fund-raising campaign.
Following her retirement from the NAU presidency, Lovett became president of the American Association for Higher Education. In that role, she advocated for expanded access to higher education, diversity in curriculum and staffing, and effective use of technology in instruction and institutional operations. As a national opinion leader, Lovett frequently gives interviews, lectures, and writes about important issues in higher education. She serves as a trustee of several organizations, including Western Governors University and the National Council on Teacher Quality. Lovett also sits on the Board of Trustees for Thunderbird School of Global Management
Lovett and her husband, Benjamin F. Brown IV, reside in Phoenix, Arizona.
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