President's Biography

President KissElizabeth Kiss (pronounced “quiche”) is the eighth president of Agnes Scott College, a national liberal arts college for women in metropolitan Atlanta. Since becoming president of Agnes Scott in 2006, Kiss has led the college in developing Engaging a Wider World, a strategic plan guiding the college through the year 2014, and The Roadmap to 2020, a plan for financial sustainability. Achievements include the launch of Agnes Advantage, supporting study abroad, internships and mentored research; new undergraduate programs in neuroscience, public health, and environmental and sustainability studies; the fielding of the first women’s collegiate varsity lacrosse team in Georgia; and the largest first-year class in college history.  Under her leadership, Agnes Scott students have garnered Marshall, Truman and Goldwater scholarships, and the college has been named a “Top Fulbright Producer” with four students awarded Fulbrights in 2012.  

A 1983 graduate of Davidson College, Dr. Kiss received a B.Phil. and D.Phil. in philosophy from Oxford University in England. A Rhodes Scholar, she has held fellowships at the Harvard Program in Ethics and the Professions, the National Humanities Center, and Melbourne University’s Centre on Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics. Dr. Kiss specializes in moral and political philosophy and has published on moral judgment and education, human rights, ethnic conflict and nationalism, feminist debates about rights and justice, and justice in the aftermath of human rights violations. She co-edited and contributed to Debating Moral Education: Rethinking the Role of the Modern University (Duke University Press, 2010).

Before coming to Agnes Scott, she was the Nannerl O. Keohane Director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics and an associate professor of the practice of political science and philosophy at Duke University. As the founding director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics, Dr. Kiss helped to build a university-wide initiative to support the study and teaching of ethics and to promote moral reflection and commitment in personal, professional, community and civic life. Previously she taught at Princeton University, Randolph-Macon College and Deep Springs College.

Dr. Kiss is a director and treasurer of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), chair of the Board of Directors of the Women’s College Coalition, and chair of the Presidents’ Council of the Great South Athletic Conference (NCAA Division III). She is a trustee of Duke University, the Woodruff Arts Center and the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education (ARCHE). She serves on the boards of directors of the Rotary Club of Atlanta, the Student Aid Foundation and SunTrust Bank, Atlanta.  She also serves on the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment Steering Committee, the Westminster Schools President's Advisory Committee and the Global Village School Advisory Board.  

Dr. Kiss was inducted into the 2011 YWCA of Greater Atlanta Academy of Women Achievers and was named one of the 2009 Women of Excellence by Business to Business magazine. She received the Davidson College Distinguished Alumni Award for 2008 and was named as one of the Women of Distinction for 2006-2007 by the Girl Scout Council of Northwest Georgia. She has served as vice chair of the Board of Trustees of Davidson College as well as on the board of the Center for Academic Integrity. 

Her husband, Jeff Holzgrefe, is an academic whose focus is international relations and ethics. Mr. Holzgrefe has taught at Agnes Scott College, Emory, Duke, Princeton and St. Andrew’s universities and served as visiting scholar at Harvard and Melbourne universities. He co-edited Humanitarian Intervention: Ethical, Legal and Political Dilemmas (Cambridge University Press 2003). A native of Australia, Mr. Holzgrefe was educated at Monash University in Melbourne and Balliol College, Oxford.