Kai S. Swanson

Special Assistant to the President

Augustana College

Kai Swanson is special assistant to the president at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, a role involving board support and trustee orientation, in addition to government and community relations, strategic communications, and administration. Kai is a student of trusteeship both from the perspective of a board professional and that of a trustee, having served for six years as board chair for the Trinity College of Nursing. With additional board service including a regional healthcare system, a national church board, and a local grant-making foundation, Kai has had the opportunity to view governance issues and board development from a variety of perspectives, though none more interesting than as an elected member of the Rock Island County Board. He is a former board chair of the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education and a regular presenter at AGB’s annual Board Professionals Conference, and in 2023 Kai was awarded the Higher Education Advocate Award from Illinois’ Federation of Independent Colleges. In his home community, Kai hosts a weekly public radio program and serves on the boards of Visit Quad Cities and the Martin Luther King, Jr., Community Center in Rock Island.