Former University of Florida Provost Dr. David R. Colburn has been appointed interim director of the Bob Graham Center for Public Service effective May 15, the center announced in a press release.

Colburn will head the center until a permanent successor for Ann Henderson is selected. Henderson recently resigned as director to become the president and CEO of the Collins Center for Public Policy.

“David Colburn is a distinguished historian and commentator on Florida politics,” Henderson said. “He brings to this position a deep understanding of our state and its political life. The Graham Center is fortunate to have his leadership.”

Colburn, who currently directs the Reubin O'D. Askew Institute on Politics and Society at UF, served as Chairman of the Department of History from 1981 to 1989 and Provost of the University of Florida from October 1999 to November 2004. As interim director, Colburn will oversee a wide variety of lectures, public forums and specialized curriculum designed to create the next generation of public leaders.

“I am pleased to be appointed as the interim director,” he said. “We will focus on strategic efforts and partnering with faculty and academic units on the campus. We look forward to maintaining a high-level of academic and public programming and the transition to a new director,” Colburn said.

The search for a permanent director will begin in the near future according to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Dean Paul D’Anieri who has said that he hopes to hire a permanent director from within the University of Florida by January 2013.

“I look forward to working with the Graham Center in the coming months to solidify the reputation of center on this campus, in the community, and statewide.”