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A Celebratory Reception Welcomes New Dean, Dr. Safwan M. Masri

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On October 2, 2022, Dr. Safwan M. Masri was welcomed as the new dean of GU-Q at a celebratory reception held on campus in Education City.

Masri, who will also serve as Distinguished Professor of the Practice at Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS), was drawn to Georgetown’s Qatar campus for its unique role at the frontiers of higher education in the Middle East, commitment to the common good, and its values of “developing minds, discovering truth, and engaging with the world,” he said.

Representing Georgetown’s Washington, DC campus at the reception was Provost Robert Groves, who praised Dean Masri’s global outlook and deep experience working in academic contexts around the world. “Drawing on his extensive record of institutional leadership, Dean Masri will play a key role in furthering GU-Q’s educational aspirations, cutting-edge research endeavors, and professional development programs, enhancing GU-Q’s service to education and Qatar.” 

In his address, Provost Groves also extended his deep gratitude to Interim Dean and Professor Clyde Wilcox for his leadership, and for his long record as a scholar and dedicated teacher in the classroom.

Masri previously served as executive vice president for Global Centers and Global Development at Columbia University, where he oversaw its network of nine global centers that span four continents. Masri was also a senior research scholar at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs and prior to that was vice dean and professor at Columbia Business School. 

His record of leadership includes improving global access to quality education. At Columbia, Masri established the University Scholarship for Displaced Students. In Jordan, he guided the establishment of King’s Academy, an independent co-educational boarding school, and later designed and founded the Queen Rania Teacher Academy for public school educators from the region.

Masri received his Ph.D. in industrial engineering and engineering management from Stanford University, and his B.S. and M.S. from Purdue University. 

He is a scholar, political commentator, and author on geopolitics and society in the Middle East and North Africa. His first book, Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly was published in 2017; a second, The Arab: Identity and its Politics, is expected to be completed in 2023. 

“We are here to educate, to study, to advance the state of the world, and to make a difference in our lives and in the lives of those around us,” Masri said in his first address to the GU-Q community. 

“I am truly honored and privileged to be joining Georgetown, one of the world’s leading global research universities,” says Masri. “I look forward with great excitement to building on the strength of this institution, to advancing its contribution to higher education in Qatar and the broader region, and to leading the exceptionally strong faculty, staff, and students at Georgetown University in Qatar, in collaboration with the Qatar Foundation and our partners in Education City and beyond.”