Steven Knapp is the current president of the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., having assumed office in August, 2007. He is the 16th president of the university, succeeding Stephen Joel Trachtenberg. Previously, he was the provost (1996–2007) and dean of the School of Arts and Sciences (1994–1996) at the Johns Hopkins University.
A specialist in Romanticism, literary theory, and the relation of literature to philosophy and religion, Knapp taught English literature at the University of California, Berkeley before serving at the Johns Hopkins University.
Knapp grew up in Westwood, New Jersey. He is a 1973 graduate of Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He did his graduate work at Cornell University, earning a master's degree in 1977 and his doctorate in 1981.
Knapp's priorities include enhancing the university's partnerships with neighboring institutions, expanding the scope of its research, strengthening its worldwide community of alumni, enlarging its students' opportunities for public service, and leading its transformation into a model of urban sustainability.
During Knapp's tenure, the university lost its ranking in the U.S. News & World Report due to an admissions data misreporting scandal. Additionally, the university gained notoriety for misrepresenting its admissions and financial aid policy for years, claiming to be needs-blind while, in fact, being needs-aware.
Board and leadership positions
Knapp serves on the boards of directors of the Economic Club of Washington; the Greater Washington Urban League; the World Affairs Council; and the National Symphony Orchestra and the boards of trustees of the Washington National Cathedral Foundation and Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco. He also serves on the senior advisory board of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the executive committee of the Council on Competitiveness, and the education committee of the Federal City Council.
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