Safwan M. Masri
Safwan M. Masri is a professor, senior academic administrator, global educator, and scholar of education in the Arab World. He is Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development at Columbia University and has been head of Columbia Global Centers since 2011 as well as director of Columbia Global Centers | Amman since 2009. As a scholar on education and contemporary geopolitics and society in the Arab world, Masri’s work focuses on understanding the historic, postcolonial dynamics among religion, education, society, and politics. He is the author of Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly (Columbia University Press, 2017), which examines why Tunisia was the only country to emerge from the Arab Spring as a democracy. Masri’s writings on education and current affairs have been featured in the Financial Times, Huffington Post, and Times Higher Education.
Life and career
Masri joined Columbia University in 1988 as a professor of operations management at Columbia Business School, where he served as vice dean from 1993-2006. Previously, he was a visiting professor at INSEAD, and taught at Stanford University and Santa Clara University.
At the request of King Abdullah II of Jordan, Masri led the effort to establish King’s Academy in Jordan, the first coeducational boarding school in the Middle East, and was founding chairman of its board of trustees. An advisor to Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Masri was founding chairman of the Queen Rania Teacher Academy.
Masri currently holds a senior research scholar appointment at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).
Columbia Global Centers
In 2009, Columbia University president Lee C. Bollinger created the Columbia Global Centers, a network of regional hubs of programming and research. These centers work to advance Columbia’s global mission as well as extend the University’s reach to address the pressing demands of our global society and are located in: Amman, Jordan; Beijing, China; Istanbul, Turkey; Mumbai, India; Nairobi, Kenya; Paris, France; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Santiago, Chile.
Masri earned his B.S. in 1982 and his M.S. in 1984 in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. In 1988, he was awarded a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management from Stanford University.
Awards and Recognitions
Masri was awarded the 2003 American Service Award from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee; and the Robert W. Lear Service Award, the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence in a Core Course, and the Singhvi Professor of the Year for Scholarship in the Classroom Award, all from Columbia University. Masri is an honorary fellow of the Foreign Policy Association. He is a trustee of International College in Beirut and of the Welfare Association (Taawon) in Ramallah, and a member of the advisory board of the School of Business at the American University in Cairo. Masri has served on the governing boards of Endeavor Jordan, the Children’s Museum Jordan, Arab Bankers Association of North America (ABANA), and Aramex.
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- Prusher, Ilene R. (2009-04-13). "US universities expand in the Middle East". Christian Science Monitor. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
- "Safwan M. Masri Appointed Vice President for Global Centers | Columbia University in the City of New York". www.columbia.edu. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
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- Masri, Safwan (November 21, 2016). "Reform learning to enable Arab democracy". www.ft.com. Financial Times. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
- Bothwell, Ellie (2016-11-03). "Columbia University global centres aim to prove university's 'relevance'". Times Higher Education (THE). Retrieved 2017-01-19.
- Masri, Safwan (November 18, 2016). "Why the world needs a new model for universities". www.universityworldnews.com. University World News. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
- "The Search for a Mideast Solution: A Discussion between Professor Safwan Masri and Nicolas Pelham". globalcenters.columbia.edu. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
- Wilkens, Katherine (2011). "Higher Education Reform in the Arab World" (PDF). The Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings; The Brookings Institution.
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- "Founding Chairman Professor Safwan Masri steps down". King's Academy. 2012-05-16. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
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- de Gruyter, Walter (2007–2008). Who’s Who in the Arab World 2007-2008. Publitec Publications. pp. 541–542.