Professor Safwan M. Masri is Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development at Columbia University. As an ambassador for Columbia, he cultivates relationships with Columbia alumni and with international leaders, essential to the continued development of a global Columbia. In this role, he helps coordinate various University-wide global initiatives, and works to extend Columbia’s reach to match the pressing demands of our global society.
Professor Masri is responsible for the development of an expanding network of Columbia Global Centers, located in Amman, Beijing, Istanbul, Mumbai, Nairobi, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Santiago. The Centers promote and facilitate the engagement of faculty, students, and alumni with the world, address global challenges, and advance knowledge and its exchange. He has been Director of the Columbia Global Centers | Amman since its founding in 2009.
Professor Masri has been a member of the Columbia Business School faculty since 1988 and was appointed Vice Dean in 1993, a position he held for thirteen years. He was Visiting Professor at INSEAD in 1990 and 1991, and has also held teaching positions at Stanford University and Santa Clara University. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University in 1982; his Master of Science in Industrial Engineering also from Purdue in 1984; and his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management from Stanford University in 1988. Professor Masri was honored with the Singhvi Professor of the Year for Scholarship in the Classroom Award in 1990, the Robert W. Lear Service Award in 1998, and the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence in a Core Course in 2000. He has also been honored with the 2003 American Service Award from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
Professor Masri is Founding Chairman Emeritus of King’s Academy and of the Queen Rania Teacher Academy, Honorary Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association, Trustee of International College, Trustee of the National Children’s Museum in Jordan, Director of Endeavor Jordan, and Director of the Luxury Education Foundation. He is also a member of the advisory boards of the School of Business and the Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at the American University in Cairo. Professor Masri has served as Advisor to Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, and as director of the Arab Bankers Association of North America, Aramex, and the Nuqul Group.
Professor Masri’s scholarship is focused on education and contemporary geopolitics and society in the Arab world. He is particularly interested in understanding the historic, postcolonial dynamics among religion, education, society, and politics.