Office of Global Centers and Global Development

Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development; Director, Columbia Global Centers | Amman
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.
Executive Manager

Rachelle Andujar worked in publishing for eight years and joined Columbia University in 2013 as Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Global Centers. She has a BA in Journalism from Baruch and an Advanced Degree Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University. Prior to assuming her role in publishing, she worked in India for a non-profit organization.

Administrative Coordinator

Before joining Columbia Global Centers, Christine a licensed art appraiser certified by the Appraiser’s Association of America, worked in all areas of art management.  Christine studied the humanities and art history at the University of the Philippines, worked as associate curator at the Museo ng Maynila and guest curator at the Ayala Museum. She interned at the International Council of Museums in Paris (ICOM) and has a certificat in French Language at the Sorbonne. Christine has also attended the Sotheby’s Works of Art Course in London. 

Executive Director of Finance & Administration, CFO

Xin Peng joined Global Centers in 2009 as the Executive Director for Finance and Administration.  Before that, she worked as a Portfolio Manager and Senior Research Analyst at various investment firms

Office Manager

Prior to joining the Global Centers, Suesan Law-Faison worked in the field of retirement plan designs, compliance and administration for twelve years. She studied Community and Health Services at SUNY Empire State College, and served as an active volunteer within the Family Readiness Group at U.S. Army Fort Campbell - 86th Combat Support Hospital for over four years.

Associate Director - Strategic Planning and Communications

As Associate Director for Strategic Planning and Communications, Paul works with Center Directors, Center staff, and on-campus partners to strategically drive Columbia’s global network forward. He oversees all Center-related campus communications, as well as works with each Center to enhance their individual communications. Before joining the Columbia Global Centers, Paul developed global communications for the President of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia and the National University of Singapore. Paul’s B.A. is from Harvard, where he studied anthropology and sociology, and his M.A. is from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), where he studied international affairs and public policy.

Communications Officer

In his role as communications officer, Trevor will oversee all web and digital communications and work as multimedia support to communications staff at each of the eight centers. He previously held positions of Assistant Director of Communications for Georgia State University's School of Public Health and Communications Coordinator at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Additionally, Trevor has been a human rights activist with work spanning research, program implementation, and communications through organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute/Gates Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control, the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning, and Pathfinder International. Trevor received his B.A. in mass communications with a minor in sociology from Morgan State University, a health communications certificate in media advocacy from Johns Hopkins University, and an M.A. in communications from Notre Dame of Maryland University.

Director of Programs

Padmini Biswas is the Director of Programs for Columbia Global Centers.  She collaborates with the leadership of Columbia University and each of the Global Centers to further programming initiatives, curate projects that engage multiple centers and diverse audiences, and strengthens the role of Columbia Global Centers in supporting faculty scholarship and the education of Columbia students. Prior to joining Columbia Global Centers, Padmini was the Program Director and a faculty member for IHP Human Rights, a study abroad program offered by the School for International Training that takes undergraduates to Nepal, Jordan, and Chile. From 2007-2013, she served as the the Assistant Director of the Center for Place, Culture and Politics, an interdisciplinary forum of scholars and activists at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is also the founding editor of Salt, a community-based literary journal funded by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Padmini received her Ph.D. in urban planning from Columbia University, an M.Sc. in urban planning from the London School of Economics, a B.Sc. in civil engineering from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and a B.A. in English from Vassar College. 

Finance and Administration Manager
Finance Manager

Lily Fu worked at Future Tech Consultant of New York as a bookkeeper for eight years before joining the Office of Global Centers in October 2012. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English Education from Shaoxing Teachers College in China, and is fluent in both Mandarin and English.

Senior Executive Director for Global Initiatives

Verónica Martini is senior executive director for Global Initiatives, in which capacity she leads an area of fundraising with strategic importance to Columbia, while providing managerial leadership and strategies relevant to Global Initiatives programs, functions and mission. Previously, she served as associate director for Strategy and Development at Harvard University’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, leading that center's strategic planning, communications and fundraising activities, managing key relationships to outside individuals and constituencies, such as alumni, high-profile visitors, corporations, foundations and institutions throughout the United States and Latin America. Additionally, Verónica has been a consultant for the Massachusetts State Government, as senior strategic adviser for Latin America, and has served on staff and Board of Directors of the now-former New England-Latin America Business Council, a Boston-based trade organization for which she managed special development projects.

She holds a B.A. degree from the Patagonian Institute of English Teacher Training in Argentina, an Ed.M. degree in English Education from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia, and an Ed.M. degree in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A native Argentine, she is the co-founder of the Harvard Argentine Society. She has been published and has spoken professionally on topics related to education and fundraising. She has been an adviser to the Council on the Education Professions at the Fetzer Institute, sits on the Board of Directors of the Abraham Path Initiative, and volunteers with other organizations and initiatives in the United States and Argentina.

Columbia Global Centers