Professor Safwan M. Masri is Vice President for Global Centers at Columbia University. In this role, he oversees a network of eight centers around the world (Amman, Beijing, Istanbul, Mumbai, Nairobi, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, and Santiago) which engage faculty and students in collaborative reasearch and education programs that deepen and broaden their global understanding and contibute to local, regional, and global development.
Professor Masri has been a member of the faculty of the Decision, Risk, and Operations Division of Columbia Business School since 1988 and was appointed Vice Dean in 1993, a position he held for thirteen years. Professor Masri has been Director of the Columbia Global Centers | Middle East since its founding in 2009. 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. He 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, Trustee of International College, Trustee of the National Children’s Museum in Jordan, Director of Endeavor Jordan, Director of the Luxury Education Foundation, and 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. He has also 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 current area of interest and study is global education with an emphasis on education reform in the Middle East. His area of academic expertise is in operations management, with a focus on supply chain management. He has consulted and written on change management and operational efficiency in the banking and financial services industry, and has counted among his clients: Merrill Lynch, Salomon Brothers, Deutsche Bank, Bankers Trust, and JP Morgan.
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
Before joining Columbia Global Centers in 2013, Jeff Ballinger was associate director of web communications at Columbia Engineering since 2008 and was the University's webmaster prior to that. A former journalist and high school English teacher, Jeff earned a bachelor's in English from California State University Fresno and a teaching credential from UCLA. Jeff is an avid cyclist and photographer who prefers riding old-school steel-frame road bikes and shooting instant film with antique Polaroid cameras.
Tarik Chelali is a Fulbright Scholar and a 2012 graduate of the Master's in International Affairs dual degree program between Columbia University and Sciences Po Paris. He did his undergraduate studies in International Trade and Development at the University of British Columbia and McGill University. His areas of focus include economic and political development, conflict resolution, Middle Eastern affairs, and global education. Tarik has worked for NGOs, in the civil service, in education, and in the banking and finance sector. Although Tarik is based in Amman at the Columbia Global Centers | Middle East, he works for the Office of Global Centers, which he joined in September 2012.
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.
Christen Soden graduated from Columbia College with a degree in political science and a concentration in history. Her research and academic interests include international relations and Middle Eastern & African Studies. She worked as a program assistant with Columbia Business School’s Jerome A. Chazen Institute for International Business prior to joining the Office of Global Centers in December 2012.
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.