Professor Safwan M. Masri is Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development at Columbia University. In this role, he oversees a network of eight centers worldwide, 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 | Middle East since its founding in 2009.
His role includes extending Columbia’s reach to match the pressing demands of our global society. As an ambassador for Columbia globally, Professor Masri cultivates relationships with Columbia alumni abroad and with world leaders, essential to the continued development of a global Columbia.
Professor Masri joined the faculty of the Decision, Risk, and Operations Division of Columbia Business School in 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, 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 scholarly interests include education reform in the Middle East, and contemporary Arab geopolitics and society. His area of academic expertise has been in operations management, with a focus on supply chain management.
He has consulted and written on change management and operational efficiency in banking and finance. A few of his clients include: Merrill Lynch, Salomon Brothers, Deutsche Bank, Bankers Trust, and JP Morgan.