Safwan Masri Named Vice President for Global Centers

July 30, 2012

President Lee C. Bollinger is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Safwan M. Masri as Vice President for Global Centers. Professor Kenneth Prewitt, who has served in that capacity since the position’s creation in 2009, will remain in a senior advisory role helping to chart the future course of Columbia’s globalization efforts. Today there are eight Columbia Global Centers located in Amman, Beijing, Paris, Mumbai, Istanbul, Santiago, Nairobi, and Rio de Janeiro.

Managing the evolution of the Global Centers is critically important to Columbia’s future and to the University’s mission of educating leaders for a global society. Safwan is exceptionally well prepared to assume this role. Safwan 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. Safwan has been director of the Global Center in Amman, Jordan since its founding in 2009. The twin hallmarks of the Amman center are the success in serving as a regional Middle East hub for scholarship and research, and the numerous productive partnerships forged with Columbia’s deans and faculty resulting in new academic programming. Under Safwan’s leadership, the Columbia Global Centers | Middle East has collaborated with Teachers College to train more than 2,500 Jordanian teachers to date, established the Institute for Sustainable Development Practice in partnership with the Columbia Earth Institute, is helping to build an exemplary social work profession in Jordan in cooperation with the Columbia School of Social Work, and created the Amman Lab as part of the Studio-X network developed by Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

As chair of the Columbia Global Centers Director Group, Safwan has been sharing this experience and supporting the formation of new academic and research partnerships made possible for the first time by virtue of the network of Columbia Global Centers now on five continents. He has traveled to each Columbia Global Center and provided guidance for raising their respective regional profiles.

Safwan holds degrees in industrial engineering from Purdue, and he received a doctoral degree from Stanford in industrial engineering and engineering management. He has been honored as the Singhvi Professor of the Year for Scholarship in the Classroom, and received the Robert W. Lear Service Award, the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching a Core Course, and the American Service Award from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.