Columbia Names Nemat Shafik as President, the First Woman to Lead the University

Columbia Names Nemat Shafik as President, the First Woman to Lead the University

Columbia University introduced on Wednesday that its new president could be Nemat Shafik, an economist who has served as president of the London School of Economics since 2017, and earlier than that as deputy governor of the Bank of England.

The collection of Dr. Shafik, recognized as Minouche, marks the first time a girl has been named to lead the prestigious New York establishment and follows the latest appointments of ladies to head high universities together with Harvard, Dartmouth, M.I.T., the University of Pennsylvania and George Washington University.

She will assume the Columbia presidency in July, taking on from Lee C. Bollinger in the midst of a tumultuous time in the academy, with universities going through not solely an upcoming Supreme Court determination on race-conscious admissions but in addition debates over free speech and the excessive price of schooling, rankings and pay for educating assistants.

In a letter to the Columbia neighborhood, the college’s board of trustees mentioned it had discovered a “good candidate” to lead the college, calling Dr. Shafik, 60, a “good and in a position international chief, a neighborhood builder and a pre-eminent economist who understands the academy and the world past it.”

Her worldwide expertise is notable. Born in Alexandria, Egypt, she has not solely run the London School of Economics since 2017, however she has additionally served as vice chairman at the World Bank, deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund and deputy governor of the Bank of England.

In its letter, the board mentioned that what set her candidacy aside was her “unshakable confidence in the important function establishments of upper schooling can and should play in fixing the world’s most advanced issues.”

Dr. Shafik’s upbringing was partly in the United States, the place her household relocated throughout the Sixties for her father’s work. She attended colleges in Florida, North Carolina and Georgia earlier than receiving an undergraduate diploma at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

She obtained a grasp’s diploma from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1986, adopted by a Ph.D. in economics from St Antony’s College, Oxford University, in 1989.

Mr. Bollinger, who introduced final 12 months that he could be leaving the college, led the University of Michigan when the Supreme Court determined Grutter v. Bollinger, which upheld the proper of schools to have interaction in affirmative motion in admissions. Grutter could also be overturned in the Supreme Court instances at the moment pending in opposition to Harvard and the University of North Carolina.

Mr. Bollinger had presided over a major enlargement of the college, with the addition of its Manhattanville campus, the residence of its new business school, as effectively as the creation of latest institutes and initiatives, together with the enlargement of the college’s international presence.