Nemat Shafik, the first woman president of Columbia University
The Board of Trustees elected the next president from the London School of Economics and Political Science
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Nemat “Minouche” Shafik has been elected to succeed Lee C. Bollinger, the current president of the London School of Economics and Political Science—making Shafik the 20th president of Columbia University on July 1, 2023.
The higher education institution began the search after Lee C. Bollinger announced last year he would be stepping down after completing his 21-year tenure in the 2022-2023 academic year.
In a letter to the Columbia community, Jonathan Levine, Chair of Columbia University Board of Trustees said “in Minouche, we believed we found the perfect candidate: a brilliant and able global leader, a community builder, and a preeminent economist, who understands the academy and the world beyond it.”
Minouche was born in Egypt and raised in the United States. She holds a bachelor of Arts in Economics and Politics from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, a Master of Science in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Economics from St. Antony’s College, Oxford University.
“What ultimately makes a great university is the excellence of its scholars. Recruiting, nurturing, and supporting outstanding scholarship is the foundation on which everything else is built,” said Minouche in the letter sent to the community.
The letter mentions that “what set Minouche apart as a candidate was her unshakable confidence in the vital role institutions of higher education can and must play in solving the world’s complex problems.”
“Minouche approached problems with humanity and intellectual insight,” Lavine added.
President Lee C. Bollinger said of his successor, “I feel like, if I had looked all over the world for the best person to next lead Columbia, I would have chosen Minouche Shafik. Her expertise, her experiences—both personal and professional—and her general outlook on academic and public life make her an inspired appointment. I offer her my warmest congratulations and very best wishes as she takes on what I believe to be the best job in the world,” reported Columbia News.