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Board of International Advisors Impressed with LAU’s Growth

The board convenes on Beirut campus to review reports by the university community and consolidate plans for the future.

By Raissa Batakji

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The Board of International Advisors with President Jabbra.

The university’s Board of International Advisors (BIA) met in late June to hear about and discuss LAU’s latest academic, administrative and student updates. The board – which is made up of a diverse group of prominent business owners and executives, innovators, diplomats, medical doctors, and philanthropists – meets regularly to advise the president and the Board of Trustees on university matters. By so doing, they put their talents, experience and wisdom into promoting LAU and strengthening its mission.

Referring to the latest meeting, the Vice Chairman of BIA and neurologist Dr. Mahmoud Kreidie expressed his pride in “the development of LAU from a standard, tier-one university, to one that we could classify as world-class – not only thanks to the achievements of its students and staff, but also because of the prospects that are coming in the near future.”

Dr. Kreidie went on to reveal the board’s action plans, in accordance with LAU’s Third Strategic Plan (SPIII). “We will be working on raising funds to support the university’s strategic plan, which entails transforming LAU into a university without borders, expanding research, advancing new programs such as a school for economics and public policy, introducing new methods of teaching for experiential learning, as well as helping the university become a hub for innovation.” 

Though the implementation of this plan is quite ambitious, BIA member and Legal Counsel at Group Med Bassem Dagher is optimistic. “Looking back at LAU’s track record of back-to-back successes and exponential growth, I am confident that the plans can be met.” Dagher explained that his legal background, combined with his business expertise, helps him serve the board with practical advice, especially that pertaining to governmental relations, peer institutions and the administration of the new centers that are being established, such as the Fouad Makhzoumi Center for Innovation.

“Lebanon suffers from a serious brain drain, and it’s largely a result of the lack of business incubation and innovation,” explained May Makhzoumi, BIA member and president of the Makhzoumi Foundation. She talked about bringing new technologies to the university, which could equip “a new generation of graduates with the know-how that gives them competitive advantage in regional and global markets.” She is also confident that the center will be a success at LAU, in particular because “new initiatives move at unwavering speed, thanks to the leadership of President Joseph G. Jabbra and the Board of Trustees.”

President of the Kuwait Alumni Chapter for 23 years and BIA member Youmna Salame agreed. She expressed her “utmost pride of where LAU stands today.” Salame brings to the board the expertise she has gained working with generations of alumni and helps leverage her connections in the service of the institution. “Whenever I talk about LAU, it always comes from the heart,” she added, expressing her strong ties to the university.  

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