Governance and Administration

Office of the President

Dr. Michel Mawad to succeed Dr. Joseph Jabbra as the next president of LAU

Dear Students, Alumni, Colleagues and Friends,

I am delighted and proud to welcome the announcement made by the Chairman of our Board of Trustees, Mr. Peter Tanous, informing us that on Saturday, April 25, 2020, the Board elected Dr. Michel Mawad, Dean of the Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine, as the new President of LAU. He will succeed me on October 1, 2020.

Our President elect, Dr. Michel Mawad, has an impressive academic background. He is a graduate of the USJ School of Medicine. His passion for medicine then took him to the United States, where he continued his education and training in prestigious medical institutions in New York City, at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, Saint Luke’s Hospital, the Neurological Institute of New York, and Columbia Presbyterian Center. He is U.S. Board certified, and has licensure for Texas and New York States.

After completing his medical studies and training, he began his academic career at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1981, rising quickly and impressively to the rank of Clinical Assistant Professor. In 1987, he was appointed Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology at Baylor College of Medicine, with a focus on Neurology. As he continued to excel in his academic career, he achieved rapidly the rank of tenured Full Professor in the Departments of Radiology, Ophthalmology, Neurosurgery, and Neurology at Baylor College of Medicine. There, he was Chair of the Department of Radiology from 2001 to 2014. After a thorough search, in 2017 Dr. Mawad was selected as Dean and Professor at the Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine.

In addition to his notable academic career, Dr. Mawad has held a number of prestigious professional appointments in Houston at the Methodist Hospital, Taub General Hospital, the Veterans Administration Medical Center, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital. From 2015 to 2017, he served as Director of the Stroke Center, The Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Abu Dhabi, and is currently Director, Comprehensive Stroke Center, LAUMC-RH.

Dr. Mawad has been a tireless researcher, having to his credit 107 authored and co-authored publications in prestigious medical and scientific journals, six book chapters, 24 scientific exhibits, and 211 scientific papers presented at national and international meetings. He has attended 28 international meetings and symposia, and has always upgraded his medical knowledge through continuing medical education.

Dr. Mawad is also well versed in administration. He has served on 21 academic and professional committees, nine medical organizations, and in 1991 was elected President of the World Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology. For his achievements in the medical profession he has received nine prestigious honors and awards.

As President of LAU, my experience with Dr. Mawad has been extremely positive. Here I will focus only on three major areas, all most important to the success of a university president. They are as follows:

Dr. Mawad’s Character: In all his endeavors, Dr. Mawad has always been guided by a strong work ethic, scientific integrity, and academic discipline. He leads by example through hard work, empowering colleagues, and defining and setting high expectations both for himself and for them. He is humble, transparent, candid, empathetic, and honest in his professional relationships with his colleagues. As a result, he has won the trust and respect of his co-workers, and the admiration and affection of his students. He says that he has dedicated his life to the healing and well-being of his patients with impeccable integrity, but with respectful and compassionate honesty.

Dr Mawad’s Leadership: I have also been impressed by Dr. Mawad’s leadership qualities: keen intelligence, strong organizational skills, ability to listen, and humility. Since he joined LAU, he reorganized the Gilbert & Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine, and brought the faculty together in a peaceful and caring way, yet firmly and responsibly. He established new programs, promoted clinical research, and initiated a new fellows program. He gradually increased enrollment, and added hospital affiliations to accommodate the growing number of our residents over and above LAUMC-RH absorptive capacity. The welfare and well-being of his medical students has always been uppermost in his mind. As a leader, he never makes decisions unilaterally, but collectively. He is always inclusive in his approach, respectful in his consultations, and considerate in his demeanor. He never shies away from meeting courageously the challenges he faces and making tough decisions when the time calls for them. Because of his passion for what he believes in, his hard and meticulous work, his drive for scholarship and research, he has become an inspiration for his faculty, a role model to emulate for his staff, and a father figure for his students. As Dean of the Medical School, he established an excellent relationship with his colleagues in the Council of Deans, where he fully engaged in discussion of vital issues at LAU, always offering new ideas to meet new challenges. His contributions to LAUMC-RH have been very significant, and he has brought the School of Medicine and the hospital together in an exemplary way.

Dr. Mawad’s Vision: Dr. Mawad is a visionary who plans strategically for the future. His educational vision for our students is clear. In this respect, he always says that “in this changing world, LAU will produce graduates ready to embrace all aspects of new technology, but who will remain well educated and well-rounded citizens of society.” He readily champions innovation, takes daring and bold steps, and accommodates change and builds on it. Dr. Mawad is a careful and well organized, but daring, planner. His contributions to forming and completing the integrated strategic plan for the medical school and LAUMC-RH reveals an impressively methodical and future-oriented mind, a keen strategic thinking, and an impressive sagacious vision.

Dr. Mawad holds that at present Lebanon faces numerous economic, financial, monetary and political challenges, and now, he adds, Covid-19. According to his vision for the immediate future, he believes that the university should go into survival mode, preserving its core mission, strengthening enrollment, retaining its precious human capital, and protecting its endowment. He has faith in the innovative mind of all Lebanese, their ability to withstand hardship, and their resilience in the face of dangerous challenges. He maintains that with those qualities, recovery for Lebanon is inevitable. He is optimistic that soon we will recapture enrollment, and fill vacant faculty and staff positions. Even in the midst of our crises, he is confident that we will turn asperity into opportunity, revitalizing our energies, diversifying our fundraising approaches, and taking advantage of hybrid and online education. He believes that the business model American institutions of higher education have been following needs to be re-engineered, if not eliminated altogether. He emphasizes the importance of recruiting strong faculty, promoting LAU without borders, fostering interdisciplinary education, strengthening digital culture, creating relevant graduate and undergraduate programs, and all to meet the demands of the fourth industrial revolution. He strongly supports both basic and applied research and believes that LAU should continue to be an agent of change model in society.

Dr. Mawad lived in the United States for 40 years, and America has substantially shaped his character and personality. But he is a son of Lebanon. He knows our country very well, and has long wanted to come back and contribute to its future. Gladly, we are giving him this opportunity to do so.

With your help and support, Dr. Mawad will be a terrific president, for he has the knowhow, the foresight, the passion, and the compassion to take LAU to the next level of excellence. Dr. Mawad has my full support.

Please join me in congratulating our LAU President-Elect, Dr. Michel Mawad, and in wishing him success as he prepares to assume the Presidency of LAU.

Thank you, JGJ.

Joseph G. Jabbra, Ph.D.
Lebanese American University