Office of the President

Presidential Search

Message from the Chair


Dear Members of the Lebanese American University Community,

I am delighted to tell you that the Presidential Search has successfully concluded, and the Board of Trustees has unanimously voted to appoint Dr. Chaouki Abdallah as the next President of Lebanese American University.

Born and raised in Lebanon, Dr. Abdallah obtained an MS and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1982 and 1988 respectively, following an undergraduate degree from Youngstown State University. Since 2018 he has been Executive Vice President for Research at Georgia Tech, overseeing a research budget exceeding $1.4 billion. His extensive administrative experience includes serving as Provost for University of New Mexico for 7 years, and as President for UNM prior to moving to Georgia Tech. He has a world-class academic reputation, having published more than 360 peer-reviewed papers, specializing in systems theory with a focus on control, communications and computing systems. He serves on many academic, philanthropic, and industry boards, and brings to LAU an immense international network.

Aside from his professional accomplishments, Dr. Abdallah embodies the qualities and values that the Board sought in our next President. The Board tasked the Search Committee with finding someone who evinces strategic vision, academic leadership, financial acumen, collaborative management, and the ability to engage with internal and external stakeholders while building organizational capacity. Above all, we sought a president who manifests the qualities of our founders: mission-driven, inclusive, seeking to serve all the communities of Lebanon, possessing the highest ethical standards and utterly removed from partisan politics. The Board is convinced that in Dr. Chaouki Abdallah we have found such a person.

The Search itself set a new standard for LAU in terms of its rigor, transparency, and fairness. The Committee was formed in November and was comprised of current and former Board members, faculty representatives, and an alumnus. We engaged the services of one of the world’s top leadership advisory firms, Spencer Stuart, and under their guidance began canvassing our faculty, staff, students, physicians, and Board through surveys and interviews to help us define the profile of the President that we collectively sought. From an initial list of 150 potential candidates, we narrowed the field to 25 qualified individuals reviewed by the Committee, of which we interviewed 7 before arriving at a shortlist of 4 with whom we met in New York. Finalists were subject to a multi-layered executive assessment program before the Committee determined the candidate to bring to the Board on June 21. The Committee executed its work meticulously, and I am happy to say, without interference of any kind. We were frankly astonished by the number of outstanding candidates interested in the position, a testament to LAU’s excellent reputation and recognition of the importance of our mission. The University owes the Committee members a debt of gratitude for their impeccable work.

The Board wishes at this time to express our profound thanks to Dr. Michel Mawad, who will step down at the end of his term on September 30, 2024. Dr. Mawad led LAU through a period of great crisis, and leaves the University and its Medical Centers in a sound position. He has expressed his full support for Dr. Abdallah, and his desire to work closely with him to ensure a successful transition.

The journey here has been long and occasionally difficult, but we have gone forward, unwavering, tireless, resolute, our path made true by the guiding light of LAU’s mission to the Lebanese people. This mission now requires us to become a global institution, with a New York campus, MENA regional initiatives, online education, and bold investment in research taking us to new places and new opportunities in a way never imagined by our founders 100 years ago. But mission is at heart the belief in the infinite promise of unseen things, achieved through common purpose. LAU conjures miracles because of you, our talented faculty, our dedicated staff, our amazing students, our devoted alumni, our generous donors, and our committed Board. Because of you, no institution is doing more for Lebanon today than LAU. We needed a leader with whom we can entrust this sacred mission, and we have found one. 

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Chaouki Abdallah as the next President of Lebanese American University.


Philip Stoltzfus
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Lebanese American University