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University names new senior associate provost in effort to expand global reputation

Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor
Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

An associate dean from the Elliott School of International Affairs will take the helm of a newly created international position in the provost’s office, the latest in a series of moves GW has taken to grow its global reach.

University President Steven Knapp announced that Doug Shaw will be GW’s first senior associate provost for international strategy at Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting. Shaw will work as a touch point for international student services and create global opportunities for the University, helping GW to reach its goal of becoming a highly regarded international institution.

Shaw’s position is just the latest example of highlighting globalization at GW, as University officials increasingly turn to countries like Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Turkey for partnerships and programs.

“We’re trying to create a more effective focus to save resources and make us more effective internationally in getting global recognition for the University and increase its global impact,” Knapp said at Friday’s meeting.

Knapp said Shaw was an obvious choice for the position because of Shaw’s continued work with the University in the Elliott School as an assistant professor of international affairs and the associate dean for planning, research and external relations. Shaw teaches classes on topics like nuclear weapons and international security politics.

“He has long been recognized as an extraordinary servant at the University,” Knapp said at the meeting. “After a search by a University-wide committee, he was identified as the absolute top choice for this very important new position.”

In the new role, Shaw will coordinate international components of the University, including opportunities for research, philanthropy, recruiting and study abroad. Knapp said the new position fits within the global goals of the University-wide strategic plan.

“We haven’t had a strategic way of thinking about what it means to be surrounded by embassies and the International Monetary Fund and the Pan American Health Organization, and this position will help us figure out how we make effective use of all those connections,” Knapp said.

Provost Steven Lerman said some of the associate provost’s focus will be on centralizing resources like career services and counseling for international students.

“We want every international student who comes here to have the best experience possible, and that responsibility has been scattered,” Lerman said at the Board of Trustees meeting.

Lerman added that the associate provost will work with the office of study abroad to expand study abroad possibilities and offer resources to students studying abroad at GW.

GW currently offers five programs associated directly with the school in Argentina, Chile, France, England and Spain. About 50 percent of undergraduate students study abroad.

Shaw will also work with Lerman to formulate a larger global strategy for the University. Lerman said he plans to “replicate plans” from when the University planned to start a partnership with China but in other international locations like India and the Middle East – areas officials have already pinpointed as main focuses abroad.

A committee of faculty and administrators from across the University selected Shaw for the position this month after Lerman announced his office was creating the position in March.

Shaw said in his first year in the position he will focus on learning more about the “breadth of GW’s international activities, capacities and priorities.” Shaw will begin his new post on July 15.

“I am particularly excited about the opportunity to support faculty and students in innovative collaborations on international issues and with international institutions,” Shaw said.

Shaw served as director of policy planning at Georgetown University, where he researched and taught about global human development and started initiatives to connect students to international leaders in the public and private sectors.

Former dean of the GW School of Business Doug Guthrie served in a similar position as vice president of China operations and laid out GW’s strategy with China. The partnership with China never came to fruition after Guthrie was fired in 2013 for overspending by $13 million.

The University has also worked to expand its global research portfolio. Vice President for Research Leo Chalupa said he is focusing on helping professors earn funding from international sources as domestic research dollars have declined. Researchers now have a chance to receive money from the European Union after laws that originally set aside money just for European researchers were overhauled.

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