New Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Brings 30 Years of Administrative, Teaching Experience

Rumana Riffat has held a series of progressively responsible administrative roles at the School of Engineering and Applied Science and has worked collaboratively with administration and faculty.

August 23, 2023

A portrait shot of a woman with the Professors Gate on George Washington University's Foggy Bottom campus behind.

Rumana Riffat joined GW’s faculty in 1994 and holds many research, teaching and service awards from GW and external organizations.

Rumana Riffat, associate dean for graduate studies in the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), has been named vice provost for faculty affairs, effective Sept. 1.

“Dr. Riffat impressed the search committee with her long track record of solutions-oriented administrative success, her collaborative spirit, her commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, and her keen understanding of faculty opportunities and challenges,” said Provost Christopher Alan Bracey. “As we begin a new academic year, I am very excited to welcome her to the provost leadership team and see all the ways she will enhance the faculty experience.”

In 2018-2019, Riffat served as interim dean of SEAS. Her accomplishments during her leadership tenure included hiring and retaining a number of tenured and tenure-track faculty; overseeing the nomination and selection process for SEAS distinguished faculty teaching and research awards; helping to launch the SEAS Center for Women in Engineering; supervising reaccreditation self-study reports for six engineering programs, all of which were successfully reaccredited; and conducting various programs to enhance the student experience.

“It will be my honor and pleasure to serve as the vice provost for faculty affairs,” said Riffat. “I look forward to working with faculty, students and administrators across the university and exploring new ways in which we can enhance faculty engagement and collaboration.”

As associate dean for graduate studies at SEAS since 2020, Riffat oversees graduate student recruitment, admissions, enrollment and advising. In this role, she has managed a variety of complex student matters in partnership with SEAS faculty and other administrative offices, including Faculty Affairs and the Office of the General Counsel. Previously, she served as associate dean for academic affairs in SEAS, overseeing all undergraduate and graduate curricula and helping to address interrelated student and faculty issues.

“Dr. Riffat has been a trusted and effective leader in SEAS for many years,” said SEAS dean John Lach. “She has a keen analytical mind, takes a collaborative approach to problem solving and always prioritizes the success and well-being of our faculty, students and staff. The SEAS Dean’s Office will miss her, but she will be a great asset to the entire university.”

Riffat, an expert in sustainable treatment of wastewater, joined GW’s faculty in 1994 and was named a full professor in 2009. She holds many research, teaching and service awards from GW and external organizations.

A search committee of administrative leaders and faculty, as well as the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, identified Riffat as a strong candidate for the role.