Presidential Search Launched

Trustee Madeleine Jacobs will chair the 19-member group tasked with identifying candidates to be the university’s next leader.

Professors Gate
June 30, 2016

Trustees, faculty members, alumni, a student and staff member will conduct a nationwide search for the 17th president of the George Washington University, the Board of Trustees announced Thursday.

Trustee Madeleine Jacobs, B.S. '68 and D.Sc. (Honorary) '03, will serve as chair of the presidential search committee. A former CEO of the American Chemical Society, Ms. Jacobs also heads the Board of Trustees’ Committee on Academic Affairs and is a member of the board of the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum.

Alan E. Greenberg, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Milken Institute School of Public Health, will serve as vice chair of the committee.

All members of the committee have votes in the process of selecting finalists to be recommended to the board. (See a full list of search committee members at the end of this story.)

In its charge to the search committee, the board said the committee will formulate a statement of desired presidential qualifications, based on priorities the board has identified for the university for the next decade. The committee statement, which will guide the search process, will be made public once approved by the board.

The charge also instructed the committee to have finalists ready for consideration by the board no later than January 2017.  The board is expected to make its selection in early 2017. 

"We are looking for an exceptional leader who will build on the progress made by President Knapp and bring the George Washington University to new heights as it enters its third century," Board Chair Nelson A. Carbonell, B.S. ’85, said. "The committee will conduct a vigorous national search, and I am certain we will attract the most highly qualified candidates."

The university has issued a request for proposals to enlist assistance from a search firm.  The search committee is expected to begin its work this summer.

The board will also seek advice and counsel from the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and from a faculty consultative committee to be elected in the fall by the Faculty Assembly.

Ms. Jacobs, the committee chair, said that once the process is underway that she and Dr. Greenberg, the committee vice chair, will keep the GW community informed about the search process.

"We look forward to engaging the university community and will provide additional details about how community members can provide feedback and input in the coming months," Ms. Jacobs said. 

George Washington President Steven Knapp announced earlier this month that he would not seek to renew his contract as president when it expires at the end of July 2017. He will continue to serve as president through the 2016-17 academic year.

The board unanimously approved a resolution thanking Dr. Knapp and highlighting his accomplishments over the past nine years.  The board also approved conferring on Dr. Knapp at the conclusion of his service as president the title of president emeritus and approved recommending to the faculty that he be named university professor—GW’s highest faculty position—in recognition of his achievements and service to the university community.

Presidential Search Committee:

Roslyn M. Brock, M.H.S.A. '89, trustee
Christopher Cahill, professor of chemistry and international affairs
Nelson A. Carbonell, B.S. ’85, chair of the Board of Trustees, ex-officio
Mark H. Chichester, B.B.A. ’90, J.D. ’93, trustee
Erika Feinman, Student Association president, ex-officio
Charles Garris, chair of Faculty Senate Executive Committee, ex-officio
Jeremy Gosbee, B.A. ’98, M.B.A. ’02, GW Alumni Association president, ex-officio
Alan E. Greenberg, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics
Mark Hughes, B.S. ’69, M.S. ’77, trustee emeritus
Madeleine Jacobs, B.S. '68, D.Sc. (Honorary) '03, trustee
David C. Karlgaard, D.Sc. '74, trustee
Susan Kulp, associate professor of accounting
Gregory Maggs, professor of law
Ann McCorvey, deputy executive vice president and treasurer
Sally Nuamah, B.A. ’11, trustee
Mark Shenkman, M.B.A. ’67, trustee
Anton N. Sidawy, professor and Lewis B. Saltz Chair of Surgery and president of the
    George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates, ex-officio
Robert K. Tanenbaum, J.D. ’82, trustee
Ellen Zane, B.A. ’73, trustee, ex-officio