Dr. Gregory Washington has been appointed as the president of George Mason University, making him the first African-American to occupy that position in the school’s history.
The university is Virginia’s largest public university with 38, 000 students and a very diverse student body.
Washington, dean of Henry Samueli School of Engineering at the University of California-Irvine, will become the eighth president in Mason’s history.
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Rector Tom Davis of the Board of Visitors said in a press release: “He showed a tremendous vision for the future of our region and how we fit in, and displayed the ability to motivate and inspire our community. I look forward to working with him and seeing him position Mason as a leader in higher education.”
“I am honored to accept this position and thrilled to lead Mason at this exciting time,” Washington said, adding that, “What attracted me to Mason was its reputation for having a real impact, providing access and for its commitment to inclusive excellence. Those values are in direct alignment with how I operate as an academic leader”.
While at the University of California-Irvine, Washington is said to have hired one of the most diverse engineering faculty cohorts in the U.S., with more than 40 percent of his hires consisting of women or underrepresented minority groups.
He’s been attributed with the establishment of one of the nation’s first STEM ecosystems called OC STEM which collaborates to provide learning opportunities for K-12 students and teachers in their respective communities.
Washington earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. at North Carolina State University.
He takes over from Anne Holton, who assumed the office last year on an interim basis when Angel Cabrera left for Georgia Tech.
Washington takes office July 1, 2020.