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Abu Dhabi University Hires World-Class Leaders in Higher Education

Over the past two years, Abu Dhabi University has welcomed distinguished leaders in the field of higher education to its senior leadership team. These valuable additions to the team are recruited from the world’s finest academic institutions.

Over the past two years, Abu Dhabi University has welcomed distinguished leaders in the field of higher education to its senior leadership team. These valuable additions to the team are recruited from the world’s finest academic institutions. They will support the University in continuing to elevate its status to the leading private education institution in the UAE and the region, delivering the best quality education to its students, and contributing to the growth and prosperity of the UAE and the region.

Professor Thomas J. Hochstettler joins ADU as Provost, a role in which he will provide strategic direction to the University’s teaching and research activities. He brings over thirty years of experience and is highly regarded internationally as an influential leader and innovator in higher education.  A graduate of the University of Michigan, where he earned his master’s and PhD in the field of European social and economic history, Professor Hochstettler began his career as a teacher and university administrator at Stanford University.  Before joining ADU, he was President of the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi and had previously served as Provost at the American University of Sharjah. He was the founding Vice President for Academic Affairs at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany, and President of the elite Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, USA. Most recently, he was Commissioner at the Commission for Academic Accreditation within the UAE’s Ministry of Education. 

Professor Barry O’Mahony, Dean of the College of Business, was appointed to lead the College of Business in providing outstanding undergraduate and postgraduate education and internationally competitive research and knowledge exchange. Before joining Abu Dhabi University, Professor O’Mahony served as Chief Academic Officer at Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland and Dean of the Faculty of Business at the University of Wollongong in Dubai. He has held leadership and faculty positions at Swinburne University of Technology and Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Master of Business Education from Victoria University in Australia and earned his PhD from the University of Melbourne.

Professor Wassim Almawi, as the Dean of the College of Health Sciences, is tasked with ensuring the continuous delivery of high-quality education, the development of the undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum, and the introduction of new programs compatible with market needs and student interests. He has held leadership positions in the Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain and Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan and has experience in multiple academic appointments in colleges of medicine, pharmacy, and health sciences across eight countries. Professor Almawi also brings rich expertise in research to ADU, authoring and co-authoring over 300 research papers throughout his career. His recent work, funded by local and international sources, focused on translational research in adverse pregnancy complications, diabetes and its complications, as well as cancer. Professor Almawi received his BSc in Biology-Chemistry from Beirut University College (now Lebanese American University), and an MSc and PhD in Immunopharmacology from Dalhousie University, Canada. He also undertook four years of postdoctoral training in immunology at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and molecular biology at Harvard Medical School, USA.

Mr. Bassam Murra is the Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management. In this capacity, he is tasked with achieving ambitious recruitment and returning student targets, improving admission to registration conversion rates, enhancing the ADU website, and strengthening collaboration between ADU’s Colleges, campuses and colleagues in marketing and enrollment. Mr. Murra proved himself in this role during his 10-month tenure as Acting Director, as well as throughout his long history of working in management positions within the University. He earned his MBA from Abu Dhabi University and his undergraduate degree from Ajman University.

Dr. Mohammed Parakandi is the Director of Academic Quality and Accreditation at ADU. Leading the Academic Quality and Accreditation Unit, this role encompasses program development and accreditation, along with a strong focus on academic quality assurance and enhancement. Previously ADU’s Director of Accreditation, Dr. Parakandi enhanced the quality of submissions for accreditations and reviews, cleared the backlog of overdue subject reviews, and improved ADU’s processes.

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