June 10, 2020 – Greenwood /Asher & Associates, a Miramar Beach, FL-based executive recruitment firm, has placed Dr. Gregory Washington as the eighth president of George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. He will join the university on July 1, 2020. Jan Greenwood, partner and president, led the assignment along with Julie Holley, senior executive search consultant.
“When the board set out to fill this position, we were determined to find someone who was both a strategic thinker with the vision to see our future and a mobilizer with the ability to inspire our community to build on Mason’s success,” said Rector Tom Davis. “Dr. Gregory Washington stood out in a very competitive search. “He showed 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.”
Dr. Washington has been serving as the dean of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering at University of California, Irvine. He is an accomplished researcher who specializes in dynamic systems, with an emphasis in the modeling and control of smart material structures and systems. He is the author of more than 150 technical publications in journals, edited volumes and conference proceedings.
At UC-Irvine, Dr. Washington launched a new graduate and undergraduate programs with the Paul Merage School of Business and the School of Humanities, and is leading the development of the Horiba Institute for Mobility and Connectivity to advance next generation advanced mobility systems with an $8.5 million gift from Horiba, one of the top 25 analytical and life sciences instrumentation companies in the world.
“Greg Washington is a collaborative and solutions-oriented leader,” said Enrique J. Lavernia, provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of California, Irvine. “The prestige, popularity and external resources of UCI’s Samueli School of Engineering rose steadily during his tenure as dean. He worked closely with his colleagues, both on campus and throughout the community, to establish integrated research opportunities and a robust pipeline of future engineers,” he said. “I have been impressed with his accomplishments, both as a provost and as a member of his faculty.”
Rector Tom Davis thanked the search committee for its outstanding work in helping find such an accomplished and diverse pool of finalists. “I’m particularly thankful for co-chairs Dr. Shannon Davis and Vice Rector Jimmy Hazel, who helped us navigate this comprehensive and nuanced process and ensured it was inclusive and thorough,” he said.
“We had a very successful search for the next president at Mason,” said Mr. Hazel. “A number of highly qualified individuals from across the country applied for the position because of how impressed they are with Mason’s positioning in higher education and our location.”
A Women-Owned Search Firm
George Mason University was established in 1957 as the Northern Virginia branch of the University of Virginia and became an independent public university in 1972. In the decades since, it has sustained an exceptional growth trajectory. It is now a major national research university with a proven record of access to excellence and a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. In 2016, the University achieved a Carnegie Tier 1 research designation. Enrollment exceeds 38,000 students from 130 countries and 50 states. With three Northern Virginia campuses and an international campus near Seoul, South Korea, Mason’s location just outside the nation’s capital provides exceptional opportunities for the university to engage the U.S. government, international organizations and major corporations in a myriad of industries.
Greenwood / Asher & Associates is a women-owned executive search firm with a diverse consulting team and extensive experience in executive search, consulting and training for education markets including elementary, secondary, higher education, university systems, campuses and non-profit organizations including associations, service and cultural institutions. The firm is led by president Dr. Greenwood and partner Betty Turner Asher.
Dr. Greenwood is a pioneer in U.S. higher education, having been the first woman president of a public four-year and graduate institution in Virginia. She is a licensed psychologist with experience as a psychometrist and with post-doctoral training in group methods. She brings these skill-sets to her work with clients, candidates and search committees.
Ms. Holley applies to her search work a broad knowledge of education and non-profits and of all aspects of search processes. She has successfully completed hundreds of searches, many at the president level. Ms. Holley particularly focuses on searches at AAU and high extensive research and doctoral institutions. She has a track record of recruiting world-renowned leaders into positions of president, chancellor, provost and dean. She also has extensive experience conducting searches for cabinet-level positions. Julie specializes in searches for positions relating to her legal background, including law dean and general counsel positions and other legal-related positions in higher education. Another area of specialization is positions relating to internationalization and global affairs.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media