The President's Council is comprised of the Executive Council and these distinguished members:
As Deputy Vice President for University Branding team, Ms. Aaronson oversees the internal and external integrated communications, digital, content and distribution strategies – in collaboration with the University’s colleges, centers and institutes – to advance Mason’s story of growth, innovation, and impact. In addition, Ms. Aaronson is responsible for curating and creating high quality original and shared content for new and existing channels, and she serves as the number two to the Chief Brand Officer.
Before joining Mason, Ms. Aaronson was Senior Vice President, Engagement, at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), where she led system-wide multiplatform content and engagement initiatives, and partnerships with business, schools, community partners, national leaders, and influencers, to enhance the impact of public media in building a strong civil society. Ms. Aaronson was also responsible for the strategic planning and management of public media’s largest collaboration, the “American Graduate,” initiative, which helped communities work together to improve the national high school graduation rate and youth access college and career programs. “American Graduate” was rolled out in 49 states with over 150 local media stations and 1800 local and national partnerships, resulting in over 2000 hours of broadcast and digital content and over $22 million in local philanthropic support. Ms. Aaronson joined CPB in 2012 as Vice President, Education and Community Impact.
Prior to CPB, she was Senior Director, Communications and Marketing, at PBS and PBS KIDS, overseeing corporate and crisis communications, media relations, program information, events, and viewers services. She also on the senior corporate strategy and operations leadership teams, and developed the PBS’ “Healthy Communities” initiative.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Aaronson held programming, production, communications and public affairs, business development and marketing positions at Citizen Jane Politics, Hallmark Channel, Lifetime Television, Discovery Communications (including Animal Planet and TLC), Rutledge Broadcasting/Court TV, and National Empowerment Television. She also served as co-chair the NIH Director's Council of Public Representatives Federal Advisory Board.
A native of Washington, D.C., Ms. Aaronson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a certificate in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from George Mason University, and studied politics at Georgetown University and non-profit strategic communications at American University.
Ann Ardis earned her PhD from the University of Virginia (1988) and is known internationally for her scholarship on turn-of-the-century British literature and culture and modernist studies. She is also known for her work on the transformations of print media and the Anglo-American periodical press at the turn of the twentieth century. She is the author of New Women, New Novels: Feminism and Early Modernism (Rutgers UP, 1990) and Modernism and Cultural Conflict, 1880-1922 (Cambridge UP, 2002) as well as numerous articles and book chapters. She is co-editor of three edited collections: Virginia Woolf Turning the Centuries (Pace, 2000), Women’s Experience of Modernity (Johns Hopkins UP, 2002), and Mediamorphosis: Print Culture and Transatlantic Public Sphere(s), 1880-1940 (Palgrave, 2008). She recently completed a term of service as co-editor of Modernism/modernity, the official journal of the Modernist Studies Association (Johns Hopkins UP). Ardis comes to Mason from the University of Delaware, where she served as senior vice provost for graduate and professional education. Prior to that role, she was the deputy dean of Delaware’s College of Arts & Sciences and founding director of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center, which supports collaborative multidisciplinary research, teaching, and creative activity anchored in the humanities.
Dr. Robert E. Baker was appointed interim dean of the College of Education and Human Development in April 2020. He first joined George Mason University in 2005 as an associate professor and program coordinator for sport management. He most recently served as professor and director of the School of Sport Recreation and Tourism Management and the Center for Sport Management within the College of Education and Human Development. He was a member of the college’s Executive Team and Leadership Team. Prior to his arrival at Mason, he served as chair of the Department of Sport Sciences at Ashland University. He has had abundant school-based experience in Virginia and Pennsylvania as a teacher, coach, and administrator. He also served in intercollegiate athletic administrative positions in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Ohio.
Dr. Baker earned his doctorate in Higher Education from the College of William & Mary, and both his M.S.in Sport Administration and B.S. in Secondary Education from the Pennsylvania State University. He has served as president of the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM), as a founding commissioner of the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA), and a founding board member of the World Association of Sport Management (WASM). Dr. Baker is a recipient of NASSM’s Distinguished Sport Management Educator Award and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) Outstanding Achievement in Sport Management Award.
Dr. Baker’s research has focused on sport for development and peace, sport analytics, professional preparation in sport management, and sport leadership and coaching. In addition to dozens of books, book chapters and refereed articles, and an array of national and international presentations, Dr. Baker has served as the principal investigator on over seven million dollars in grants. While at Mason, he was principle investigator of the Sport Diplomacy Initiative, a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of State that employed sport as a vehicle to promote intercultural understanding. Over 1200 participants from 81 countries participated in the sport-based experiences, breaking down barriers, enhancing intergroup understanding, and yielding a greater awareness of the impact of sport in development and diplomatic processes.
Dr. Baker’s wife, Dr. Pamela Hudson Baker, is also a tenured faculty member at George Mason University.
For more on College of Education and Human Development, go here.
Laurence was appointed as Associate Provost for Graduate Education in March 2020, after joining the Office of the Provost as the Interim Associate Provost for Graduate Education in July 2019. Prior to her new role, she has overseen a wide range of departmental, school and university-wide educational and research activities as a faculty member and administrator in the Department of Bioengineering. Some recent activities have involved developing new innovative programs, creating student professional development support, leading program assessment and accreditation, and receiving internal and external funding for a variety of projects.
Laurence is a mentor, a teacher, and a researcher with significant administrative experience. As the 2017 Mentorship Excellence Award winner and the 2018 Teacher of Distinction Recognition recipient, Laurence has been dedicated to student success inside and outside the classroom. In addition, she has received the 2017 Innovative Spirit Award demonstrating her work around innovation and new initiatives. Laurence has also published widely and presented nationally and internationally on topics related to the basic fundamentals of neuroscience using experimental, computational and behavioral approaches.
Prior to joining Mason, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the Brain Laboratory at the University of Nevada, where she earned her PhD in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering. She graduated with her MS and BS degrees in Bioengineering and Biological Sciences, respectively from Clemson University.
Melissa A. Broeckelman-Post is the Basic Course Director and an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and a Senior Scholar in the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being at George Mason University. She earned a B.A. in English, a Graduate Certificate in Technical Writing and Professional Communication, and M.A. in Speech Rhetoric and Communication from Kansas State University. She earned a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Ohio University and was an Assistant Professor and Basic Course Coordinator and T.A. Supervisor at California State University, Los Angeles, for four years before beginning her faculty role at Mason.
As Basic Course Director in Communication, Dr. Broeckelman-Post is responsible for planning, supervising, assessing, and improving the communication courses that meet the general education requirement at GMU. Each year, she is responsible for recruiting, training, and supervising a staff of 40-60 instructors who teach 3500-4000 undergraduate students per year in these courses. As part of this role, she also established the Communication Center in 2018, which will become part of the new Lab for Writing and Communication in Fall 2021. In 2016, her program was the recipient of the NCA Basic Course Division Program of Excellence Award, which recognizes introductory communication course programs that can serve as best practice models for programs across the country. In 2015, she was the recipient of the NCA Basic Course Division Textbook of Distinction Award for the textbook that she extensively adapted to meet the specific needs to GMU’s students, instructors, and program. Dr. Broeckelman-Post also served as the co-chair of the Social Science Research Council’s Measuring College Learning Project Panel on Public Speaking and was a co-recipient of a National Communication Association Advancing the Discipline Grant for A National-Level Assessment of Core Competencies in the Basic Communication Course.
Dr. Broeckelman-Post’s research includes applied and integrative research that helps to answer key questions about how to most effectively communicate in the classroom (instructional communication) and how to most effectively teach communication skills (communication education), at times by borrowing from and intersecting with research in other disciplines. Most of this research is also done to answer practical questions about how we can best serve our students in the introductory course and to test innovations that directly shape what we do in the classroom. Broeckelman-Post is the co-author of 33 peer-reviewed journal articles and three national communication textbooks, Inclusive Public Speaking, The Speaker’s Primer, and Communication Pathways, and serves on the editorial boards of Communication Education (currently as Consulting Editor for Forums), Communication Teacher, The Basic Communication Course Annual, and Journal of Communication Pedagogy.
Dr. Broeckelman-Post has served on George Mason University’s Faculty Senate since 2014 and has served on the Executive Committee and as Chair of Nominations since 2018. She has served on the Mason Core Committee since 2013, and has served as co-chair of that committee since 2013. Additionally, she has served on the Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence Curriculum and Pedagogy Subcommittee, the ADVANCE Advisory Committee, the Faculty Interests Working Group for Online University Expansion, and many other committees, task forces, and working groups. She was elected Chair for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Zofia Burr is the founding dean of Mason’s Honors College, established July 2009. Programs within the Honors College include the University Scholars’ Program, the Office of Postgraduate Fellowships & Scholarships, the Honors Program in General Education, and the Honors College Living Learning Community. Dr. Burr has been a member of Mason’s English faculty since 1992.
Under Dr. Burr’s leadership, the Honors College has tripled in size, while seeing a rise in the academic profile of the entering class.
Her main areas of research and teaching interest are modern American poetry, research methods, disability studies, and pedagogy. She was among the winners of Mason’s Teaching Excellence Award for 2004.
She is the author of Of Women, Poetry, and Power: Strategies of Address in the Poetry of Dickinson, Miles, Brooks, Lorde, and Angelou, and editor of Set in Motion: Essays, Interviews, Dialogues, by A. R. Ammons. Dr. Burr’s writing has appeared in a number of collaborative installations that were shown and performed in various venues, including Mobius Gallery in Boston, Artemisia in Chicago, and Soho 20 New York. She is currently at work on a non-fiction project based on the experience of caring for her mother after a brain injury, and for her father with dementia.
Before Dr. Burr pursued graduate work in literature and creative writing, she taught emotionally disturbed children. She is currently the faculty sponsor for Mason’s chapter of Active Minds, a national organization focused on de-stigmatizing mental health issues on campus. She received her MFA and Ph.D. from Cornell University.
Kimberly Jackson Davidson joined Mason in February of 2022 as the University Ombudsperson. Davidson’s primary role is to provide a neutral space where faculty can communicate about their issues, concerns or disputes in a confidential environment to support fair and consistent treatment in the university community. She develops the resources and tools to aid university constituents in fostering a culture of respect, collaboration and mediation.
Davidson’s experience includes in-depth studies in multiple conflict transformation and interpersonal communication modalities. She employs theory, best practices, and practical and empirical knowledge from related fields of study. Her primary practices rest on the foundations of social justice mediation, conflict management coaching, reflective structured dialogue, and nonviolent communication, among other strategies, to assist visitors to her office with the work of transforming conflict. She is passionate about introducing awareness of the frameworks and practices for transforming conflict within the co-curricular context. Davidson believes this sort of outreach, education, and awareness-building nurtures the capacity of individuals to be better prepared to successfully navigate internal, interpersonal, and systemic conflict.
Prior to joining Mason, Davidson served all campus constituencies as Ombudsperson at Oberlin College in Ohio during her final five and a half years there. In conjunction with her role as Ombudsperson, Davidson directed the Yeworkwha Belachew Center for Dialogue (YBCD), providing mediation and dialogue support to the Oberlin community, developing a skilled cadre of Dialogue Center members trained in mediation, and developing conflict transformation programming offered to the Oberlin community. In her two decades at Oberlin, Davidson previously held roles in the Office of the Dean of Students and as Visiting Lecturer in African American Studies providing a valuable depth and breadth of knowledge to campus constituents.
Davidson earned a B.A. in English Literature from Spelman College in 1986 and an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in African Literature in 1991. She is active within the International Ombuds Association (IOA), the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds (CCCUO), and the Ombuds Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR).
Rick Davis, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, since May 2015, joined Mason in 1991 as artistic director of Theater of the First Amendment (TFA) and a member of the theater faculty. The company, which presented its final programs in 2012, was nominated for 38 Helen Hayes Awards, winning 12, and originated numerous works that went on to other regional theaters, television, radio and publication.
From 2007-2011, Dr. Davis served as Mason's associate provost for Undergraduate Education, working primarily on issues of general and liberal education, international programs and student academic life. He has served as executive director of the Hylton Performing Arts Center since August 2011.
Prior to coming to Mason, Rick was Resident Dramaturg and Associate Artistic Director of Baltimore's Center Stage (1986-91), Associate Director and co-founder of the American Ibsen Theater in Pittsburgh (1983-85) and taught drama at Washington College.
Rick has directed a broad range of professional theater and opera productions (more than forty to date) in venues from upstate New York to Boise, Idaho and many places in between, including Baltimore Center Stage, the Kennedy Center, the IN Series and more. He also has worked as dramaturg on more than thirty professional productions, and has directed dozens of plays, musicals, and operas for college and university programs, including the Mason Players.
He was a winner of the George Mason Teaching Excellence Award (1997) and an Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year (2006). His four books include translations and studies of Calderón de la Barca and, with Brian Johnston, Henrik Ibsen; and a college textbook on writing about theater (with Christopher Thaiss).
Rick was educated at Lawrence University (BA) and the Yale School of Drama (MFA, DFA). He teaches courses in directing, dramatic literature, theater history, and arts management.
For more on the College of Visual and Performing Arts go here.
Edward Dittmeier is the Vice President and Chief Audit, Risk, and Compliance Officer. He serves as the University Auditor, reporting functionally to the Audit, Risk, and Compliance Committee of the Board of Visitors and administratively to the President. In addition to leading Mason’s internal audit function which evaluates the adequacy and effectiveness of the university’s governance, risk management, control, and compliance processes, Ed also facilitates, coordinates, and oversees the university’s enterprise risk management process and institutional compliance and ethics programs.
Ed has over thirty years of executive internal audit experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Mason in 2015, he was senior vice president and associate general auditor for BB&T Corporation for three years where he developed, enhanced, and implemented internal audit processes to align with Federal Reserve Board large bank supervisory expectations. Prior to that, he served in multiple senior-level internal audit roles for American Express Company providing assurance related to the credit card, travel related services, and international banking businesses as well as corporate activities. In these roles, he drove improvements in corporate governance processes related to Audit Committee oversight, focused executive attention on worldwide systemic process issues, and served as the chief audit executive for a $2 billion Canadian subsidiary bank. Mr. Dittmeier earned bachelor's degrees in business administration (accounting) and statistics from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor.
Dr. Gesele Durham joined George Mason University in 2019 as Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness and Planning. By deploying her research, statistical, and strategic planning skills, Gesele’s work focuses on the production and use of analytics, providing meaningful assessment and planning, and enabling data-informed decision-making that advances Mason’s strategic goals.
Prior to joining Mason, Gesele was the Vice Provost for Institutional Effectiveness at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. While there, she created the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, initiated campus-wide discussions regarding data governance and resource development, implemented innovative campus tools aimed at strategic initiatives such as persistence and completion, access to strategic data for planning, and assessment of student learning and program outcomes.
A frequent contributor to national conversations on the advancement of analytics and strategic planning, she currently serves as the secretary on the executive board for the APLU’s Commission on Measurement, Information and Analysis. In the past she also served on the APLU’s board for the Voluntary System of Accountability, Product Advisory Councils for the EAB for both the Navigate/Student Success Collaborative as well as the Academic Performance Solutions tools, and as a member of the Peer Review Corp and mentor for the Persistence and Completion Academy for the Higher Learning Commission.
With a doctoral degree in Political Science from Binghamton University, she began her academic career at the University of Minnesota Morris as faculty before relocating to Wisconsin. After serving as the assistant director for the multi-disciplinary International Studies program at UW-Madison, she transitioned to the newly created role of enrollment data manager within the UW-Madison Graduate School. She also served one year with the General Accounting Office in Washington. D.C. evaluating international environmental agreements. Originally from central Illinois, she attended Illinois State University for her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, both in Political Science.
Kimberly Eby joined the Mason faculty in 1996. An associate professor in the School of Integrative Studies, she is also affiliated with Women and Gender Studies and the department of psychology. In 2002, she was awarded the George Mason University Teaching Excellence Award. Her scholarly and professional interests include issues surrounding violence and gender, leadership, organizational development and change, and collaboration and community building across a variety of contexts. She was a consultant for the National Learning Communities Project and continues to present at national meetings and consult with individual institutions on topics such as leading institutional change; learning space design; interdisciplinary collaboration; working with student and faculty diversity; and other issues related to faculty, teaching, learning, and leadership.
Kim served for nine years as the Director of the Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence (CTFE) and Associate Provost for Faculty Development, providing programming, consultations, and professional development support to Mason faculty and graduate students, with an emphasis on teaching and learning. She has collaborated with campus leaders on multiple institution-wide curricular, strategic, and leadership initiatives, including Mason’s award-winning Students as Scholars program, the Leadership Legacy Program, various diversity and inclusion efforts, and the Learning Environments Group (LEG).
Currently she serves as Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Development. In this role she is responsible for all matters pertaining to Mason faculty’s professional well-being and development, including assisting with faculty career development, recognizing faculty excellence, cultivating academic leadership, and implementing policies and practices that support faculty at Mason.
Kim earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Community Psychology from Michigan State University and her undergraduate degree from Indiana University at Bloomington.
Cody Edwards is the Associate Provost for a Sustainable Earth at George Mason University. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Edwards served as the Associate Provost for Graduate Education, and previously as founding director of the College of Science’s STEM Accelerator Program. Dr. Edwards is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy. Prior to coming to Mason, he was an Assistant Professor and Curator of Mammals at Stephen F. Austin State University.
Since arriving at George Mason University in the fall of 2004, Dr. Edwards has taught 8 different undergraduate and graduate courses and has served on numerous departmental, college, and university committees including the Student Value and Affordability Visioning Group. He also served on the Faculty Senate (2011-13). Outside of Mason, he has served on 7 international/national professional society committees and served as the Associate Editor for The Southwestern Naturalist, a nationally distributed journal published by the Southwestern Association of Naturalists (SWAN). In addition, Dr. Edwards has served as advisor or committee member for 32 graduate (Ph.D. and M.S.) and 13 undergraduate students.
Dr. Edwards’ research philosophy encompasses the full multiplicity of conservation and evolutionary biology. For example, his research activities have ranged from impacts of military training on small and medium sized mammal communities, the ecological and conservation impacts of introduced rodents on endemic Galápagos Islands rodents, to population and conservation genetics of leaf litter frogs (Costa Rica and Panama), swans (Alaska and Virginia), rodents (Canada, Central and South America, Mexico, United States), black rhinoceros (South Africa; collaboration with Dr. Elizabeth Freeman, New Century College), and black howler monkeys (Belize; collaboration with Dr. Sylvia Vitazkova, New Century College). Recent research efforts have focused on development and assessment of innovative pedagogical strategies. His research program provides high school, undergraduate, and graduate students the opportunity to gain knowledge and engage in research in a multidisciplinary environment that fosters independent thought and encourages the formation of their own research projects and/or the progression of an existing one. His scholarly contributions are illustrated by numerous publications, conference and invited presentations, and research funding in excess of $1.6 million dollars.
Dr. Edwards received a B.S. and M.S. in Biology from Angelo State University and a Ph.D. in Zoology from Texas Tech University. He is committed to student success, training, and excellence, and in educating the next generation of global citizens/leaders.
Anne Gentry is the Interim University Counsel at George Mason and a senior assistant attorney general. Ms. Gentry began her service at Mason as an assistant attorney general/associate university counsel in September 2006 and was appointed Interim University Counsel in January 2022. In that role she serves as the Office of University’s Counsel primary liaison with the University President, senior staff, and members of the Board of Visitors on a variety of legal issues. Her work also includes matters related to contracts, procurement, real estate, employment and legislative and regulatory review. Prior to her service at Mason, she was in private practice. A life-long Virginian, Ms. Gentry holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from the College of William & Mary and a Juris Doctor from George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.
Renate Guilford is Vice Provost of Provost Office Administration at George Mason University. She plays a major role in the overall performance of the Office of the Provost, leading the financial and personnel management support structure for academic and administrative units. She has extensive expertise in all aspects of the academic operation and drives critical analysis and planning for several of the university’s strategic initiatives.
A 27-year veteran of Mason, Ms. Guilford has extensive experience leading organizational change, planning for growth, personnel management and resource allocation. Her most recent work focuses on supporting the development of new academic programs, restructuring of administrative functions within key enrollment services operations, creating international branch campuses and building international partnerships. Ms. Guilford leads and supports new academic enterprises, research administration, and multiple other efforts within and across Mason’s schools and colleges and central support units
Ms. Guilford earned two degrees from George Mason University: an undergraduate and a master’s degree in Public Administration.
André Kinney is George Mason University’s Director of Real Estate. In this capacity, he leads efforts to align the University’s real estate assets with mission and strategic intent and participates in the collective efforts associated with the University’s Master Plan work. In addition, he drives real estate operational activities both on and off campus.
André joins the University with more than 30 years of real estate experience including strategy, development, transactions and management. He previously served as COO and Director of Asset Management for Real Estate Capital Partners, a firm specializing in serving offshore institutional clients investing in US real estate. As COO, he was responsible for driving corporate and investment strategy and operations. In his asset management role, he led the team responsible for all facets of strategy and oversight of a nationwide $7 billion US real estate portfolio.
André has been a professor in the GMU MRED program, as well as guest real estate lecturer at Georgetown University and the University of Wisconsin. He holds a BS in Finance and an Executive MBA from George Mason University.
Dr. Germaine M. Buck Louis is the Dean of the College of Health and Human Services at George Mason University. Previously, she was a Senior Investigator and Director of the Division of Intramural Population Health Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health. Dr. Louis’ research interests primarily focus on the interplay between environmental chemicals and lifestyle on human reproduction and children’s health. She has held several leadership roles for professional organizations, including as President of the Society of Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiologic Research and Society for Epidemiologic Research, and also on numerous advisory committees for The National Academies, Pan American Health Organization, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and World Health Organization. Prior to joining NIH, Dr. Buck Louis was a tenured professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Buffalo, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. She has published numerous papers and co-edited the textbook entitled Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology.
For more on the College of Heath and Human Services, go here.
Patrick McCavitt is currently serving as Interim Vice President, Operations and Business Services. In this role, Patrick manages the university’s business services and auxiliary functions, including strategic business partnerships with third party contractors. Operations and Business Services comprises large university support operations including dining, EagleBank Arena, parking, shuttles, student centers, mail services, print services, Mason Card, retail operations, product licensing, vending, and Campus Police. Operations and Business Services includes University Business Consulting, an internal management consulting project team the solves complex operational and business problems, conducts strategic business planning, improves processes and efficiencies in institution operations, and helps ensure cost-effective resource utilization of university-wide administrative functions.
Patrick joined Mason in 2012 and is the Chief Business Officer and Executive Director of Finance and Operations for Operations and Business Services. In that role, he manages the business planning, budgeting, and financial analysis of Operations and Business Services.
Prior to joining Mason, Patrick worked in banking and financial services managing corporate equity financial transactions, business planning, venture capital, and real estate investments. He has extensive experience marketing and investing in businesses and corporate assets, and working with small growing businesses. He has been a member of several private business and not-for-profit Boards of Directors. Patrick received his Bachelor of Arts from the College of William and Mary, and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Dr. Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm is the Dean of the College of Science at George Mason University. He is a hydrologist and water resources engineer with research interests in modeling of surface and groundwater systems, climate-hydrology-vegetation interactions, remote sensing applied to hydrologic cycle processes and water quality, and modeling of the water-energy-food nexus. He has been a Principal Investigator in over $300M research sponsored by NASA, NOAA, NSF, USDA, USAID, the World Bank and other agencies, and has worked as a research and consultant in water resources projects in the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Europe for over 25 years. Prior to coming to Mason, he served on the faculty at Northeastern University, the University of Miami, Florida International University, and the University of Maryland. He also spent 5 years as a civil servant at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington DC. He earned a Mechanical Engineering diploma from Universidad Simón Bolívar in Caracas, Venezuela (1987), a MS in Engineering from the University of California, Irvine (1989), and a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1993).
Fernando is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and a Diplomate of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Massachusetts and Florida.
Janette Kenner Muir is the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at George Mason University. Prior to this position, she served for five years as the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education. Currently her primary responsibilities include: overseeing the Registrar’s Office, the Office of Accreditation and Program Integrity, and Robison Professors. She manages external relations with the Northern Virginia Community College system and the State Council for Higher Education, and she serves as the chief academic liaison to Mason Korea.
Dr. Muir’s academic life focuses in the areas of political communication, civic engagement and the study of the presidency (from campaigns to spouses). For the last few presidential elections she has taken a class to New Hampshire to observe, first hand, the primary process in action. Working with University Life, she has helped lead efforts engaging students in political participation on campus. She is an editor of the volume Readings in Political Communication, and was featured in a Harvard International Review symposium, writing about media, politics and citizen participation. She edited a volume honoring the life of Jane Blankenship, a leading rhetorical critic of the 20th century, published in the political communication series of Lexington Books. Her recent work focuses on Hillary Clinton in A Companion to First Ladies, published by Wiley Blackwell.
Committed to teaching excellence, Dr. Muir has been nationally recognized for the quality of her teaching, winning the Donald Eckroyd and Caroline Drummond Eckroyd Distinguished Teaching Award, and the George Mason University Teaching Excellence Award. She was named a Teaching Fellow for the Eastern Communication Association, and awarded a C-SPAN Fellow for her educational involvement with the cable network. She has been named a Centennial Scholar in the Communication discipline. She is past president of the Eastern Communication Association, and past editor of Communication Quarterly, a top-tier journal in the Communication discipline. Dr. Muir served on Mason’s Faculty Senate for five years in the position of Academic Policies Chair, and she served as an elected faculty representative to the Board of Visitors for four years.
Dr. Muir’s Ph.D. is from the University of Massachusetts in the area of rhetoric and political communication. She also has degrees from Wake Forest University (MA, Communication) and Palm Beach Atlantic University (BS, Double major in Behavioral Science and Communication Arts). Her husband, Star Muir, is an associate professor at Mason in the Communication Department.
Alpaslan Özerdem is the Dean of the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution and professor of peace and conflict studies. Prior to his appointment as Dean in August 2019, Dr Özerdem was Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at Coventry University in the UK.
As the co-founder and co-director of the Coventry University’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, which is the largest peace studies centre in the UK, Dr Özerdem specializes in conflict resolution, peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction. With over 20 year field research experience in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, El Salvador, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Nigeria, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan and Turkey, Dr Özerdem has undertaken numerous research projects that were funded by the UK’s Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) (faith-based conflict prevention); British Academy (youth and peacebuilding); US Institute of Peace (reintegration of ex-combatants); and various European Union funding schemes (conflict transformation and leadership).
Dr Özerdem has published extensively (14 books and numerous journal articles, book chapters and op-eds) and amongst others, is author of Post-war Recovery: Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (2008); co-author of Managing Emergencies and Crises (2011); co-editor of Child Soldiers: From Recruitment to Reintegration (2011); co-author of Peace in Turkey 2023: The Question of Human Security and Conflict Transformation (2013); co-editor of Human Security in Turkey (2013); co-author of Youth in Conflict and Peacebuilding: Mobilization, Reintegration and Reconciliation (2015); co-editor of Local Ownership in International Peacebuilding (2015); co-author of Peacebuilding: An Introduction (2015); co-editor of Conflict Transformation and the Palestinians: The Dynamics of Peace and Justice under Occupation (2016); co-editor of Routledge Handbook of Turkish Politics (2019), and co-editor of Comparing Peace Processes (2019).
Dr Özerdem has also taken an active role in the initiation and management of several advisory and applied research projects for a wide range of national and international organizations such as the United Nations and international NGOs. He also runs tailor-made and in-country professional training programs for a wide range of audiences from humanitarian aid practitioners to civil servants and policy makers. Dr Özerdem is a frequent speaker and workshop leader for events organized by the private sector, higher education institutions, international organizations and governmental authorities. He is a member of the Anna Lindh Foundation Scientific Committee, and received his Professor Extraordinary in Politics title by Stellenbosch University in 2017 and visiting professorship to the Jiangsu University and Coventry University in 2019.
Pam Patterson is Associate Vice President for University Life at George Mason University. Prior to coming to George Mason, Dr. Patterson served in student affairs leadership positions at Montana State University, the University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse, and the University of Georgia. She is a graduate of Georgetown University’s Leadership Coaching Program and is an executive leadership coach certified through the International Coaching Federation with the credential of Professional Certified Coach (PCC). Her interests include the science and application of well-being, leader development, and coaching. Dr. Patterson is also licensed and certified by the Institute of HeartMath as a Resilience Advantage Trainer.
At George Mason, she was a member of a team that created and implemented a leadership development curriculum for executive education and a separate program for faculty and staff. Dr. Patterson is a co-founder and co-chair of MasonLeads, the Leadership Legacy Program, and serves as co-director of the Advanced Coaching Program in Leadership & Well-Being and co-director of the Strengths Academy. Dr. Patterson received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Eastern Illinois University and earned her doctorate in higher education from George Mason University.
Maury Peiperl joined Mason as Dean of the School of Business in August 2017. Previously he was Director (Dean) of Cranfield School of Management, one of the UK’s leading MBA and Executive Development institutions, as well as a Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University. Before Cranfield, Peiperl spent 10 years as Professor of Leadership and Strategic Change at IMD in Switzerland, where he developed and directed numerous executive development courses and held a variety of administrative roles.
From 1992 to 2004, Peiperl was a professor at London Business School, where he co-founded the pioneering EMBA—Global program (joint with Columbia) as well as creating the Managing Change and Global Business Leader courses and the Leadership for Change executive program.
Peiperl has designed and directed executive programs for many clients including Adecco, Carrefour, CEIBS, Coca-Cola, Deloitte, EDS, GlaxoSmithKline, IATA, Nortel Networks, OMV, Otis, Rentokil, Rockwool, Santander, SEB, UPM, among others.
Peiperl’s areas of research interest are top management learning, executive careers, change management, talent strategy and global mobility. He has taught, researched and consulted in these areas in some 32 countries on 6 continents. He is co-author of the leading textbook on change management, Managing Change (McGraw Hill), as well as two books on careers and work, Career Frontiers and Career Creativity (Oxford) and the central reference in the careers field, The Handbook of Career Studies (Sage). He has also published in Harvard Business Review, Academy of Management Review, Human Resource Management, Group & Organization Management and the Journal of International Business Studies, among others. He is the winner of multiple research awards, including an Emerald Literati award in 2017 for the paper “Cosmopolitanism in a Globalized World” (with Orly Levy and Karsten Jonsen).
Peiperl has held visiting or affiliate appointments at MIT, Maryland, Georgetown, HEC Paris, and Templeton College, Oxford. Before becoming a professor he worked for IBM, Merrill Lynch and LEK Consulting and as a research fellow at Harvard Business School.
Outside his teaching and research, Peiperl sits on the boards of several start-ups, as well as the Alumni Council of Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He spent 6 years as a trustee of UK anti-trafficking charity HERA, for which he now acts as Ambassador.
Peiperl holds a BS in Engineering from Princeton University and an MBA, AM and PhD from Harvard University. In February of 2017, he was named a Fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences.
Ken Randall is the Allison and Dorothy Rouse Dean and GMU Foundation Professor of Law at the Antonin Scalia Law School. He joined the Scalia Law faculty, and began his deanship, in December 2020.
Dr. Randall started his legal career with the New York law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. His academic career began in 1985 when he joined University of Alabama School of Law's faculty. Eight years later, he became dean of Alabama Law, a role he held for two decades. Dr. Randall’s tenure at Alabama was a period of significant transformation as he established the first online LLM delivered by an ABA-accredited law school and propelled Alabama’s U.S. News ranking from 96 to 21, then the greatest jump in the history of the U.S. News law school rankings. He was named as one of the last decade’s “Transformative Deans.”
Dr. Randall received a JD from Hofstra, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review and Outstanding Law Graduate; an LLM from Yale; and an LLM and JSD from Columbia. His original subject area was International Law; his research and writing has appeared in the Columbia, Texas, Minnesota, Washington University (St. Louis), Ohio State, and N.Y.U. International law reviews, and Duke University Press published his International Law book. Dr. Randall later moved into teaching business-related courses; mid-career he took executive education courses at Harvard Business School and the Columbia Business School. The Alabama law students voted Dr. Randall the Outstanding Professor in his second year of teaching, while BLSA twice chose Dr. Randall as its Professor of the Year. He has served the American Bar Association as an inspector for the re-accreditation of more than a dozen law schools throughout the nation. He chaired the ABA committee from which legal education’s distance education rules originated.
In addition to his academic accomplishments, Dr. Randall has also excelled as an entrepreneur. In 2013, he founded iLaw Distance Education, which became the market leader in distance education. In 2017, iLaw was acquired by BARBRI Holdings, through Leeds Capital (NY), and Randall continued to lead the company until he accepted the Scalia Law deanship. He has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations and privately held businesses. Dr. Randall maintains active bar licenses (NY and AL).
Erin’s journey with Mason began in 2008 as a student in the undergraduate program of Tourism & Events Management. Erin became plugged into the Mason community after joining the University Life SciTech campus staff in 2010 as the Special Events Coordinator Assistant. She continued to serve in multiple event and hospitality capacities through her four years and stayed on with Mason after graduation in her current classified staff position as Events Coordinator at the Science & Technology campus.
Erin became a member of the Staff Senate in 2016, and before long was nominated as Vice Chair in 2018 and now serves as Chair of the Staff Senate. As Chair and a member of the Staff Senate Erin works hard to maintain communications across all campuses, and build a collaborative relationship with Mason leadership.
Erin is currently working on obtaining her CMP, Certified Meeting Planner certificate, and enjoys spending her free time going on hikes with her husband and friends.
Carl Rowan Jr. possesses a unique combination of legal and law enforcement experience that is particularly well suited for sophisticated law enforcement and security policy development and problem solving. He was presented the “2013 Golden Best Award for Safety and Security” by the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District in Washington, DC, which is comprised of Washington’s major business leaders. He is a subject matter expert on active shooter matters and lectures extensively on that, and other, emergency preparedness issues.
He began his law enforcement career as a Deputy US Marshal in Washington, DC, where he handled diverse matters such as fugitive investigations, witness and judicial protection. He later left the Marshal’s Service to attend the Georgetown University Law Center where he graduated in 1978 with a Juris Doctor degree and gained entry to the DC Bar Association.
He then joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a Special Agent in the metro Washington area where he specialized in violent crime investigations, undercover assignments, and SWAT operations. He later became a supervisor in the FBI Legal Counsel Division at FBI Headquarters and handled a wide range of civil claims against the agency and also provided investigatory legal support to agents in the field.
Upon leaving the FBI, Mr. Rowan entered the private practice of law specializing in administrative, regulatory, and legislative matters, as well as white collar crime counseling and internal investigations. He became a partner in a major national law firm, but also maintained a corporate security consulting firm with a former US Secret Service agent and a former member of the US intelligence service. The company focused on investigations, due diligence inquiries, and protection matters for corporations and government clients.
In 2000, he was named the Vice President for Global Security at a multi-billion dollar software company based in San Mateo, California with 130 offices in 34 counties. He managed a staff of 40, including investigators, an executive protection team, and a contract security element. His security department also worked closely with the Silicon Valley High Tech Crimes Task Force, the US Secret Service, and the FBI on cases involving theft of identity, corporate espionage, and Russian organized crime.
He returned to the Washington, DC area in 2002 as a Chief of Police to lead the law enforcement functions of a highly specialized rail and transportation company, created post 9/11, to support security agencies of the federal government on a global basis. The company’s security division was certified as a law enforcement agency by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Mark Smith joined George Mason University in August of 2013 after having spent nearly two decades leading government relations efforts at Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition to his experience in academia, Mr. Smith completed an additional decade of service to the Commonwealth, including having served as Assistant Secretary of Education, Executive Assistant for the Secretary of Transportation and Public Safety, Division Administrative Manager in the Attorney General’s Office, and as a staffer for both the Virginia House and Senate Clerks’ Offices which are responsible for the daily operations of the General Assembly.
Mr. Smith is active in the community as well, serving as a member of the advisory committee for the YMCA Model General Assembly, the Virginia YMCA Board of Directors, the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign, and as a member of the Review Committee for the Virginia State Employee Emergency Fund. Past service includes having been appointed to the Virginia Board of Conservation and Recreation, and to the National Kidney Foundation and its Virginia affiliate where his work resulted in several awards for distinguished leadership. He was also recognized for leadership and involvement in the Richmond Jaycees.
At Mason, Mr. Smith serves as chief liaison between the University and entities of the Commonwealth, including elected and appointed officials in the executive and legislative branches as well as numerous state agencies that interface with a variety of University offices. In concert with the University’s leadership team, he facilitates the establishment of the University’s state budget and legislative priorities while planning and leading the execution of strategies to advance Mason’s agenda year-round in Richmond.
Mr. Smith graduated with honors from Virginia Commonwealth University with a major in Administration of Justice and Public Safety and a minor in Political Science. He later earned a Master of Science in Public Administration, also from VCU.
Mr. Strike has more than 30 years of experience in project management, contracting, design, facilities operations and management. He has a proven record of achievement serving as a senior executive developing and leading high performing, highly complex organizations. He has managed the full range of facilities engineering, project management, environmental, transportation, contracting, and public works services to include associated financial, acquisition, and real property management supporting port and airfield operations, research, education and training, administrative, industrial, and community support facilities.
Mr. Strike currently holds the position of Director of Project Management and Construction at George Mason University where he is responsible for developing, managing, and executing a capital and non-capital design and construction program in excess of $100 million. He also held the position of Director of Facilities Management at George Mason University where he was responsible for energy management, infrastructure and records, facility condition and assessment programs, and for the maintenance of over 8.5 million square feet of buildings. Mr. Strike has been the Vice President for Facilities since January 2018.
Prior to joining Mason Mr. Strike was the Business Director for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command in Norfolk, VA where he was responsible for 13,000 employees and a business volume exceeding $12 billion annually. In addition, he served as the Executive Director of the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic; Business Manager and Utilities Department Head at Navy Public Works Center, Norfolk, and the Deputy Public Works Officer at Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown.
Mr. Strike holds several degrees including a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University, a Master of Engineering from Old Dominion University, and a Master of Business Administration from the College of William and Mary. He is also a Registered Professional Engineer in Virginia.
Mr. Strike lives in Fairfax, Virginia with his wife Estrella and they have two daughters.
Dr. Bethany M. Usher, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, takes students to graveyards - she is a biological anthropologist who studies cemeteries from both osteological and archaeological perspectives to understand the social structure and health of past communities. She is passionate about getting students to apply their classroom experiences and learn how fun and exciting it is to tackle intellectual challenges.
Bethany directed the Students as Scholars initiative through the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR), and served as an Associate Director of the Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence (CTFE) at Mason from 2010-2016. She chairs the Councilor for Undergraduate Research Program Directors Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), and was Co-Chair of the CUR National Meeting in 2014, Creating the Citizens of Tomorrow: Undergraduate Research for All. Prior to joining Mason in January 2010, she was faculty at the State University of New York at Potsdam, where she established the Center for Undergraduate Research and served as its Director. At SUNY Potsdam, she was an Associate Professor of Biological Anthropology and past chair of the Anthropology Department. She has a long history of collaborating with undergraduate researchers.
Tobi Walsh is the University’s Assistant Vice President of Capital Strategy and Planning. Before joining Mason in July 2020, Ms. Walsh served as Principal Educational Facility Planner at the University of California, Irvine, where she implemented planning process improvements for the department and managed strategic priority projects for the university.
Ms. Walsh spent the first decade of her career practicing as a licensed Civil Engineer in the fields of geotechnical and environmental engineering. She led projects including environmental site assessments, geotechnical soils investigations, leaking underground storage tank site remediation, Superfund/RCRA site hazardous waste remediation, and design and monitoring of impoundments for mining, landfill, and industrial waste. Ms. Walsh is an expert database programmer, who applied technology solutions to streamline and automate data collection and analyses as part of her civil and environmental engineering work. She leveraged this data-driven approach in private practice for nearly two decades consulting in the fields of civil engineering, construction, real estate development, and process improvement, which included the development of custom technology solutions relating to construction project management, job costing, accounting, customer management, and inventory control.
Ms. Walsh holds a Master of Science in Construction Management & Business Administration from Arizona State University. Her Bachelor of Science Civil Engineering was also from Arizona State University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and was honored as the Outstanding Graduate in Civil Engineering.
Mr. Zenelis has been leading Mason’s libraries for the past eighteen years. From 2001 to June 2013, he also fulfilled responsibilities as Associate Vice President for Information Technology. Beginning July 2013, he assumed responsibility for the GMU Press.
He joined George Mason University from Temple University where he served in senior administrative roles in the university’s library system. Earlier, he held progressively higher-level management positions at the Columbia University Libraries. He began his career in research librarianship at The Research Libraries, The New York Public Library.
Under Mr. Zenelis’s leadership, Mason’s library system has transformed into a significant, dynamic, and innovative organization. Its services and programs closely align with the academic and research programs of the university’s schools and colleges. Having emerged into a research-level library, it is steadily accruing national recognition for Mason with significant advances including: the completion of the impressive state-of-the-art Fenwick Library addition; the newly-launched Digital Scholarship Center (DiSC); robust growth in collections (especially digital scholarly resources), and noteworthy special collections; Mason Publishing’s enterprise–level service with specialized information and research materials to learners and researchers; implementation of a host of programs and services in the forefront of academic research librarianship; and accomplished library faculty and staff able to anticipate and meet the rapidly evolving needs of Mason’s academic and research programs.
Mr. Zenelis also implemented the Libraries’ development/advancement program with accomplishments that include: securing donor funds, grants, and appraised in-kind gifts; establishment of an external Library Advisory Board; endowments for library collections and programs; a growing number of estate planning commitments; grants-seeking activities resulting in successful funding for a variety of educational- and collections-related projects from foundations and government agencies; and development of the Libraries’ naming opportunities proposal.
He represents Mason in his area of responsibility externally, serving actively or recently in leadership roles, with these organizations: Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, Washington Research Libraries Consortium, Library Advisory Committee of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the landmark Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) program, and The Center for Research Libraries.
Mr. Zenelis’ educational background includes political science with degrees from Temple University (B.A.) and the Graduate School & University Center, The City University of New York (M.A.), and library and information science (MLS) from the University of Pittsburgh.
Julie Zobel is currently the Assistant Vice President for Safety, Emergency and Enterprise Risk Management. She began working in the area of safety and compliance for Mason in 2000 as the University Biological Safety Officer, Chemical Hygiene Officer, and Assistant Radiation Safety Officer. She was quickly promoted through the ranks to Director of Laboratory Safety. In 2007, her role expanded as she worked with university officials to establish the university’s Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS). Ms. Zobel’s role was expanded again in 2015 when she became responsible for the Office of Risk Management (ORM). EHS and ORM functional areas include emergency management, environmental compliance, fire safety, laboratory safety, occupational health, occupational safety, and traditional risk management with regard to insurance and claims management, as well as enterprise risk management.
Dr. Zobel earned dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Hazardous Materials/Environmental Management and Civil Engineering from the University of Findlay and the University of Akron, respectively. She earned an M.S. in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Environmental Engineering from the University of Akron. Ms. Zobel went on to earn her Ph.D. in Biodefense from George Mason University where her research addressed the role of naturally occurring Bacillus anthracis in biological incident preparedness and response. She is a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager at the master’s level, a Registered Biosafety Professional through the American Biological Safety Association, and a member of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honors society.
Prior to working at Mason, Ms. Zobel was employed as an environmental consultant where she was responsible for modeling contaminant fate and transport, bioremediation projects, and environmental site assessments.
Dr. Banville earned her Ph.D. at Université Laval, Canada in 1998 and has been employed at George Mason since 1999. She is the Director of the Division of Health and Human Performance which includes four undergraduate academic programs (Athletic Training, Kinesiology, Therapeutic Recreation, and Health and Physical Education Teaching Licensure Program) and two graduate programs (Exercise, Fitness, and Health Promotion and Athletic Training). She is also the Academic Program Coordinator for the Health and Physical Education Licensure Program.
Since July 2016, Dr. Banville serves as the Faculty Athletic Representative for George Mason University. In that role she evaluates and ensures the academic integrity of the intercollegiate athletics program, facilitates institutional control of athletics, and works at enhancing the student-athlete experience.
Dr. Banville's research interests focus on the curriculum and instruction of physical education in the schools, and the preparation, induction, and professional development of physical education teachers. She has investigated the impact of a teacher induction program on teacher success and retention in the profession, and is currently looking at the training of cooperating teachers, and the impact of the implementation of an after-school curriculum on low socio-economic kids. She is a member of many professional associations (SHAPE America, AERA, AIESEP, VAHPERD) and a fellow of the Research Consortium of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD - now SHAPE America).
For more information about the George Mason University Athletic Council, go here.