George Mason University names new president
Gregory Washington is dean of University of California, Irvine's School of Engineering
The George Mason University Board of Visitors has selected Gregory Washington, the dean of the University of California, Irvine’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering, as the eighth president of George Mason.
Washington will start on July 1. He takes over from former state Secretary of Education Anne Holton, who has served as the university’s interim president since August, when former GMU President Ángel Cabrera left to become president of Georgia Tech.
“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 George Mason University Rector Tom Davis said in a statement issued Monday. “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.”
In his time at UC-Irvine, Washington launched new graduate and undergraduate programs and has been leading the development of the school’s Horiba Institute for Mobility and Connectivity. In addition to overseeing significant expansions of the engineering school’s student body, Washington also started a freshman learning initiative that resulted in more than 60% of undergraduate engineering students conducting research. He also established OC STEM, an initiative to encourage children to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. And he spearheaded an initiative aimed at helping local community college students transfer to four-year universities.
He will be Mason’s first African American president.
A member of the National Science Foundation Engineering Advisory Committee, Washington specializes in the research of dynamic systems, with an emphasis on the modeling and control of smart material structures and systems. The author of more than 150 published articles, he is also a past chair of the American Society for Engineering Education — Engineering Deans Council.
Washington earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from North Carolina State University.
“I am honored to accept this position and thrilled to lead Mason at this exciting time,” Washington said. “What attracted me to Mason was its reputation for having 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. I look forward to helping continue to accelerate the trajectory of the institution. The Mason community has laid an extraordinary foundation and my job is take us forward and build on that success. I feel really blessed to have been given this opportunity and can’t wait to get started.”