Nemat Shafik is named first woman president at Columbia

Columbia University in the United States announced on Wednesday 18 January that Nemat ‘Minouche’ Shafik, an economist who has served as president of the London School of Economics since 2017, will be its next president. Shafik (60) will be the first woman to lead the Ivy League institution when she replaces current president Lee Bollinger in July, writes Kaitlyn Radde for NPR.

Other elite universities including Dartmouth, Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania also appointed women as their presidents in recent months.

The board of trustees called Shafik “the perfect candidate” in a letter to the Columbia community, describing her as a “brilliant and able global leader, a community builder, and a preeminent economist, who understands” higher education “and the world beyond it”. Shafik has extensive experience in financial institutions across the globe, serving as the World Bank’s vice-president, the International Monetary Fund’s deputy managing director and the Bank of England’s deputy governor. She was also the first woman to be president of the London School of Economics and the first woman to be permanent secretary of the UK Department for International Development.
Full report on the NPR site