Dr. Gregory Washington, a three-time graduate of the College of Engineering at NC State, has been named as the eighth president of George Mason University.
The university’s Board of Visitors announced the appointment on Monday, Feb. 24. Washington is currently the dean of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering at University of California, Irvine. He will join George Mason on July 1, 2020.
Washington earned bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from NC State. He is a member of the NC State Engineering Foundation’s board of directors.
“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.”
Washington is George Mason’s first African-American president. At UC, Irvine, he was the first African-American dean of engineering at any of the University of California campuses.
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, 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.
He is a proven leader in both faculty recruitment and enrollment, having hired one of the most diverse engineering faculty cohorts in the country — more than 60 new faculty members with more than 40 percent of those faculty members being women or underrepresented. In addition, he expanded undergraduate enrollment by 1,100 students and graduate enrollment by more than 200 in seven years. He also launched a freshman experiential learning initiative that has led to more than 60 percent of UCI undergraduate engineering students conducting research.
He also established OC STEM, one of the nation’s first STEM ecosystems, in Orange County, which impacts more than 2,500 students per year and more than 250 K-12 teachers and administrators. He also established a citywide effort to help community college students transfer to four-year institutions.