Angel Cabrera, president of George Mason University, has been named finalist to become the next president of the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents announced on June 6.
Dr. Cabrera’s selection came with accolades from Chancellor Steve Wrigley who cited his “strong record of improving student outcomes, increasing enrollment, strengthening research and enhancing stakeholder partnerships” during his seven year tenure as president of George Mason, which has about 37,700 students as of last fall on its main campus in Fairfax County and other locations in Northern Virginia. It also has a campus in South Korea.
He attended Georgia Tech as a Fulbright scholar where he earned his doctorate and master of science degrees in cognitive psychology. He is the first Spanish-born president of an American university and received both bachelor and master of science degrees in computer and electrical engineering from the Universidad Politecnica of Madrid.
According to the Regents’ search committee chair, Ben Tarbutton III, an “exhaustive and exciting” national search was conducted to find Dr. Cabrera, whom he called “the most qualified candidate for the job.”
Dr. Cabrera has deep and wide ranging international experience. Prior to his service as George Mason he headed the Thunderbird School of Global Management, which is now part of Arizona State University, and the IE Business School in Madrid.
He has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, a Henry Crown Fellow by the Aspen Institute and as a Great Immigrant by the Carnegie Corp.
He also has served on a number of prestigious boards including those of the National Geographic Society, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, where he chairs the Federal Reserve System National IT Committee, the Bankinter Foundation for Innovation, the Northern Virginia Technology Council and Inovio, a publicly trade biotech company.
He is a member of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board, which he chaired in 2011, and the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (Fulbright program). And he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served on the boards of NSF’s Education and Human Resources directorate, the academic board of Tec de Monterrey, as chairman of International Initiatives of the Association of Public and land Grant Universities and as past chairman of Virginia’s Council of Presidents.
Under the “finalist” system for selecting a president, Dr. Cabrera still is not officially appointed to the position. Regents Board Chairman Don Waters said in the news release, “I look forward to the next step in this process and to ensuring Georgia Tech’s next president will continue moving this top ten public institution forward.”
The finalist system has been criticized by students and faculty at some institutions of higher learning for limiting their input into the final selections. Global Atlanta was unable to find out what next steps are entailed for Dr. Cabrera to be officially inducted as president.
He is to replace this summer G. P. ‘Bud” Johnson, who has served as Georgia Tech’s president for the past decade, overseeing the university’s expansion in the number of programs offered, facilities constructed and students enrolled.