Three Georgetown University schools are kicking off the academic year with refreshed leadership, as the McDonough School of Business, the Georgetown College and the School of Foreign Service in Qatar welcome new deans.

Christopher S. Celenza started as the dean of the College on July 1, leaving his post as vice provost for faculty affairs at Johns Hopkins University. Celenza also served as a professor in the German and Romance languages and classics departments at Johns Hopkins.

Celenza said he is looking to balance maintaining Georgetown’s traditions with a need to prepare students for an uncertain future.

“On the one hand, the basic experience of the College for Georgetown students is one that really prepares them for life in a specific way, which is to say it can give you the sorts of tools that you can resituate yourself,” Celenza said in an interview with campus media. “We have to be willing and courageous enough to think that we can’t only do something just because we’ve always been doing it.”

University President John J. DeGioia announced Celenza’s appointment in a campuswide email March 2.

Paul Almeida became dean of the MSB, taking the reins from interim Dean Rohan Williamson. Williamson’s tenure started last August after the resignation of the school’s former dean of five years, David Thomas.

Ahmad S. Dallal takes over as dean of the SFS-Q on Sept. 1. Formerly a history professor at the American University in Beirut from 2009 to 2015, he succeeds former SFS-Q Dean James Reardon-Anderson, who had announced he would step down one year earlier than scheduled in July.

Dallal also served as chair of Georgetown’s Arabic and Islamic Studies department from 2003 to 2009. His work has focused on both past and present Islamic culture. He has published three books and over 40 articles on the history of Islamic thought and law, and has also served as an adviser to the planning committee of the primary exhibition at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City.

Dallal said he will look to strengthen SFS-Q’s existing presence in Qatar and seek paths to expansion.

“I hope to build on and continue the great work that the former deans have accomplished on two key fronts — anchoring Georgetown Qatar within the larger landscape of higher education in the country and the region and maintaining the academic excellence of current programs while exploring possibilities of future program expansion,” Dallal said in a university press release.

Almeida has been with the university in various capacities for more than two decades, most recently as a deputy dean for executive education, where he headed the school’s six executive graduate programs. His recent work also includs leading the school’s Innovation Initiative, which has sought to better integrate technology, organization and Jesuit values with the school’s curriculum.

Almeida also co-founded the internationally focused Global Executive MBA program, a collaboration among the MSB, SFS and business schools in Spain and Costa Rica.

“Paul is known throughout our academic community as a respected scholar and teacher who is deeply committed to our Catholic and Jesuit identity,” DeGioia wrote in an email announcing the appointment. “His research focuses on innovation, knowledge management, alliances, and information collaborations across firms and countries, and his work has been published in leading scholarly journals and books.”

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