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A Timeline of Nemat Shafik’s Tenure as Columbia President

U.S.A Timeline of Nemat Shafik’s Tenure as Columbia President

Nemat Shafik was not even halfway through her first semester as president of Columbia University when protests related to the Israel-Hamas war began reverberating through college campuses across the United States.

Dr. Shafik, who is a native of Alexandria, Egypt, and goes by Minouche, is an economist who began her career at the World Bank. Her résumé includes time as the deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund and as the deputy governor of the Bank of England, and she has also served in the British House of Lords, the upper chamber of Parliament.

Like leaders at other American universities, she has had to contend in recent months with dueling protests, reports of antisemitism and Islamophobia on campus and questions of whether pro-Palestinian supporters have been unfairly silenced.

On Friday, the faculty senate is expected to vote on a resolution expressing displeasure with a series of her decisions, including her summoning of the New York Police Department last week to arrest students on campus.

Here is a timeline of her tenure at the university:

Jan. 18, 2023

The university’s board of trustees announces that Dr. Shafik, then the president of the London School of Economics and Political Science, will be the 20th president of Columbia.

July 1, 2023

Soon after Dr. Shafik’s first day as president, July 1, she tells Columbia Magazine that her leadership philosophy centers on leading from behind when possible. “Occasionally, you need to step out in front and point an institution in a different direction,” she says.


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