BEIRUT—A pioneer of non-invasive techniques that revolutionized brain surgery worldwide, Michel Mawad started his tenure as president of the Lebanese American University last year at the height of the economic crisis in Lebanon which, compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, entailed formidable challenges to higher education.
“We are trying seriously to extend our footprint outside Lebanon to bring in some fresh income to supplement the local revenues of the university, which have dropped dramatically,” Mawad said in a recent interview in his office.
Mawad returned to his home country in 2017 after spending more than 40 years in the United States. He served as the dean of the Lebanese American University’s medical school for nearly four years before being appointed the university’s president less than a year ago.
His approach to his new challenges is based on leadership skills that served him as a doctor and dean.
“It is the same principle in the sense of looking at the problem, finding the root cause of the problem, fixing it and moving on,” Mawad said. “This is the way physicians work, and this is how I am running this place.”