Ahmed Abdelal serves as Provost for the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. In this capacity, he provides leadership and oversight for academic, research, and outreach programs. Prior to joining UMass Lowell, Abdelal served as Provost at Northeastern University (2002-08), and as Dean of Arts and Sciences at Georgia State University (1992-2002).
Abdelal earned his Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of California, Davis, and carried out post-doctoral research at the same institution and at the Institute for Microbiology at the University of Gottingen, Germany. He is a member of the American Academy for Microbiology, the American Society for Biological Chemists, and the American Society for Industrial Microbiology. His research was supported by grants from NSF, NIH, DOE, and the Georgia Research Alliance. He has made numerous presentations at national meetings on topics in higher education.
At Northeastern, Abdelal provided leadership for developing and implementing a five-year strategic plan that strengthened interdisciplinary research and graduate education in the sciences and engineering with emphasis on emerging fields such as nanotechnology, and in the social sciences with emphasis on policy and urban affairs. Importantly, Abdelal worked successfully with the senior leadership team on advancing the university in 2007 to the top ranking tier by the US News and World Report.
At Georgia State University, Abdelal led the College of Arts and Sciences in developing vibrant interdisciplinary research and service centers spanning the diverse disciplines of Arts and Sciences. Under his leadership, the College increased research funding several fold, and considerably upgraded teaching and research facilities. The college also secured major funding from the Georgia Research Alliance in support of interdisciplinary research and emerging technologies, thus enhancing the role of the University as a key engine for economic development.
Abdelal has served recently on an Advisory Group for the Massachusetts Board for Higher Education, and the UMass System Taskforce on the Life Sciences. Abdelal is also providing leadership for developing an array of Professional Science Master’s (PSM) programs across UMass campuses. This new approach to graduate training combines disciplinary training with business fundamentals, communication, and an internship in industry. PSM has been recently advocated in a report by the National Academy of Sciences as an effective approach for workforce development in science applications.
Abdelal provided leadership at both Northeastern and Georgia State, and now UMass Lowell, for establishing partnerships for collaboration across disciplines with international institutions in various world regions.