American Univesity of Beirut

Announcement of the new Mamdouha El-Sayed Bobst Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

​Dear members of the AUB community,

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Farès Dahdah as the Mamdouha El-Sayed Bobst Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) at the American University of Beirut, effective January 1, 2023. This follows an international search by a committee representing trustees, faculty, staff, and alumni, co-led by Board Chair Philip Khoury and Provost Zaher Dawy, that identified an outstanding dean for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences who combines a wealth of multidisciplinary academic experience with a proven track record of innovative, skilled leadership.

Professor Dahdah comes to AUB from Rice University in Houston, Texas where he is currently professor of art history and co-director of the Museums and Cultural Heritage program. He is a world-renowned expert in the architecture and urbanism of Brazil as well as in digital art history. He completed his undergraduate work at the Rhode Island School of Design, earning degrees in fine arts (BFA '86) and architecture (BArch '87). He then moved to Harvard University where he earned a master of architecture in urban design (MAUD '89) and a doctor of design (DDes '92). The majority of his academic career has been at Rice, where he progressed through the professorial ranks in the School of Architecture, including fifteen years as director of the graduate program. Following his appointment as director of the Humanities Research Center (HRC), he was named professor of the humanities in 2014 and professor of art history in 2021. He has also been a visiting scholar in urban planning and design at Harvard University several times as well as a visiting fellow at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and the Canadian Center for Architecture.

Professor Dahdah's extensive administrative experience speaks to his proven capacity to lead in a variety of settings and communicate with diverse stakeholders across disciplines. The HRC, which he directed from 2012 to 2021, is a hub for fostering intellectual inquiry and research in the humanities and arts with a strong multidisciplinary focus. Dr. Dahdah also has broad expertise in digital tools, methods, data, and visualization, and serves as chair of Rice's University Committee on Information Technology. He currently leads a Spatial Studies Lab, designing and creating novel online geospatial platforms in the areas of cultural heritage, public health, social justice, and resilience.

Professor Dahdah brings to this position a fresh perspective with a determination to evolve academic offerings, shape facilities, and advance research at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He has a strong track record in fundraising for research in the humanities and has spearheaded major initiatives with international partners. Most importantly, he is motivated to make a difference and impact at AUB, not only in helping preserve the university's ethos and excellence, and propel them forward, but also to effect positive change for Lebanon. He envisions a pivotal role for FAS and AUB in the current situation and all those involved in his selection are convinced he is the right person at the right time.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Dahdah and wishing him every success as he assumes the helm of AUB's first and largest faculty.


Best regards,

Fadlo R. Khuri, MD


Office of the President

American University of Beirut​
T +961 1 35 00 00 – Ext 2500

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