ByGeorge! Online

March 4, 2003

Fulbright Commission Looks to GW to Help Put the “Egypt” in EMBA

By Brian Krause

Located in the cradle of civilization, the roots of marketing can be traced back to Egyptian bazaars. Now millennia later, Egypt is making business history again.

The School of Business and Public Management (SBPM) has been awarded a grant from the Fulbright Commission to assist Alexandria University in Egypt in creating the first Executive MBA program in the region.

“It is a very competitive project and a very prestigious award,” says Salah Hassan, associate professor of business administration at GW and director of the Alexandria University Executive MBA program. “Universities awarded this grant are very few. It brings about great recognition for a university.”

The program is one of several that the Fulbright Commission in Egypt administers under its University Partnership Program, designed to link a US and Egyptian university to facilitate the exchange of ideas and expertise over the course of two years.

“Our goal is to establish and launch a new Executive MBA program for Alexandria University,” says Hassan. “That means curriculum design, enhancement of learning resources, and supplementing it with world-class standards. We have done this quite successfully at GW. We are trying to share this success story with another country.”

The first such program created in the DC metropolitan area, GW’s curriculum is aimed at mid-level executives on the rise in their companies. An intensive program, it is designed to leave graduates ready to tackle senior management responsibility.

By meeting with business leaders in Egypt, Hassan organized the program’s budget, and customized the course syllabi and curriculum to directly address the needs of the executives and students. The two universities hope to enhance their business programs with applied case studies and tools that flavor the curriculum with experiences from other countries.

“In Egypt, we are seeing a market in transition. We are seeing things we usually only get to read about in textbooks,” says Hassan. “It also gives us learning resources that can be useful in the classroom as examples of globalization and marketing challenges.

Bob Dyer, director of GW’s Executive MBA Program, believes that the partnership will not only benefit the GW and Alexandria University communities, but will help US relations in the Middle East.

“It is meaningful that in these kinds of times, with the potential for war with Iraq, that we’re doing something that involves an educational collaboration effort with a major school in an Arab nation,” says Dyer. “We are building linkages and ties between countries through active academic cooperation.”

According to Dyer, GW professors and students will continue to play an active role in guiding Alexandria University over the next few years.

“When you’re mentoring a school, giving them the plan and walking away is not helpful,” says Dyer. “That doesn’t mean we control it, but we can be helpful to them when things get rocky.”

Other SBPM faculty members, including Mark Starik, associate professor of strategic management and public policy; Mary Granger, professor of management science; Liesl Riddle, assistant professor of international business; and John Glascock, Oliver T. Carr, Jr., Professor of Finance, also have been working to launch the new program, which is scheduled to start next fall. They gave presentations outlining how the GW program works during a recent trip to Egypt.

“It’s a wonderful deal for GW,” says Dyer. “Professor Hassan has done a marvelously energetic job. It was very warm to see how enthusiastic people [in Egypt] were about GW and its role cooperating with other universities.”


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