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A New Site for a Global Georgetown

Since its foundation in 1789, Georgetown has aspired to foster dialogue and collaboration across different perspectives. In 1789, its unusual openness to students from different religious backgrounds was a significant foundational attribute. A partner attribute to this devotion was its global orientation, increasingly drawing on students from throughout the world. A global reach naturally fosters juxtaposition of different ways of thinking inherent in diverse cultures and thereby enhances the educational experiences of all students.

Of course, the Washington DC location of Georgetown, with its embassies, international multilateral institutions, and global nongovernmental organizations, aided the attraction of both faculty and students who thirsted for global focus. Our faculty are active in every region of the world, studying both the past and the present of societies and the natural world, and collaborating with scholars in many countries. While studying other cultures and consuming research in one’s field globally reinforces the value of such perspective among students, it admittedly remains one step removed from day-to-day life in another society.

Over the past few decades, with strong faculty leadership, Georgetown has established greater presence outside the US. For some years, our law school has participated in the Center for Transnational Legal Studies in London, exposing students to formal training in legal structures and processes across several countries. The Villa le Blaze in Florence has been a home for undergraduate courses taught by Georgetown Hilltop faculty for some years. Nearly twenty years ago, the School of Foreign Service established SFS-Q, a physical presence in Doha, Qatar, offering a BS in Foreign Service with a curriculum identical to that of the DC location. Over time, SFS-Q evolved to GU-Q, as the School of Business and the School of Continuing Studies offered other educational programs. The Georgetown Initiative on Innovation, Development and Evaluation (GUi2DE) supports a research office in Nairobi, Kenya, conducting research related to economic development, including novel randomized controlled trials of innovation in delivery of services. More recently, the Center for Global Health Practice and Impact has led innovative studies and interventions for health service delivery in the Africa, with hundreds of Georgetown employees executing its mission.

This post is being written in Dubai, fresh from a ribbon-cutting for the newest Georgetown program at a nonUS site – the McDonough School of Business Executive Master of Business Administration. The establishment of this site followed years of encouragement of Georgetown alumni to serve the educational needs of mid-career executives in the private, nonprofit, and government sectors in that part of the world.

The degree is identical to the Hilltop Executive MBA program, with both US and Emirati accreditation, with four-days of face-to-face meeting per month and ongoing work remotely. The two-year program involves residencies in multiple locations, during which student teams work on consulting projects solving real problems in real-time for Fortune 500 and other enterprises.

The physical site of the program lies within the Dubai International Financial Centre, a legal entity within Dubai that permitted Georgetown to build its educational program without an Emirati sponsor. There was strong support from Dubai partners in the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the DIFC leadership.

This week’s opening session introduced the founding cohort of Dubai EMBA students. As with the best EMBA programs, the students occupy influential levels of authority in their organizations; they are successes already. Some are CEO’s; some, COO’s; some lead important divisions of global firms. They represent almost all sectors of the economy. As was expected in the first cohort, most students are Emirati, but some are not. A key notion of the cohort model is that students work together in teams as part of the active learning design. Early evidence suggests this group will bond in a way that will enhance their learning.

Over the years, Georgetown’s aspiration is that the Dubai program will educate professionals throughout that part of the world, expanding the Georgetown community to populations that cannot be served well with a DC-location alone.

This new Georgetown program adds to the ways Georgetown seeks to build a better world. Congratulations to the McDonough School of Business for this innovation!

4 thoughts on “A New Site for a Global Georgetown

  1. Georgetown’s dedication to global engagement is impressive, from its early openness to diverse perspectives to its recent expansion into Dubai with the McDonough School of Business Executive MBA program. This move not only offers valuable education but also fosters collaboration and understanding among professionals in the region. Kudos to Georgetown for its commitment to building a better world through education!

  2. Great summary of GU in the world. I’d also add that the GU. school of Medicine under the 25 year leadership of Dr Irma Frank , has one of the best international study abroad programs of any medical school. About 50-60% of GU. Young doctors spend at least some time abroad studying Teaching, providing service and some are doing research on local health issues. Another example of Hoyas in the world connecting with and serving under served populations. Another part of a great , leading international university.
    Very proud of my Alma mater. Thanks you for this shout out to Georgetown CALLED TO BE in the world.

  3. Amazing you passed over Villa le Blaze in Florence which for decades has offered GU students excellent programs of study in Italy. This oversight is a serious error.

    • Agree ! the Villa is a Georgetown gem. However, my daughter who went to the villa during her time at GU, recently visited. It is sorely in need of funds. The students no longer live there , only eat lunch there and sadly Italian language is no longer offered! . It should be priority to help one of Georgetown’s early and premier programs . Hopefully Alums who had experienced the Villa help it to continue to flourish .

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