Mason Welcomes Its Sixth President, Ángel Cabrera

By Daniel Walsch and Colleen Kearney Rich

As Mason’s incoming class of freshmen comes to campus for Orientation this summer, President Ángel Cabrera is experiencing an orientation of his own. On July 1, Cabrera became the sixth president of George Mason University.

For several weeks Cabrera has been making short visits to campus to prepare for his transition and getting up to speed on all things Mason. His calendar is already filling up as many are eager to get a meeting or have him attend events already being planned for the fall semester.

President Cabrera with students

While President Cabrera was able to enjoy some anonymity as he walked around campus in June, this year’s Patriot Leaders from Orientation recognized him right away. Photo by Alexis Glenn.

Prior to accepting his appointment at Mason, Cabrera served as president of the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona since 2004. Prior to joining Thunderbird, Cabrera was professor and dean at IE Business School in Madrid, Spain.

“After eight wonderful years at Thunderbird, I am honored to have been asked to lead one of the most innovative institutions in American higher education,” says Dr. Cabrera. “And I look forward to working with such a talented community of faculty and administrators.”

“Dr. Cabrera is a renowned scholar and a proven leader, and he is ably complemented by his wife, Beth. We believe we have selected an individual who is not only perfect for where Mason is now but where we hope to be in the years to come,” said Ernst Volgenau, rector of Mason’s Board of Visitors when he announced Cabrera’s selection.

President Cabrera on campus

President Cabrera outside Mason Hall with Interim Vice President Paul Liberty, who also leads his transition team. Photo by Alexis Glenn.

“Dr. Cabrera brings with him an impressive global vision, an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit in keeping with Mason’s, and an impressive commitment to collaboration,” says Mason alumna Lovey Hammel, who is a BOV member and was chair of the search committee that selected Cabrera.

Cabrera is a recognized global leader and management educator whose work and expertise have been tapped by top international organizations. The World Economic Forum named him a Global Leader for Tomorrow in 2002, a Young Global Leader in 2005 and chairman of the Global Agenda Council for promoting entrepreneurship in 2008.

In 2007, the United Nations asked him to chair the international task force that developed the “Principles for Responsible Management Education,” a voluntary framework to promote global corporate citizenship subscribed to by more than 400 business schools worldwide. He has been recognized by the Aspen Institute as a Henry Crown Fellow and by Financial Times as one of the top 20 business school leaders in the world.

President Cabrera at news conference

President Cabrera at the press conference announcing his appointment. Photo by Evan Cantwell.

An outspoken advocate of corporate social responsibility and management responsibility, Cabrera in 2005 inspired a student-led initiative that resulted in Thunderbird becoming the first business school in the world to formally adopt a professional oath of honor, a commitment to social responsibility and professional ethics taken by all graduate students. Also in 2005, the school established Thunderbird for Good, a philanthropic effort to provide business education to entrepreneurs in developing countries. Since then, several hundred women entrepreneurs have been trained in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Jordan, and Peru.

A native of Spain, Cabrera earned his PhD and MS from Georgia Institute of Technology, which he attended as a Fulbright Scholar, and a BS and MS in engineering from Madrid Polytechnical University, Spain’s premier engineering school. He has also written numerous papers in leading academic journals and presented at conferences. His book Being Global: How to Think, Act and Lead in a Transformed World was published this spring by Harvard Business Review Press.

He is married to Dr. Beth Cabrera, an organizational psychologist. They have two children.

Reprinted from the George Mason University website.