New Marymount Provost brings leadership, experience to new role

Marymount is proud to welcome the university’s new Provost, Hesham El-Rewini, Ph.D., P.E., who officially begins his duties on campus this week.

Dr. El-Rewini is a proven leader in higher education, and assumes his new position with nearly 30 years of experience at both private and public universities. He also brings to Marymount a successful track record in fundraising, strategic planning, program development and public speaking.

A Provost search committee selected Dr. El-Rewini from a national pool of highly-qualified candidates in February. He is expected to play a crucial role in the implementation of Marymount’s strategic plan, which seeks to transform the institution from a regionally recognized school to a nationally recognized and internationally renowned university.

“We have bold plans for the future of Marymount as we strive to become an elite Catholic institution that is nationally recognized for innovation,” said Dr. Irma Becerra, President of Marymount University. “We are honored to bring Dr. El-Rewini on board, and we are sure he will be instrumental in helping lead us into a new era of transformative education.”

“Many factors have attracted me to Marymount – most important of all are its talented people, strategic location near the nation’s capital, new strategic plan and incredible potential to be recognized among the very best universities nationally and internationally,” Dr. El-Rewini said. “I’m excited about working with the faculty and staff to strike a good balance between expanding our existing strong programs and offering new, innovative programs in strategically important areas to a larger pool of students.”

Most recently, Dr. El-Rewini served since 2008 as Dean of the College of Engineering and Mines at the University of North Dakota (UND). In addition, he concurrently served as Senior Vice Provost of UND from April 2017 to June 2018.

From 2008 to 2019, Dr. El-Rewini was instrumental in increasing both physical enrollment (119 percent for undergraduates, 158 percent for graduates and 420 percent for doctoral students) and online enrollment (285 percent). He also oversaw improved retention rates (78 percent to 81 percent) and increased college research expenditures (88 percent), as well as growth of student scholarships (221 percent) and total college endowment (313 percent).

Dr. El-Rewini even received an award from UND’s student government in 2016 for his dedication to student success. He credits his accomplishments to a collaborative leadership style that is honest, transparent and inclusive.

“I believe that decisions are more effective when varied opinions are included in the process,” Dr. El-Rewini said. “I want to promote a culture of togetherness…of collaboration, support, inspiration, empowerment and healthy debate. It’s a culture in which everyone knows for sure that they have something to do with every accomplishment and every success.”

Before his time at UND, Dr. El-Rewini served for seven years at Southern Methodist University as chair of the department of Computer Science and Engineering, and 11 years at the University of Nebraska at Omaha as assistant/associate/full professor and chair ad interim of the department of Computer Science. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Oregon State University.

Throughout his career in higher education, Dr. El-Rewini has led funded research projects, published numerous scholarly articles, supervised master’s and doctoral students and coauthored several books, including one of the earliest books written about parallel computing.

Dr. El-Rewini is married to Dr. Sherine Talaat, an internal medicine physician. Together, they have three children – daughter Zeinab, son Bassel and daughter Yassmine.

Since September 2018, Dr. Jeanne Matthews has served as the university’s interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. She is also the Dean and a Professor of Nursing at Marymount’s Malek School of Health Professions. Dr. Becerra thanks her for her dedication and leadership throughout this period of transition.