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Lebanese architect becomes first female dean at Columbia University


(NEW YORK, NY) — Lebanese architect Amale Andraos was appointed as the new dean of the Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning at Columbia University in New York City.

Andraos, who was born in Beirut and has practiced in Montrael, Paris, and Rotterdam, is the first woman to become a dean at the school, according to a statement released by the university on Tuesday.amale-andraos-dan-wood

Before joining Columbia University in 2011, Andraos, who is 41, taught at Princeton, Harvard, and the University of Pennsylvania in the United States, and at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon.

She also operates the New York design firm WorkAC with her husband, Dan Wood, who she met in Dutch City. They have designed the crystalline Diane von Furstenberg headquarters as well as the Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York and a new library in Kew Gardens, Queens.

“The university is very focused on global questions and global issues, and Amale’s background sort of bespeaks globalization,” Lee Bollinger, the university president, said in an interview. “It’s not a theory or buzz word, it’s who she is, and that’s very important.”

Andraos, who succeeds Mark Wigley, is said to be an accidental dean of sorts. She had been selected to the search committee for a new dean but was not on the short list of candidates.

After watching her work on the committee, Mr. Bollinger said, “we realized our next dean was sitting right in front of us.”

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