Reena Aggarwal

vice provost for faculty; professor, mcdonough school of business

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Professor Aggarwal specializes in global financial markets, securities market regulation, capital raising, initial public offerings, institutional investors, private equity, valuation, stock exchange structure, and corporate governance. In 2015, her research was recognized for addressing global governance challenges and received the prestigious BlackRock-National Association of Corporate Directors Award. She was honored with the Allan N. Nash Distinguished Doctoral Graduate Award by University of Maryland. She serves on the editorial boards of major journals. She regularly presents her work to government agencies and at academic conferences. Dr. Aggarwal has previously held various positions including Interim Dean and Deputy Dean of Georgetown's McDonough School of Business; Visiting Professor of Finance at MIT's Sloan School of Management; FINRA Academic Fellow; Academic Fellow at the U.S. SEC; Visiting Research Scholar at the International Monetary Fund; and Fulbright Scholar to Brazil. Currently, she serves on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Future of Financing and Capital; and as a Distinguished Scholar at the Reserve Bank of India’s CAFRAL. 

Dr. Aggarwal has consulted for governments, law firms, companies, and for organizations including the IMF, World Bank, UN, IFC, OPIC, IADB, and OECD. She has provided advice to financial institutions, stock exchanges, and securities commissions in several countries, including India, China, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam, Ecuador and United States. Dr. Aggarwal serves on the Board of FBR & Co., IndexIQ, Brightwood Capital, and REAN Cloud. Her research and analysis is regularly cited in Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, CNBC, BusinessWeek, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes among others. She received a Ph.D. in finance from the University of Maryland and M.M.S. from BITS, India.


Paul Almeida

Dean, McDonough School of Business

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Paul Almeida is Dean of the McDonough School of Business. Professor Almeida is also the Co-director of the Georgetown-ESADE Global Executive MBA program. He received his Ph.D. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. 

Professor Almeida’s research studies innovation, knowledge management, alliances and informal collaborations across firms and countries. He is particularly interested in understanding how knowledge builds across people and organizations and how this affects performance. He has published in leading journals such as Strategic Management Journal, Management Science, Organization Science, Journal of International Business Studies, and Research Policy as well as in scholarly books. He has served on the editorial boards of several leading journals and as Area Editor for the Journal of International Business Studies. Professor Almeida was also previously Chair of the Technology and Innovation Management Division of the Academy of Management. He has received the Georgetown’s Faculty Research Award and the Dean’s Service Award. 

Professor Almeida currently teaches executives and MBAs at Georgetown in the areas of strategy, international business, technology and knowledge management. He has won the Joseph LeMoine Award for Graduate and Undergraduate Teaching Excellence, Best Professor Award for Executive Programs at Georgetown University, and is a seven-time winner of the Best Professor Award for Georgetown's Executive MBA program. 

Professor Almeida leads the Office of Executive Education and Innovation at MSB. The office focuses on developing and running innovative degree and customized certificate programs for executives with an emphasis on global education and technology-enhanced learning. Executive Education offers six highly successful degree programs including the Executive MBA (ranked #5 in the US by Financial Times), Georgetown-ESADE Global Executive MBA, Executive Master's in Leadership program (EML), EML for DC Public School Principals, Executive Master's in International Business (Brazil), and Master's of Science in Finance (online). In addition, Executive Education offers numerous customized programs in as many as 30 countries around the world for companies like Rio Tinto (UK), ICBC (China), Panasonic, Bayer (Germany), Abengoa (Spain) and Booz Allen Hamilton. 

Paul Almeida also leads the innovation function at MSB and is charged with leading the development of new programs, applying technology to enhance existing programs, and exploring opportunities for enhancing organizational efficiencies. 

Paul Almeida has conducted executive education and corporate seminars with over 75 organizations, including Microsoft, Gucci, Rolls Royce, IBM, Bechtel, Nextel, Sprint, Samsung, ARAMARK, AREVA, ENI, the World Bank, US Chamber of Commerce, National Public Radio, OPIC, the Department of Agriculture, FDIC, Federal Election Commission, Department of Commerce and Social Security Administration. 


Kirsten Anderson

Teaching Professor, McDonough School of Business

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Professor Anderson served as a financial economist at the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). Prior to joining the SEC, she was an assistant professor of accounting at Syracuse University. She has also worked for the Campbell Soup Company as a financial management assistant. Professor Anderson has served as a representative to the Big 10 Accounting Doctoral Consortium. She is a member of Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting honor society, and Beta Gamma Sigma, the business honor society, the American Accounting Association, the Financial Management Association, and the American Finance Association. Professor Anderson serves as an ad hoc referee for Research in Accounting Regulation and has served as a reviewer for American Accounting Association meetings. She is a certified public accountant. 

Professor Anderson obtained her Ph.D. in Accounting from Ohio State University, and holds a B.S. in Accounting from the university of Delaware. 


Randy Bass

Vice Provost for education, professor of english 

Randy Bass is Vice Provost for Education and Professor of English at Georgetown University, where he leads the Designing the Future(s) initiative and the Red House incubator for curricular transformation. For 13 years he was the Founding Executive Director of Georgetown’s Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS). He has been working at the intersections of new media technologies and the scholarship of teaching and learning for nearly thirty years, including serving as Director and Principal Investigator of the Visible Knowledge Project, a five-year scholarship of teaching and learning project involving 70 faculty on 21 university and college campuses. In January 2009, he published a collection of essays and synthesis of findings from the Visible Knowledge Project under the title, “The Difference that Inquiry Makes,” (co-edited with Bret Eynon) in the digital journal Academic Commons (January 2009: http://academiccommons.org).


From 2003-2009, he was a Consulting Scholar for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, where he served, in 1998-99, as a Pew Scholar and Carnegie Fellow. In 1999, he won the EDUCAUSE Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Technology and Undergraduate Education. Bass is the author and editor of numerous books, articles, and electronic projects, including recently, Disrupting Ourselves: the Problem of Learning in Higher Education (Educause Review, March/April 2012). He is currently a Senior Scholar with the American Association for Colleges and Universities.


Mike Bailey

Interim Dean, McCourt SChool of Public Policy

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Michael A. Bailey is the Colonel William J. Walsh Professor of American Government in the Department of Government and the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. 

Bailey teaches and conducts research on American politics and political economy. He is co-author with Forrest Maltzman of The Constrained Court: Law, Politics and the Decisions Justices Make from Princeton University Press. He is also author of a statistics textbook called Real Stats: Using Econometrics for Political Science and Public Policy, published by Oxford University Press. 

His work covering trade, Congress, election law and the Supreme Court, methodology and inter-state policy competition has been published in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, World Politics, the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization and elsewhere. He has also analyzed many congressional elections and has edited a book from Congressional Quarterly Press on the topic. In 2002-2003 Professor Bailey was a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. In 2011-12 he was the John G. Winant Visiting Professor of American Government, Rothermere American Institute and Supernumerary Visiting Fellowship, Balliol College, Oxford University. In 2014 he was the Hepburn-Shibusawa Distinguished Senior Lecturer at the University of Tokyo. 

A former Monbusho Scholar at Saitama University in Japan, Professor Bailey is conversational in Japanese and interested in Japanese politics.


Mark Bosco, S.J.

vice president and general counselVICE PRESIDENT FOR mission and MINISTRY

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Rev. Mark Bosco, S.J., Ph.D., was appointed Vice President for Mission and Ministry, beginning on August 1, 2017. He also holds an appointment as a Professorial Lecturer in our Department of English. In this role, Fr. Bosco shares the Catholic and Jesuit tradition of education and spirituality with faculty, students, staff, parents and alumni through seminars, presentations, immersion programs and retreats. Fr. Bosco oversees robust campus ministry programs on four campuses and a dynamic pastoral care program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Fr. Bosco came to Georgetown from Loyola University Chicago, where he was a tenured faculty member in both the Department of Theology and the Department of English. He also served as Director of The Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage (CCIH) at Loyola Chicago.

Fr. Bosco brings to our University an extraordinary understanding of our Catholic and Jesuit tradition and the way it influences and strengthens all that we do. As Director of the CCIH, he led a wide variety of symposia, lectures, film series, and conferences designed to deepen scholarly research and provide opportunities for conversation on the Catholic intellectual tradition and how that tradition can be “explored, communicated, and renewed” in meaningful ways.

As a scholar, Fr. Bosco focuses much of his work on the intersection of theology and art—specifically, the British and American Catholic literary tradition—and has published on a number of authors, including Graham Greene, Flannery O’Connor, and theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar. He is the author or co-editor of three books and nearly 20 articles and book chapters, and has taught classes on a wide range of topics, including the Catholic Literary Tradition, Sacramental Theology, Theological Aesthetics, Art and Religious Imagination, and 20th Century American and British Literature. He is also the producer, director, and writer of “Flannery O’Connor: Acts of Redemption,” a feature-length documentary under discussion with PBS/American Masters.

Prior to joining the Loyola Chicago University community in 2003, Fr. Bosco taught at the University of San Francisco and the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. He obtained his Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Theology and Literature from the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley and his M.Div. from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.


Lisa Brown

vice president and general counsel

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Lisa joined the University in March 2013. As Vice President and General Counsel, Lisa provides general legal counsel to the President, the University's governing boards, and its senior academic and administrative officers; advises on the legal implications of University policy and decision-making; and manages the team of lawyers and administrative professionals who serve in the Office of University Counsel. Prior to joining Georgetown, Lisa served in the Administration of President Obama, first as Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary in the White House, and then as Acting Chief Performance Officer at the Office of Management and Budget. She had previously served as Co-Director of Agency Review for the Obama-Biden Transition Project.

Prior to joining the Transition, Lisa served for six years as the Executive Director of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy. During the Administration of President Clinton, Lisa was Counsel to Vice President Gore and a member of the Executive Board of the President’s Committee for Employment of People with Disabilities. She also served as an Attorney Adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. Before entering the government, Lisa was a partner at the Washington law firm of Shea & Gardner. Lisa clerked for the Honorable John C. Godbold on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Princeton University with a degree in political economy, and earned her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School where she graduated with Honors and served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Chicago Legal Forum.


Chris Celenza

Dean, Georgetown College

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Christopher S. Celenza is Dean of Georgetown College at Georgetown University, where he is also professor of History and Classics. Previously, he served as Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at Johns Hopkins University, where he held the Charles Homer Haskins Professorship. At Johns Hopkins he also served a Vice Dean for Humanities and Social Sciences. He served as the 21st Director of the American Academy in Rome from 2010-14. 

Celenza holds two doctoral degrees, a PhD in History (Duke University, 1995) and a DrPhil in Classics and Neo-Latin Literature (University of Hamburg, 2001). He is the author or editor of ten books and over forty scholarly articles in the fields of Italian Renaissance history, post-classical Latin literature and philosophy, and the history of classical scholarship. An Italian translation of his book, The Lost Italian Renaissance, appeared with the publisher Carocci in 2014.  

His most recent book, Machiavelli: A Portrait, was published by Harvard University Press in Spring 2015; and he has two new books forthcoming: Petrarch: Everywhere a Wanderer (London: Reaktion, forthcoming, October 2017); and The Intellectual World of the Italian Renaissance: Language, Philosophy, and the Search for Meaning (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming, spring 2018). 

He has held Fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the ACLS, Villa I Tatti, the American Academy in Rome, and the Fulbright Foundation.

 


Patricia Cloonan

DEAN AND ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, SCHOOL OF NURSING AND HEALTH STUDIES

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Building upon a longtime career as an administrator, educator, and nurse, Patricia Cloonan, PhD, RN, serves as dean of Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies (NHS). Dr. Cloonan has been a member of the Georgetown community for more than 20 years. During that time, she has held a number of academic leadership roles, worked to build strong partnerships with health systems and professional organizations, and led and supported the development of new academic programming and experiential learning opportunities. 

Previously, Dr. Cloonan served as chair of the school’s Department of Health Systems Administration, where she also is appointed as an associate professor. The department includes a bachelor of science program in health care management & policy and a nationally ranked master of science program in health systems administration. In that role, she has worked with colleagues at the School of Medicine and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital to launch the Georgetown University Open School Chapter of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Through the chapter, students have the opportunity to collaborate on an ongoing basis with the hospital’s Center for Patient Safety to address actual projects related to quality improvement and patient safety. Additionally, Dr. Cloonan has been among a team of faculty at Georgetown University Medical Center working to foster interprofessional educational opportunities for health systems administration, medical, and nursing students and interprofessional research opportunities for faculty members. For many years, she co-led, with colleagues at the McDonough School of Business, the Health Care Leadership Institute, which was underwritten by an educational grant from Kimberly-Clark. She has directed and co-directed a number of initiatives, including a Leadership Development Program for the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), a leadership program for new managers in Parkway Hospital in Singapore, and a capacity-building program for nurses in Central and Eastern Europe. Dr. Cloonan also led the department through a successful reaccreditation process for its master’s program, which received the maximum reaccreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). 

Dr. Cloonan continues her teaching, including the senior-level health quality internship course, and maintains active research interests in improving care coordination and health literacy, especially among vulnerable populations. She has published more than 20 peer-reviewed papers, and her most recent publications focus on 30-day hospital readmissions, worker safety, and integrating patient safety and performance into health administration curricula. She joined the Georgetown faculty in 1993. Three years later, she became the director of the school’s then-nursing administration program. In 1998, she and several faculty colleagues were leaders in the conceptualization and development of the school’s health studies program, which grew over time into three academic departments in addition to the school's founding nursing program, which began in 1903. Today, the School of Nursing & Health Studies includes four academic departments in Health Systems Administration, Human Science, International Health, and Nursing, as well as the Center for Health Equity - Research, Implementation, and Teaching (CHERITH). 

Dr. Cloonan earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Boston College. She received her PhD from the University of Virginia


Wayne Davis

president of faculty senate, professor of philosophy

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His research interests are centered in philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, epistemology, and logic, and are focused mainly on the nature of mental states (particularly belief, desire, and thought) and the concept of meaning. Professor Davis has taught at UCLA (1976), Rice (1977), Washington University (1978), and Georgetown. (1979-Present). He was Department Chair from 1990 to 1995, and has been Faculty Senate President since 2001. He served as Executive Faculty Chair, and was a member of the Council of Deans, from 1994 to 1997. 

Professor Davis is the author of An Introduction to Logic (Prentice-Hall, 1986), Implicature (Cambridge, 1998), Meaning, Expression, and Thought (Cambridge, 2003), Nondescriptive Meaning and Reference (Oxford, 2005), Irregular Negations, Implicature, and Idioms (Springer 2016) plus articles on logic, philosophy of science, epistemology, philosophical psychology, and philosophy of language, and pragmatics in Philosophical Review, Mind, Philosophical Studies, Noûs, Linguistics and Philosophy, the Journal of Pragmatics, and other journals. He is Editor of Philosophical Studies

His next big project is to finish Indexical Meaning and Concepts.


John DeGioia

President

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John J. DeGioia is the 48th President of Georgetown University.  For nearly four decades, Dr. DeGioia has worked to define and strengthen Georgetown University as a premier institution for education and research.  

A graduate of Georgetown, Dr. DeGioia served as a senior administrator and as a faculty member in the Department of Philosophy before becoming president on July 1, 2001.  He continues to teach an Ignatius Seminar each fall, which is part of a program offering first year students the opportunity to encounter unique courses of study inspired by the Jesuit educational theme of cura personalis (“care for the whole person”).


Joe Ferrara

chief of staff, office of the president

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Joe Ferrara is currently Chief of Staff to the President of Georgetown University. In this role, he works closely with the President to manage major university initiatives and has traveled with the President and the Board of Directors on university business around the world, including Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Joe has been at Georgetown since 2003 and previously served as Associate Dean of what is now the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown. Prior to his service at Georgetown, Joe spent a few years as an independent public policy consultant and, before that, over 16 years as a civil servant with the federal government. Most of his federal career was with the Department of Defense, where Joe worked on budget, acquisition, and legislative matters. Joe was appointed to the Senior Executive Service and entered federal service through the Presidential Management Fellowship Program.

Joe has received numerous awards for his service at Georgetown and in government, including the Thrive Award for Service to First-Generation, High-Need Students (the inaugural recipient of this award), the Outstanding Faculty Award at the McCourt School, the Secretary of Defense Medal for Civilian Service (three times), and the Vice President's "Hammer" Award for Reinventing Government (twice).


Joe earned his Ph.D. in Government at Georgetown and has published in a number of academic journals, including the American Politics Quarterly, the Journal of Church and State, and the National Security Studies Quarterly. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in political science and public policy. He is married to Martha Ruth Ferrara, CPA, and they have three children, the youngest of whom begins college this fall.


Bob Groves

provost and executive vice presdient (Main Campus)

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Robert M. Groves is the Gerard J. Campbell, S.J. Professor in the Math and Statistics Department as well as the Sociology Department at Georgetown University where he has served as the Executive Vice President and Provost since 2012.

Groves is a Social Statistician, who studies the Impact of Social Cognitive and Behavioral Influences on the quality of Statistical Information.

His research has focused on the impact of mode of data collection on responses in sample surveys, the social and political influences on survey participation, the use of adaptive research designs to improve the cost and error properties of statistics, and public concerns about privacy affecting attitudes toward statistical agencies.

He has authored or co-authored seven books and scores of peer-reviewed articles. His 1989 book, Survey Errors and Survey Costs, was named one of the 50 most influential books in survey research by the American Association of Public Opinion Research. His book, Nonresponse in Household Interview Surveys, with Mick Couper, received the 2008 AAPOR Book Award. His co-authored book, Survey Nonresponse, received the 2011 AAPOR Book Award. He served as the Director of the US Census Bureau between 2009-2012.

Groves serves on several boards and advisory committees including the National Research Council Board of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Pew Research Center Board, the Population Reference Bureau, the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, and the Statistics Canada Advisory Committee. He is an elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences, of the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academies, of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and of the International Statistical Institute.


Norberto Grzywacz

dean, graduate school of arts and sciences

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Dr. Norberto Grzywacz serves as Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.  Prior to his arrival at Georgetown, Dr. Grzywacz served at the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering as Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Dwight C. and Hildagarde E. Baum Chair.  Dr. Grzywacz served as Director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program at USC from 2005-2010 following a research career that brought him to both the Center for Biological Information Processing at the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco. In September of 2001, he joined the faculty of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering. Dr. Grzywacz has served as chair of the BME department since 2010.  Dr. Grzywacz’s extensive research combines multiple disciplines, including neuroscience, physics, cognitive science, cellular biology, biomedical engineering, and mathematical and computational modeling.

He received his bachelors' degrees in physics and mathematics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1980. In 1984, he received his Ph.D. in neurobiology from the same institution.


Joel Hellman

dean, walsh school of foreign service

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Dr. Hellman joined the School of Foreign Service following 15 years of service at the World Bank, where he served as Chief Institutional Economist and led its engagement with fragile and conflict-affected states as Director of the Center on Conflict, Security and Development in Nairobi, Kenya.  Prior to that, he was Manager of the Governance and Public Sector Group, South Asia Region, in New Delhi.  As a development practitioner, he coordinated the Bank’s response to broad and deep complex global challenges such as the tsunami in Aceh and North Sumatra. Prior to the World Bank, he served as the Senior Political Counselor at the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development in London, U.K.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, he is a graduate of Williams College, where he majored in Area Studies. He has a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University and an M.Phil. from the University of Oxford in Russian and East European Studies. Earlier in his career, Dr. Hellman served as a faculty member in the Department of Government at Harvard University and in the Department of Political Science at Columbia University. He is married to Sharon Hellman and they have one daughter.


Rosemary Kilkenny

vice president for institutional diversity and equity

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Rosemary Kilkenny, Georgetown University’s first Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity, was appointed to this position effective April 1, 2006 by John J. DeGioia, Ph.D., President. In announcing Rosemary’s appointment, Jack expressed his confidence and support of Rosemary, as he stated his desire for Georgetown to be a model in higher education for diversity and inclusivity.

Rosemary Kilkenny got her start in the Affirmative Action arena by asking the Dean at her Graduate School at the time, Kent Sate University, why she was one of only nine Black full-time graduate students. The Dean responded by challenging Rosemary to develop a national program to increase the representation of Black graduate students. Her tremendous success in this bold effort led Kent State University to appoint her as Assistant Dean for Graduate Recruitment. Rosemary quickly moved to the position of Assistant Director of Human Resource Utilization, followed by an appointment as Interim Director of Affirmative Action. The State University of New York at Albany lured her away from Kent State University and appointed her as their Director of Affirmative Action Programs. Following a three-year stint at SUNY, Timothy Healy, late President of Georgetown, hired Rosemary as his Special Assistant for Affirmative Action Programs. She has represented Georgetown on matters of employment discrimination, educational equity, Title IX, other issues of Affirmative Action, faculty recruitment, conflict resolution, and Local, Small, Disadvantaged Business Development.

Rosemary has served on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Affirmative Action, Howard Road Academy, and National Child Research Center respectively. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Discovery Creek Children’s Museum of Washington, D.C.

She is an active participant in community affairs and campus activities. She has given many seminars on such topics as Cultural Diversity, Sexual Harassment, and Legal Issues in Affirmative Action to name a few topics on which she has presented at national, regional, and on campus venues. She was one of five Americans invited to Faith University, Istanbul, Turkey to give a presentation at an international conference on social justice in higher education. Her talk was very well-received and covered by the national press in Turkey.

Rosemary received her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Kent State University. She has two sons, one of whom is a Georgetown graduate, College of Arts and Sciences, class of 2006. Her other son attends Georgetown Day School.


Kelly Otter

dean, school of continuing studies

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Dr. Kelly Otter is Dean of Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies (SCS). In this role, Dr. Otter oversees professional graduate programs; liberal studies programs at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels; professional certificate programs and custom education; and summer and special programs. 

Before coming to Georgetown in 2014, she served in academic dean roles at Northeastern University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the College of New Rochelle, and previously held positions in academic administration at New York University. She also taught at each of these institutions in the fields of media studies and interdisciplinary research. 

Dr. Otter’s professional portfolio comprises academic program development, the design and management of technology-mediated education infrastructures and programs, veterans support services, international education and partnerships, and adult and workforce education. Dr. Otter is a member of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), the International Leadership Association (ILA), and the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO).


Peter Pfeiffer

Professor, German and chair, main campus executive faculty

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Professor Pfeiffer studied biology, physics, philosophy, theatre science, and German literature in Stuttgart, Berlin, St. Louis, and Irvine. 

After receiving his Ph.D. in German literature in 1987, he taught at the University of Iowa and the University of Houston before joining the Department in 1991. 

His main areas of research are nineteenth and twentieth-century literature and literary history, though he also branches out into cultural studies on aspects of the formation of national identity and representations of death. In addition to his interests in German literature and culture, he continues to have a strong curiosity about issues in biological sciences. 

Professor Pfeiffer enjoys the intellectual challenge of teaching from introductory language courses to graduate seminars. He is involved in university governance, and has been instrumental in upgrading the university's library holdings in German. From 1997-2000, he guided the development and implementation of the Georgetown German Department's undergraduate curriculum, "Developing Multiple Literacies." His most recent book is a monograph about Austrian-Moravian author Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach. He is also exploring the novels of contemporary writers such as W. G. Sebald and Dieter Forte. Further interests include German film and representations of history in the works of Theodor Fontane and other 19th century writers. As long-term projects, Professor Pfeiffer is collecting materials for studies on death, literacy, and aesthetics in nineteenth-century Germany and on changing notions of "work."