‘Shattering the Glass Ceiling’ Yet Again!

April 29, 2021

Prof. Mona Khoury-Kassabri appointed as Vice President for Strategy & Diversity at the Hebrew University.

The Australian Friends congratulates Professor Mona Khoury-Kassabri, who was our guest in Australia in 2019, on her ground-breaking appointment as Vice President for Strategy & Diversity at the Hebrew University.

During Prof. Khoury-Kassabri’s visit to Australia, the event at which she was the guest-of-honour was aptly entitled, “Shattering the Glass Ceiling” and included some prominent Australian women in a panel discussion that included Prof. Khoury-Kassabri and facilitated by Jillian Segal, AO, President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.

Yet again, Mona has ‘shattered the glass ceiling’ by this latest prestigious appointment, clearly demonstrating that there is just nothing stopping this extraordinary lady who was the first Arab woman ever appointed as a Dean of a faculty at a university in Israel – and possibly even in the entire Middle East – and now once more with her new role as a Vice President of the Hebrew University.

As part of her new role, Khoury-Kassabri will be responsible for broadening the ranks of the university’s academic staff and student body with members from underrepresented communities in academia, including ultra-Orthodox Jews, Arabs, Ethiopians and people with disabilities. In addition, Khoury-Kassabri will be charged with implementing the university’s strategic priorities, among them raising the social, economic and environmental impact of the university, increasing the cross-disciplinary efforts among the university’s six campuses and adapting teaching methods to the post-Corona period.
“Multi-culturalism and diversity are at the very heart of Hebrew University,” added Prof. Asher Cohen, President of the Hebrew University. “For this reason we made the decision to formally create a senior position at the university that will focus on implementing these principles and the strategy to get us there. Professor Khoury-Kassabri is the ideal candidate. She champions diversity without compromising on academic integrity or professionalism.”

On hearing of her appointment, Prof. Khoury-Kassabri said “I am deeply honored to be the first Arab to serve as a Hebrew University Vice President. I feel confident that my experience both inside the classroom and in senior roles at the university will serve me well in promoting the strategic goals and inclusionary values of this great institution,“ Khoury-Kassabri shared.

Currently, Khoury-Kassabri serves as dean of HU’s Paul Baerwald School of School of Social Work and Social Welfare and will hold that position until the end of the 2020-2021 academic year.

Michael Dunkel, President of the Australian Friends welcomed Prof. Khoury-Kassabri’s appointment saying that “just as Mona was an affable and effective guest of the Friends during her visit to Australia in 2019, we are sure that she will continue to serve the Hebrew University with distinction in her new role.” Mr Dunkel also commended the Hebrew University for being the first university in Israel to create a senior role to strengthen diversity and inclusion.

Rob Schneider, CEO of the Australian Friends – who was Mona’s host during her Australian visit and who has struck up a firm friendship with her – says “The Hebrew University has made a wise move in appointing such a dynamic and effective person as Mona to this new role as Vice President for Strategy & Diversity. I have no doubt that she will bring all her strengths to the fore in ensuring that the diversity and reach of the Hebrew University will flourish not only in Israel but in international forums as well.”

Khoury-Kassbari holds three degrees from HU’s School of Social Work and Social Welfare. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago and was a researcher at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Social Work. In 2014, she was appointed Advisor to the President of Hebrew University to increase Arab access to higher education and served in key positions on various committees, including head of HU’s Steering Committee for Israeli Hope in Academia. In 2018, she was appointed Dean of HU’s School of Social Work and Social Welfare. Her areas of research are school violence, juvenile delinquency and cyberbullying.

Prof. Mona Khoury-Kassabri, newly appointed Vice President for Strategy & Diversity at the Hebrew University.