The Quad - Queen's University Belfast


Ira Harkavy

Ira Harkavy, US Chair of the International Consortium on Higher Education, Civic Responsibility, and Democracy, is Associate Vice President and founding Director of the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships, University of Pennsylvania. An historian with extensive experience building university-community-school partnerships, Harkavy teaches in history, urban studies, and Africana studies, and in the Graduate School of Education. Harkavy is a member of the National Science Foundation’s Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE); Harvard College National Advisory Board for Public Service; Widener University Board of Trustees; and the Anchor Institutions Task Force (Chair). His recent publications include Dewey’s Dream: Universities and Democracies in an Age of Education Reform (2007, co-authored with Lee Benson and John Puckett), Higher Education and Democratic Culture: Citizenship, Human Rights and Civic Responsibility (2007, co-edited with Josef Huber), The Obesity Culture: Strategies for Change, Public Health and University-Community Partnerships, (2009, co-authored with Francis Johnston), and Reimagining Democratic Societies (2013, co-edited with Sjur Bergan and Hilligje van’t Land).

Among other honors, Harkavy is the recipient of the University of Pennsylvania’s Alumni Award of Merit and Campus Compact’s Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service Learning. Under his directorship, the Netter Center for Community Partnerships received the inaugural William T. Grant Foundation Youth Development Prize sponsored in collaboration with the National Academy of Sciences’ Board on Children, Youth and Families and a Best Practices/Outstanding Achievement Award from HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research. In addition, with Dr. Harkavy’s and the Netter Center’s leadership, Penn has twice received the Presidential Award in Higher Education Community Service (2008 and 2012) and was named a “Best Neighbor” University (2009) by the national Survey of Best College and University Civic Partnerships. Harkavy received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in History from the University of Pennsylvania.


Erin Nordal

Erin Nordal is a current member of the Executive Committee of the European Students' Union (ESU), the umbrella organisation for 47 national unions of students in 39 different countries, in total representing over 15 million students.  She works mainly with issues related to the quality of higher education, as well as internationalisation and mobility. Through her role in ESU, she is also coordinating a project supported by the European Commission, entitled Peer Assessment of Student-Centred Learning (PASCL). She is also the representative of the European Students' Union in the Bologna Follow-Up Group's Mobility and Internationalisation Working Group. Nordal is currently working on a Master's of Philosophy in Higher Education at the University of Oslo in Norway, and has her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Bergen. Previously, she has also studied at Freiburg University in Germany and the University of Minnesota. She is also one of two newly elected Vice-Chairpersons of ESU for 2014-2015.





Professor Ahmed Bawa

Professor Ahmed Bawa, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Durban University of Technology is a theoretical physicist. Until August 2010 he was a faculty member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Hunter College and a member of the doctoral faculty at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

He has previously, for about nine years, held the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Natal and then at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has served as the Program Officer for Higher Education in Africa with the Ford Foundation and during this time led and coordinated the Foundation’s African Higher Education Initiative. Ahmed Bawa holds a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the University of Durham. He served on a number of policy development teams in the post-1994 period in the areas of Science and Technology and Higher Education and was an inaugural member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation till 2002. He is Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa as well as the Academy of Science of South Africa of which he was one of the inaugural vice-presidents. He also served as Chair of the Board of the Foundation for Research Development, and was Vice-Chair of the boards the Atomic Energy Corporation. He also served on the boards of Telkom and Sanlam. He serves on several international advisory boards.

Rob Hollister

Rob Hollister was Founding Dean of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University. He is Professor in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. A pioneer in the engaged university movement, Professor Hollister led the creation and development of the Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, a uniquely comprehensive university-wide program to prepare students in all fields for lifetimes of active citizenship – to educate citizen engineers and citizen physicians, citizen humanists and citizen businesspeople.  In 2005, he co-founded the Talloires Network.  Also in 2005, in partnership with Campus Compact, he initiated The Research University Civic Engagement Network, an alliance that today number 40 major U.S. research universities.

A specialist in citizen participation in public affairs and in the leadership and management of nonprofit organizations, Professor Hollister is co-author of The Engaged University:  International Perspectives on Civic Engagement and Development Politics, and co-editor and contributing author of Governing, Leading and Managing Nonprofit Organizations; Cities of the Mind; Neighborhood Policy and Planning; and Neighborhood Health Centers.

Professor Dr. Viola B. Georgi

Professor Dr. Viola B. Georgi holds the chair for Diversity Education at the University of Hildesheim. She is the director of the Center for Inclusion in Education – Diversity and Democracy in Immigrant Societies. Prior to this position she was Professor for Intercultural Education at Free University Berlin. In 2010 she was a visiting scholar at York University in Toronto (Canada). She has worked as a research assistant and research fellow at Goethe-University Frankfurt and Ludwig Maximilians University Munich. She studied education and sociology at Goethe-University Frankfurt, the University of Bristol (England) and Harvard University (USA). Her research focuses on: diversity and citizenship education, migration and memory studies, educational media and teacher education.  She has profound international study and research experiences, among others University of Bristol (UK), Harvard University and UC Berkeley (USA), York University and University of Toronto (Canada), Sabanci University (Istanbul, Turkey). She is a member of a number of research commissions and boards and is engaged in various government and civil society initiatives within the field of migration and integration in Germany.


David Scobey

David Scobey became executive dean of The New School for Public Engagement in 2010. He is a national leader in developing innovative methods to engage institutions of higher education with communities outside the academy. He was previously director of the Harward Center at Bates College in Maine, established to bring together community-based learning and research, co-curricular work, and environmental stewardship. He is the founder and former director of the University of Michigan's Arts of Citizenship program, an initiative to integrate civic engagement and the liberal arts. Scobey’s scholarship explores politics, culture, and space in 19th-century America and New York City in particular.

He taught for 16 years at the University of Michigan, holds a PhD in American studies from Yale, where he also received his BA degree, and a diploma in social anthropology from Oxford, where he studied as Rhodes Scholar.



Mildred García

Mildred García is currently president of California State University Fullerton and previously served as president of California State University Dominguez Hills where she was the first Latina president in the California State University system. Prior to coming to the CSU, she was president of Berkeley College in New York and New Jersey and earlier held positions at Arizona State University, Montclair State University, and the Hostos and LaGuardia community colleges of the City University of New York.

Named to Hispanic Business magazine's 100 Most Influential Hispanics list for 2007, García has a strong commitment to multicultural alliances and believes that these coalitions strengthen students' self-development and opportunities, as well as strengthen institutions and communities.

Her research and publications focus on the impact of equity in higher education policy and practice, and her books include Succeeding in an Academic Career; Assessing Campus Diversity Initiatives (co-authored); and Transforming the First Year of College for Students of Color (with Laura I. Rendón and Dawn Person). She is also a much sought-after speaker at national and international conferences. García serves on President Obama’s Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics and was selected by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to the U.S. Committee on Measures of Student Success. She is a founding board member of the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships.

Garcia received a Doctor of Education degree as well as a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University; a master's degree in Business Education/Higher Education from New York University; a bachelor's degree in Business Education from Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY); and an associate's degree in Legal Secretarial Sciences in Business from New York City Community College, CUNY.


Peter McNaney

Peter McNaney has been the Chief Executive of Belfast City Council since January 2002. The largest of the 26 District Councils in Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council has an annual budget in excess of £180 million and a staff of 2,500 to serve the 277,000 people who live within its boundary. The Council has 51 Elected Members drawn from 6 political parties with no one political group enjoying overall political control. It operates a system of power sharing with the d’Hondt mechanism used to ensure proportionality on Council Committees and in outside appointments.

The Council is presently committed to delivering a £250M Capital Investment Programme in the city over the next three years which will include a £30M exhibition centre at the Waterfront Hall, a £24M investment in the city’s digital infrastructure and a £105M investment in renewing its existing leisure estate.

Peter is a solicitor by profession and has worked for the Council for 28 years in a range of posts. He has served on many external boards, including the Council of the Law Society, and has chaired the governing body of Belfast Metropolitan College and a number of citywide partnerships including the Belfast Strategic Health Partnership, Belfast Resilience and the Community Safety Partnership.

Planning, regeneration and community planning will become functions of local government under the Review of Public Administration. Peter is presently chairing the regional Transfer of Functions Working Group which will report to the Minister for the Environment on the operational issues surrounding the functions which will transfer to local government in 2015.

Peter was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2013 for services to Local Government and the Community.


Nancy Cantor

Nancy Cantor is Chancellor of Rutgers University – Newark, a post she assumed in January 2014. A distinguished leader in higher education, she is recognized nationally and internationally as an advocate for re-emphasizing its public mission. This entails a view of the university not as a traditional "ivory tower," but as a public good, an anchor institution that collaborates with partners from all sectors of the economy to fulfill higher education’s promise as an engine of discovery, innovation, and social mobility.

Prior to her current position, Cantor was Chancellor and President of Syracuse University, where she led multi-faceted initiatives that built on the universities historical strengths, pursuing cross-sector collaborations in the City of Syracuse that simultaneously enrich scholarship and education, spurring transformation of this older industrial city. These local engagements in key areas—such as environmental sustainability; art, technology, and design; neighborhood and cultural entrepreneurship; and urban school reform—resonate nationally and globally, demonstrating the impact and importance of engaged scholarship and the inter-connectedness of the pressing issues of our world. The breadth, depth, and success of these efforts earned Chancellor Cantor the 2008 Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award.

Previously, Cantor was chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan and senior research scientist at the Institute for Social Research, and chair of the department of psychology at Princeton University.

A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, Cantor is a board member of the American Institutes for Research and the New York Academy of Sciences, co-chair of the American Commonwealth Partnership’s Presidents Council, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Anchor Institutions Task Force. Chancellor Cantor lectures and writes extensively on the role of universities as anchor institutions in their communities, along with other crucial issues in higher education such as rewarding public scholarship, sustainability, liberal education and the creative campus, the status of women in the academy, and racial justice and diversity.


Renée T. White

Renée T. White is dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts.  As dean she leads the school’s undergraduate women’s college as well as its co-educational graduate programs, both of which are known for integrating liberal arts, professional studies, and experiential learning.  She describes herself as a leader who likes to inspire others to take chances, and she is convinced that Simmons has the opportunity to develop "new habits of mind" for the 21st century.  Before coming to Simmons College, White was a professor of sociology and Black studies at Fairfield University where she also served as Academic Coordinator for Diversity and Global Citizenship.  At Fairfield, she also helped develop Service for Justice, a residential community. 

An expert in gender, race, and HIV/AIDS, White is the co-author of three books, including the acclaimed Spoils of War: Women of Color, Cultures, and Revolutions (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997), and author of Putting Risk in Perspective: Black Teenage Lives in the Era of AIDS (Rowman & Littlefield, 1998). She has served as editor of the Journal of HIV/AIDS Prevention in Children & Youth and the People of Color Caucus newsletter for the Society for Values in Higher Education. She is currently an advisor to the Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services.

Her research and teaching interests are reproductive health, social inequality, sexuality, HIV/AIDS, and social justice.  White was a Wye Faculty Fellow at the Aspen Institute, and she was selected as a delegate for Vision 2020, a national initiative dedicated to gender equity.

Dr. White received her B.A. from Brown University and her M.A. and Ph.D in sociology from Yale University.


Jackie McDonald

Jackie McDonald has made a significant contribution to the academic study of loyalism and the problems which effect the transition from conflict to peace in Northern Ireland. His input to studies such as Ulster Loyalism After the Good Friday Agreement (edited by Graham Spencer and James W. McAuley) in 2011 and the forthcoming book The UDA and the Future of Loyalism (by the same authors) has provided invaluable inside accounts of the tensions that shape loyalist transformation and his presentation to the Political Studies Association annual conference in Belfast in 2012 further detailed the work being done to try and move loyalism away from criminality towards stability and positive change. In making himself available to academic inquiry Jackie has helped the outside world further understand the identity and imagination that shapes the loyalist outlook and the continuing difficulties faced by loyalism as it struggles to adapt to the demands and pressures of peace and social stability in Northern Ireland.




Matthew Hartley

Matthew Hartley is an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and chair of the Higher Education Division. His research and writing focus on academic governance and he is especially interested in exploring how academic communities define their educational and civic missions. Dr. Hartley is currently engaged in research in Kazakhstan examining the shift of the governance system of this post-Soviet country and the move towards greater institutional autonomy and the establishment of boards of trustees. He has also been engaged in work with the Council of Europe in Strasburg, France, exploring partnerships between universities, schools, and civil society organizations aimed at promoting Education for Democratic Citizenship. In 2011 he completed a Fulbright in Bratislava, Slovakia, in partnership with the Slovak Governance Institute examining the launch of community-based learning efforts at several universities. His book, To Serve a Larger Purpose, co-edited with John Saltmarsh, examines the roles of universities in democratic societies. Dr. Hartley serves on the editorial boards of Educational Research, the Review of Higher Education, and the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. He earned his Masters and Doctorate from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.


Dr Martin Bean

Dr Martin Bean is Vice Chancellor of The Open University, the UK’s largest academic institution and a global leader in the provision of flexible and inspiring learning. He is the fifth person to lead the institution in the four decades since its creation in 1969, in which time it has provided quality, innovative, accessible education to millions.

Martin has more than 25 years’ experience working at the intersection between education and technology globally.

Before joining The Open University in October 2009, he was General Manager within Microsoft’s Worldwide Education Products Group where he was focused on developing solutions to help the global education community address its challenges. In this role he was responsible for product management, business development and marketing.

He has also held senior positions with Novell, the global software corporation, including Vice President of Education Worldwide Sales and Market Development. Martin also served as President of Sylvan Prometric, one of the world’s leading providers of testing and assessment services, where he was responsible for worldwide sales, service delivery, marketing and strategy. In 2012 Martin announced that The Open University would be launching Futurelearn, the UK’s first at-scale provider of Massive Open Online Courses.

Martin has long been an international champion for the best of British higher education, and in 2014 this work won formal recognition when David Cameron appointed him as one of the Prime Minister’s Business Ambassadors.

As well as commercial roles spanning from Europe to Asia Pacific to North America, he is heavily involved in shaping education in the developed and developing world, and is currently a member of The British Council’s Board of Trustees and the Commonwealth of Learning’s Board of Governors. Martin was also President of the not-for-profit AIESEC, the world’s largest student-run organisation, which places economics and commerce graduates in assignments around the world. Martin secured grants from major global corporations and managed the Board of Advisors of this 40,000 member organisation.

In addition Martin has served as a member of the Work Force Training and Education Coordinating Board and the National Board of Directors of Jobs for America’s Graduates as well as advising the U.S. Senate on the importance of IT in the Workforce Investment Act.

The 49 year old Australian holds a Bachelor’s degree in Adult Education from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. He now lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife and three daughters.


Marcine Pickron-Davis

Marcine Pickron-Davis is Chief Community Engagement and Diversity Officer at Widener University, and reports directly to the president. She joined Widener University in October 2003. In this position, Dr. Pickron-Davis serves as the university liaison and the president’s delegate to build community relations and strategic partnerships with the city of Chester. A major priority of her work is to advance Widener’s institutional mission to contribute to the vitality and well-being of the metropolitan region. Dr. Pickron-Davis oversees the Office for Community Engagement and Diversity Initiatives, which is responsible for fostering university and community partnerships with schools, business and civic leaders, and faith-based organizations; collaborates with and supports faculty engaged in service-learning and community-based research; broadens staff volunteerism in the community; and assists in the development of short- and long-term strategies that address the social, economic, and educational needs of the local community. Dr. Pickron-Davis has played an instrumental role in raising the profile of Widener’s civic engagement mission, which has been recognized by external constituents such as the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Project Pericles, and the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. She completed her bachelor’s degree from the Pennsylvania State University in 1982 and her master’s of social work degree from Temple University’s School of Social Administration in 1986. She earned her doctor of philosophy degree in educational leadership at the University of Pennsylvania in 1999.


Dr. James T. Harris

Dr. James T. Harris is the president of Widener University, a doctoral-granting, metropolitan university in the United States. Under his leadership, Widener has gained recognition for its civic engagement work and was one of the first universities in the nation identified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to be classified as a “community engaged” institution. Dr Harris has served on several national higher education boards and continues to be an active scholar and teacher. Dr Harris is the recipient of many awards and honors. For example, earlier in his career, he was named by the John Templeton Foundation as one of the Top 50 Character Building Presidents in America and in 2011 he received the Chief Executive Leadership Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Since 2002, he has been on the faculty of the Harvard University summer institutes where he works with future higher education leaders and he recently co-authored a book published by Stylus entitled “Academic Leadership and Governance in Higher Education.”


Ligia Deca

Ligia Deca is a PhD researcher in political science at the University of Luxembourg, focusing on Europeanisation and internationalization. She is also a policy expert at the Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research and Innovation Funding in Romania (UEFISCDI), coordinating higher education related policy activities, and a member of the ‘Science in Education’ Expert Group set-up by the European Commission.

Previously, she was the Head of the Bologna Follow-Up Group Secretariat (2010-2012), which involved coordinating a team of professionals that supported the activities of the 2009-2012 Bologna Process’ work plan and prepared the 2012 Bucharest Ministerial Conference and Third Bologna Policy Forum, under the coordination of Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports in Romanian, as well as the BFUG Chairs and Vice-Chair.

In 2008-2010, she was the Chairperson of the European Students’ Union (ESU). As a Chairperson, she was the main policy and organisational coordinator of ESU, while being the official ESU representative in the Bologna Follow-Up Group, the European Union Lisbon higher education setting and UNESCO. During her mandate, she was also the ESU representative in the E4 group, as well as within the European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF) Steering Committee.

Her professional experience also includes working in the Quality Assurance field by being active as a consultant in the development of quality management systems in various institutions (higher education institutions, public institutions and private companies) and coordinating the Coalition for Clean Universities - a campaign aimed at fostering academic integrity and fighting corruption in the Romanian educational sector.


Dr Stephen Farry

Dr Stephen Farry has been an elected Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly since 2007. He was appointed Minister for Employment and Learning in the Northern Ireland Executive in May 2011. His ministerial portfolio includes responsibility for: higher education, further education, vocational training, employment services, employment law and labour relations, skills strategy, student support and postgraduate awards.

Minister Farry graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with a BSSc (1st Class) in Politics. He gained his PhD in International Relations on the topic of the United Nations in the post-cold war era. He was a Senior Fellow of the United States Institute of Peace from 2005-2006. He has also acted as a consultant trainer for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in Croatia and Bosnia.

He served as the General Secretary of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland from 2000-2007.

He became a member of the North Down Borough Council in 1993. This role continued until 2011. Minister Farry was Deputy Mayor for North Down from 2002 – 2003 and, subsequently, Mayor in 2007-2008. He was a member for Community Relations Council from 2007-2011. He was also director of Bangor and Holywood Town Centre Management Ltd.


Reverend Father Walid R. Moussa

Reverend Walid Moussa holds a Doctorate Degree in Ecumenical Theology from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome, Italy. He had first pursued his studies in Philosophy and Theology at the Pontifical University of Saint John Lateran in Rome, Italy. In addition to his philosophical and theological background, Fr. Moussa joined Madonna University in Michigan, U.S.A. and graduated with a Master of Science in Business Administration. He later followed postgraduate studies in School Administration at Saint Joseph University, Lebanon.

In September 2005, Fr. Moussa was elected President of Notre Dame University-Louaize, Lebanon (NDU). Currently, he has been serving as President of the Universities Association of Lebanon (UAOLB) since October 2011, as member on the Board of the International Association of Universities (IAU) since July 2008, and as member on the Executive Board of the Association of Arab Universities (AARU) since March 2012.

Fr. Moussa’s research interests are related to Ecumenism and Christian Unity on one hand, and Education and Cultural Diversity on the other hand. He is a Salzburg Seminar Fellow and a member in the Delta Mu Delta, National Honor Society in Business Administration, U.S.A.


Professor Tony Gallagher

Professor Tony Gallagher is a Professor of Education at Queen's University Belfast and Pro-Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for Planning, Staffing and External Affairs. He has been in this role since 2010 and from 2005 to 2010 he was Head of the School of Education.

His main research interest lies in the role of education in divided societies — most of his research on this issue has focused on the role of education in Northern Ireland, but he has worked in a number of other divided societies, including Israel/Palestine, Kosovo and Macedonia. He is currently leading a major project on the role of collaborative networks of schools as a way of promoting social cohesion and school improvement. He has also worked with the Council of Europe and a consortium of US universities on the civic role of higher education, including the Council's project on the role of universities as sites of citizenship.



Ms Snežana Samardžić-Marković

Ms Snežana Samardžić-Marković has been Director General of Democracy the Council of Europe since 2012, in charge of the Organisation’s action promoting democratic innovation, governance, participation and diversity. Her responsibilities include the policy areas of education and youth, local democracy, cultural policies, election assistance, the protection of human dignity, gender equality, children’s rights, and the rights of minorities, societal defences against discrimination, democratic citizenship, social cohesion, intercultural dialogue and democratic responses to crisis situations. Previously, Snežana has held numerous positions in the Serbian Government including as Deputy Director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Neighbouring Countries; Assistant Minister of Defence (2005-2007) and Co-President of the Serbia-NATO Defence Reform Group; member of the Foundation Board of WADA, Minister of Youth and Sports (2007-2012) and President of the Fund for Young Talents.


Rok Primožič

Rok Primožič is the Chairperson of the European Students’ Union, which is the umbrella organisation of 47 national unions of students from 39 European countries, representing almost 11 million students. He has a Bachelor in Law from University in Ljubljana and is currently studying Educational Sciences at a Masters level in VUB Brussels. He has been a student representative for more than five years, first in Slovenia, where he served as one of the acting presidents of the Slovenian Student Union (ŠOS). He was a member of ESU’s Executive Committee in 2011/12 and a Vice-Chairperson in 2012/13. His main areas of work are public responsibility and financing of Higher Education as well as mobility and internationalisation.