Biography

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This fall, Ángel Cabrera enters his seventh year as president of George Mason University, the largest and most diverse public university in Virginia and one of the commonwealth’s leading research institutions.

Established in 1972 in Fairfax, Virginia, Mason operates campuses across the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region and in Incheon, South Korea, with an enrollment of more than 37,000 students from 130 countries.

Listed among the top 300 research universities in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, Mason is equally committed to academic and research excellence and providing access. Mason has accounted for 48 percent of public university enrollment growth in Virginia in the past decade. Committed to being a well-being university, Mason was named by Forbes as one of America’s best midsize employers in 2018.

Before becoming Mason’s sixth president in 2012, Cabrera served as dean of IE Business School in Madrid and as president of Thunderbird School of Global Management (now part of Arizona State University). Cabrera is the first native of Spain to have served as president of an American university.

As a business educator, Cabrera played a key role in advancing professional ethics, internationalization, and corporate social responsibility. As a senior advisor to the United Nations Global Compact, in 2007 he was the lead author of the Principles for Responsible Management Education, now adopted by more than 700 schools around the world.

The World Economic Forum named Cabrera a “Global Leader for Tomorrow” in 2002, a “Young Global Leader” in 2005, and chair of the Global Agenda Council for entrepreneurship in 2008. In 2004, Businessweek named him one of 25 “Stars of Europe.” Cabrera was an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow in 2008 and a Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting topic leader in 2010.

Cabrera chairs the Commission on International Initiatives for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and is past chair of the Virginia Council of Presidents. He serves on the boards of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, the Bankinter Foundation of Innovation in Madrid, the National Geographic Society, and the Center for Innovative Technology. Cabrera also serves on the advisory boards of the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (Fulbright Program), Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico. He is a member of the Inter-American Dialogue and the Council on Foreign Relations and has served on the corporate boards of three public companies: eFunds, PetSmart, and, currently, Inovio Pharmaceuticals.

Cabrera’s research has been published in leading academic journals. His papers on global leadership, management, and higher education have been cited more than 4,000 times. He has been quoted by leading global media, including The Economist, BBC, CNN, CNBC, El País, Forbes, the International Herald Tribune, and the New York Times. His op-eds have been published by the Washington Post and the international press, and he has appeared on NPR programs and PBS NewsHour.

Cabrera is co-author of Being Global: How to Think, Act, and Lead in a Transformed World, published by Harvard Business Review in 2012.

Cabrera holds a telecommunications engineering degree from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (BS and MS in computer and electrical engineering) and an MS and PhD in psychology and cognitive science from Georgia Tech, which he attended as a Fulbright Scholar.

In 2014, Cabrera received an honorary degree from Miami-Dade College, and in 2018, he received an honorary doctorate from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. The Carnegie Corporation of New York named Cabrera to its 2017 class of “Great Immigrants.”