Qatar University’s 5th President Professor Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad is one of Qatar’s leading educators and a partner in many initiatives towards the fulfillment of national development strategies.
A distinguished alumnus of Qatar University, Prof Al-Misnad is a champion of education and life-long learning. She earned her bachelor degree in Education in 1977 followed by a diploma in Education in 1978 at QU. She received her doctoral degree from Durham University UK with a thesis on “The Development of Modern Education in the Gulf States with Special Reference to Women's Education” which was subsequently published by Ithaca Press (London) in 1985.
Before assuming the presidency of QU in 2003, Prof Al-Misnad occupied numerous positions in teaching, administration, and research, including Vice President for Research and Community Development (2000-2003) and Head of the then-Department of Foundations of Education (1992-1995). She also served as a member of the University Council (1986-989; 1998-2004).
Academic reform at QU and within the education system in Qatar is one of the areas in which Prof Al-Misnad has made considerable contribution. She led the university’s intensive education reform project which began in 2003, making incremental changes in line with the needs of the community and the vision of the country’s leadership. She has guided substantial reforms in QU’s academic sector (curricula and programs) as well as in its administrative structure and functions. Under her leadership, the university achieved international accreditation for a number of academic programs and colleges, and established a wide range of Master’s and doctoral-level graduate programs featuring subjects of critical importance to Qatar and the region. Additionally, she presides over the continuing progress of the university’s goal to become a leader in research in the region. In 2010, Professor Al-Misnad was appointed Minister by HH the Emir.
Prof Al-Misnad continues to be an active member of the ongoing national initiative by the Supreme Education Council to reform primary, secondary, and private education in Qatar, with a strong focus on enhancing skills and capabilities of teachers in the independent schools, especially in Math, Science, and Arabic.
As a member of the Board of Directors of Qatar Foundation for Education Science and Community Development since 1999, she has had a key role in the governance and leadership of the educational institutions comprising Education City.
Prof Al-Misnad has received a number of distinguished awards and is a member of several prestigious bodies. In 2008, Prof Al-Misnad was granted an honorary doctorate in Civil Law by Durham University in recognition of her "Outstanding achievements in the field of education". In recognition of her ongoing and distinguished contributions to the educational sector nation-wide, an Emiri decree was issued in 2010 granting Professor Al-Misnad a Ministerial rank; Woman in Education Service Excellence Award in the 10th Middle East Women Leaders Awards in 2011; And in October 2013, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from Dalhousie University, Canada.
In 2010, she was appointed a member of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Cairo (AUC); became a member of the Asian University for Women International Council of Advisors in 2009; and has held membership in the United Nations University (UNU) Council since 2004. On October, 2013, Dr. Al-Misnad was awarded from the University of Dalhousie, Nova Scotia in Canada, a Degree of Doctor of Laws, in recognition of her outstanding personal achievements. Recently, the president was selected Vice-Chair, Board of Directors for “Teach for Qatar Institution”.
Prof Al-Misnad has written more than 50 articles published in professional journals and presented at leading conferences and seminars at the local, regional and international levels and has led many high-level delegations to academic events at home and abroad.
In addition to her commitment to formal education, Prof Al Misnad is also committed on a personal and professional level to volunteerism and community service, believing in the importance of giving back to one’s community and translating this belief into ensuring that QU and high-school students are inspired to action to solve real-world problems of their community and beyond.