Professor Lawrence Pintak will join Aga Khan University in the role of Dean at the Graduate School of Media and Communications, GSMC, on July 1, 2020.
Dr Pintak is an award-winning journalist and scholar who has reported from 18 African countries and four continents. He was the founding dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University (2009-2016) and previously headed the graduate journalism programme at The American University in Cairo. Lawrence holds a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
A former CBS News Middle East correspondent, Dr Pintak’s numerous books and articles focus on America’s relationship with the world’s Muslims and the role of the media in shaping global perceptions and government policy. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Daily Beast, Vox.com and a range of other media.
Lawrence reported on the birth of modern terrorism in Beirut, the Iran-Iraq War, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Zimbabwe’s war of independence and a variety of other stories across Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe including more than 20 wars, coups and revolutions. That reporting earned him two Overseas Press Club awards and a pair of international Emmy nominations, among others.
He was named a Fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2018 for outstanding service to the profession of journalism, which included his role in helping modernise curricula at journalism schools in the Middle East, the Caucasus, and South Asia, where he is a founding member of the board of the Centre for Excellence in Journalism in Karachi and created the country’s first professional journalism master’s degree. Lawrence is an accomplished fundraiser and builder of partnerships, supervising development campaigns that have raised nearly US $50 million.
“I know that I can count on you all to welcome Lawrence to the AKU family and extend him all the support required to push forward the agenda of GSMC as it seeks to develop and build journalistic capacity in East Africa,” said AKU Provost and Vice President, Academic, Dr Carl Amrhein.
Dr Pintak comes to AKU at time when the Graduate School of Media and Communications is poised for its next phase of development having witnessed its inaugural master’s class graduate this year. The School looks forward to enhancing its capacity as the premier institution in the region for the development of journalists and media professionals who can tell the stories of this part of the world and shape the narratives of how these stories interact with the identities and cultures of the people of East Africa. Amidst global upheavals, the journalism industry and higher education have new opportunities to reinvent themselves and GSMC is set to lead the way for East Africa and beyond in wrestling with the questions of our age.