Engaging thought leaders

In his podcast, Access to Excellence, Dr. Washington invites experts, change-makers, innovators, and leaders to engage in meaningful conversations about the greatest challenges of our time.

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Dr. Gregory Washington 

President of George Mason University

Mason President Gregory Washington

Dr. Gregory Washington, president of George Mason University.

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Ron Aira/Creative Services/George Mason University

Gregory Washington became Mason’s eighth president on July 1, 2020, taking leadership of the largest and most diverse public university in Virginia, a Carnegie Tier 1 research institution, and a beacon of access for students of all backgrounds. Washington launched his Mason presidency with initiatives to create new academic and entrepreneurial pathways for all Virginians.

Read Dr. Washington's full bio HERE.

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What drew me to Mason was its mission to insist that excellence and inclusivity are not seen as merely compatible. In fact, each is required for the other to exist.

Dr. Gregory Washington

Under Dr. Washington's leadership, Mason brings new life and economic vitality to Northern Virginia.

In April 2022, Mason broke ground on Fuse, a 345,000-square-foot building dedicated to producing the next generation of Northern Virginia's technology workforce.

Fuse will house faculty and students working with the Institute for Digital Innovation and their partners, and graduate programs from Mason’s new School of Computing, the first of its kind in Virginia.

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Fuse at Mason Square

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Life Sciences and Engineering Building

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Dr. Washington established the President’s Innovation Advisory Council to bring together industry, local government, K-12 education, and non-governmental organizations to form an innovation ecosystem with Mason as its hub. 

On the Science and Technology Campus in Manassas, the university developed partnerships to simultaneously break ground on the new Life Sciences and Engineering Building and the Innovation Town Center and University Village at Innovation projects.

The Life Sciences and Engineering Building, a 132,000-square-foot facility, will support students enrolled in STEM-H majors, including kinesiology, materials science, forensic science, bioengineering, mechanical engineering and others.

Great research universities tackle the grand-challenge problems of our time. We call it research of consequence for a reason—we face serious consequences as a planet if we cannot solve our most pressing global challenges. 

 

Dr. Gregory Washington

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Under Dr. Washington's leadership, Mason is developing a tech workforce talent for the Commonwealth.

Mason will be positioned to produce 25,000 additional graduates in computer science, computer engineering, and software engineering through the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Tech Talent Investment Program.

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Tech Talent Investment Program (TTIP)

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Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University

In June 2020 the Institute for Digital Innovation (IDIA) was launched in order to connect Mason’s world-class research community with other communities to shape the future of our digital society, promoting equality, well-being, security, and prosperity. 

students work on a self driving car to make it safer

Institute for Digital InnovAtion (IDIA)

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Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University
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Harvard Business School Podcast: Managing the Future of Work

Harvard Business School graphic for podcast Managing the Future of Work.

Harvard Business School Professors Bill Kerr and Joe Fuller talk to leaders grappling with the forces reshaping the nature of work. Mason president Gregory Washington joins them to discuss opportunity, access, and how Mason is reshaping the value of higher education in challenging times.

As the home to Virginia's largest and most diverse student body, George Mason University continues to advance a university culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Within weeks of arriving at Mason in 2020, President Washington created a task force to ensure an inclusive and equitable campus environment in which every member of our community, without exception, is valued, supported, and experiences a sense of belonging.

In 2022, more than 400 people came together for Mason's first ARIE (then Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence) conference, which focused on creating a vision for the future of opportunity and belonging. Ahead of the second annual conference in the spring of 2024, ARIE has evolved into Access to Research and Inclusive Excellence. This new name embodies Mason's steadfast dedication to promoting inclusivity within higher education and other fields. This strategic direction underscores our unwavering commitment to building a place of belonging and opportunity for all students, fulfilling our promise in education and future success.

We know our diversity comes in many forms, including diversity of origin, identity, circumstance, and thought, and that equity and inclusion enable our diversity to shine.

 

Dr. Gregory Washington

Two female students speak with Dr. Washington at the inaugural ARIE conference

Dr. Washington speaks with students during the inaugural Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence (ARIE) Conference.

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Sierra Guard/Creative Services/George Mason University
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Under Dr. Washington's leadership, Mason is redefining what it means to be inclusive and allow everyone to participate in a thriving economy.

Dr. Washington strengthened Mason’s commitment to access by creating the Mason Virginia Promise (MVP), a path to a Mason degree or help starting a business for any Virginian who aspires to either goal. MVP reinforces the university’s commitment to the economic success and growth of Virginia. Mason manages the more than two dozen Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) in Virginia as well as Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) and other related small business programs. “We are growing the next generation of entrepreneurs,” Washington says.

Mason Enterprise hosts federal, state, and local programs that support entrepreneurs and small businesses. Last year’s impact was $3.36 Billion, achieved through 40,000 hours of 1:1 counseling to 10,000 small businesses, 1,600 training programs for 30,000 attendees, and 550+ companies incubated. 61% of businesses served were woman-owned, 46% were minority-owned, and 15% were veteran-owned.

See Mason featured in the "Rethinking College” special report on PBS NewsHour.

For 35 years, Mason’s Early Identification Program (EIP) has been helping Northern Virginia middle and high school students prepare for their future college careers.

The program has since grown into an innovative, multi-year college preparatory program known for its breadth and reach, as well as the way it celebrates and embraces students.

EIP now serves more than 700 students annually. The program provides access to educational resources for students from seven local public school systems, helping them acquire the skills they need to become lifelong learners, leaders, and responsible global citizens.

GMU honors college peer mentor tutors high school students for the Early Identification Program (EIP)

Honors College students mentor EIP students during summer programs on campus.

Photo credit:
Photo credit
Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University
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President Washington in the Community and Around Campus
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President Washington tours Fuse
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Visiting with students from Mason Korea
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Greeting alumna and students during Homecoming Weekend 2024
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Mason Thriving Together 5k
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Access to Excellence 

About the Podcast

Dr. Washington speaks into a mic, he has headphones on interviewing a guest for his podcast Access to Excellence

The world is facing serious challenges. Mason President Gregory Washington's conversations on these topics with Mason thought leaders and experts will broaden perspectives, enlighten and educate.

Podcast - EP 58: What will become of the Amazon?

In this Earth Month episode of the Access to Excellence podcast, Institute for a Sustainable Earth's Jeremy Campbell talks to President Gregory Washington about the magnitude of what the loss of the Amazon rainforest would mean and how the Institute for a Sustainable Earth is on the front lines in the region. Listen to this episode.

Listen to more episodes.

Our Future, Transformed: Mason Spotlights the World’s Grand Challenges

About the YouTube Series

Mason President Gregory Washington hosts a new YouTube series titled “Our Future, Transformed: Mason Spotlights the World’s Grand Challenges.” The series features faculty experts speaking about some of the most debated and significant topics of our day with an audience of Honors College students. Experts in the first season discuss the key solutions to key issues, including water policies in the West, police reform, problems at our Southern border, clean energy, and getting more women in to STEM fields.

EP 6: A New Space Race

On the sixth episode of Our Future, Transformed, Hakeem Oluseyi, astrophysicist and research professor at George Mason University, speaks with Mason President Gregory Washington about how the race to exploit cosmic resources has geopolitical implications and why we had to start from scratch in our attempt to return to the Moon. Watch this episode.

Watch more episodes


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Mason's Campuses

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Fairfax Campus
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Mason Square
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SciTech
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Mason Korea