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Hamad Bin Khalifa University (“HBKU”) in Doha, Qatar, a member institution of the world renowned Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (“QF”), seeks an experienced, resourceful, and entrepreneurial academic leader to serve as the next Dean of the College of Law and Public Policy at HBKU beginning in the summer of 2018. The College of Law and Public Policy (“CLPP”) was established in 2014 as the only graduate-level academy in the MENA Region offering a 3-year JD legal education program.

Located within Education City along with affiliates of some of the world’s pre-eminent universities, HBKU is a young, robust, research university, composed of five graduate level colleges including the College of Law and Public Policy. The first CLPP class of 12 students will graduate in May 2018, prepared to practice law in Qatar and the larger region and across the globe in the public, private and independent sectors. Under the terms of a comprehensive, 5-year partnership agreement between HBKU and the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law (“Northwestern Law”), the JD program at CLPP was designed and developed under the guidance of Northwestern Law and its esteemed faculty. Northwestern Law identified a founding dean (Clinton Francis) from its law school faculty, supported the founding dean in recruiting permanent and visiting CLPP faculty, and helped to implement the plans and JD program at CLPP.

The current agreement between HBKU and Northwestern Law concludes in June 2018, and the next dean will report to the HBKU Provost and work directly with HBKU leaders to further develop the JD program at CLPP to meet the needs of the students from Qatar and other nations, both within and outside the MENA region, while maintaining the high standards of a world-class, graduate-level JD program that has now taken root in Doha. HBKU College of Law and Public Policy aspires to be a world-class provider of legal education with an international reputation for quality and innovation in teaching and research. Owing to its position at a global crossroads in terms of culture, business and geopolitics, Qatar is at the heart of a region that requires leaders who can manage multi-faceted relationships that span different legal systems and who have a command of a wide range of skills.

The next CLPP dean will build on the JD platform that has been established over the past five years at HBKU and expand the college’s educational and research programs to meet the evolving needs and expectations of the region. Recruiting top-tier, permanent faculty remains a distinct demand for the next CLPP dean. HBKU is seeking a leader who is excited and energized and has the knowledge, persistence, and entrepreneurial spirit.

HBKU has authorized Northwestern Law, through its Dean, Daniel Rodriguez, and its Associate Dean for International Initiatives, James Speta, to work with the executive search consulting firm of Isaacson, Miller to recruit candidates for this position. Applications, nominations and inquiries should be addressed to Isaacson, Miller as described at the end of this document.

Hamad Bin Khalifa University and Education City, Qatar

HBKU was founded in 2010 to fulfill QF’s vision of unlocking human potential and has rapidly become an emerging research university that acts as a catalyst for transformative change in Qatar and the region while having global impact. HBKU is committed to utilizing a multidisciplinary approach across all focus areas and offers primarily graduate-level degree programs in five colleges: the College of Science and Engineering; the College of Islamic Studies; the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; the College of Health and Life Sciences; and the College of Law and Public Policy, which has developed a 3-year JD program, similar in content and design to those of top-tiered law schools in the United States.

With approximately 625 students representing 57 nationalities, and a faculty of 75, HBKU is a member institution of the greatly admired QF, and is named after Qatar’s former emir (“Father Emir”) Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. HBKU, a private university governed by an 8-member Board of Trustees, is located in Education City, which is a unique hub for knowledge and education. In addition to HBKU, Education City hosts affiliates of some of the world’s pre-eminent universities: Carnegie Mellon University; Georgetown University; HEC Paris; Northwestern University; Texas A&M University; University College London; Virginia Commonwealth University; and Weill-Cornell Medicine.

As an important component of a world-class research-intensive university, the College of Law and Public Policy at HBKU fully embraces the four overarching strategic objectives of the University: (1) to become a top-ranked, widely recognized research-based university; (2) to develop leaders through programs aligned to the future needs of Qatar and the world; (3) to conduct high-impact research that provides solutions to challenges critical to Qatar and the world; and (4) to be a national resource of knowledge, serving government, industry and society in Qatar by leveraging synergies with partners and other organizations to ensure a high quality research and education environment. These four pillars of HBKU’s strategic plan – excellence,
leadership, innovation, and synergy – serve to distinguish CLPP from other legal and public affairs academies and suggest an approach to legal education that is unique and forward-thinking. For more on the HBKU’s 2016-2026 Strategic Plan

Since its inception in 1995, Qatar Foundation has shaped the nation’s development through the creation of multiple and diverse centers of excellence and by leveraging partnerships with leading international and national institutions. QF is now home to over 4,600 students and over 4,000 staff, including faculty and researchers, largely located within Education City, which has become a thriving and unique hub which has made QF a leading intellectual player on the global stage.

Former Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, after whom HBKU is named, ushered in wide-sweeping political and media reforms, unprecedented economic investment, and a growing Qatari regional leadership role. Qatar is classified by the UN as a country of very high human development and is widely regarded as the most advanced Arab state for human development. The current Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, remains popular with the Qatari public, having prioritized improving the domestic welfare of Qataris, including establishing advanced healthcare and education systems and expanding the country’s infrastructure in anticipation of Doha’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Distinguishing the JD Program at the College of Law and Public Policy

In most of the world outside the United States and Canada (and a few other exceptions in South Korea, Singapore, and Australia), including the MENA Region, legal education is conducted at the undergraduate level, leading to a baccalaureate degree in law (LLB). Graduates with an LLB are allowed to practice law subject to the licensing statues and practices in the relevant jurisdiction. Legal education as a post-baccalaureate, graduate-level degree is a 19th century American innovation that now leads upon successful completion of the program to a JD (juris doctor) degree. Generally, the JD programs in the US, whether administered by university-based law schools or independent schools of law, involve three academic years of study (or if accelerated, the equivalent in academic credits), which include doctrinal instructions, and increasingly, experiential courses as well.
Five years ago at the urging of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the Founder and Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, HBKU began to explore offering a JD program at the University, which was and remains the only JD program in the MENA Region. HBKU engaged the expertise of Northwestern Law to help develop the JD program, and the first class was admitted in the fall of 2015 and will graduate in May, 2018. Professor Clinton Francis, a member of the faculty at Northwestern Law became the founding dean and recruited the core faculty as well as visiting faculty. Currently there are 8 permanent faculty members at CLPP.

HBKU’s CLPP offers training to graduate students from a range of disciplines in the skills needed to understand the diverse legal systems – civil, common, and Sharia – that inform Qatari law and that govern the complex events and transactions, both in the region and throughout the globe. HBKU’s College of Law and Public Policy also has the potential to develop auxiliary programs to increase the visibility of the college to government and corporate leaders, both locally and globally, in order to foster the growth and connectedness of the college as well as provide broad opportunities for students and future graduates.

The curriculum focuses on an in-depth look at the conceptual theory of law and includes general courses focusing on the foundational principles needed to successfully practice law in the various legal systems of the MENA region. Students are given a comprehensive education in the function of law, whether in Qatar, the region, or internationally. There is considerable focus on the application of law, ensuring that practical skills are developed, in addition to theoretical understanding of legal issues and concepts. In addition, targeted courses will cover sectors and themes that are vital to the future ambitions of Qatar and the region, such as energy, healthcare, infrastructure development, finance and global investment, entrepreneurship, intellectual property, human rights, and cultural endowment and media.

Students also receive professional skills training – focusing on such skills as contract drafting, trial advocacy, alternative dispute resolution, negotiation techniques, and presentation training. Also the program offers the possibility of an internship opportunity.
The JD program at HBKU is distinctive and significant from several perspectives:

  • The HBKU JD program provides a higher level of legal training than is currently available in Qatar or anywhere in the MENA region. This higher level of legal training allows graduates to secure positions of leadership and impact in private industry, government, NGOs, and the legal services sector, not just in the MENA region, but anywhere in the world;
  • The HBKU law faculty engages in research and produces scholarship at the high level befitting an ambitious law school at a research university;
  • The JD program at HBKU provides an option for Qatari (and other) students to secure a JD without leaving the region which may be difficult for financial and cultural reasons, particularly for women;
  • HBKU’s JD program at CLPP is offered in state-of the-art, modern, well equipped facilities and taught by accomplished and highly regarded professors;
  • As part of HBKU and within the larger and incomparable higher education environment of Education City, CLPP students and faculty have opportunities for multidisciplinary research and studies that broaden and augment their legal curricula;
  • Students at CLPP are learning as part of an international, diverse, graduate-level community of scholars;
  • The framework of the JD program at CLPP is decidedly international and comparative in nature, providing a broader familiarity for students with different legal systems and administrations;
  • Classes at HBKU are smaller sized and offer greater individual attention;
  • The JD program is currently geared to more mature students, most of whom already have productive careers, and who are able to bring those real world experiences into the classroom.

The next dean of CLPP will have the opportunity to collaborate with the law school faculty and the HBKU leadership to examine the results of the 2015-2018 start-up phase of the current JD program and make appropriate adjustments to both the existing JD program and the possible addition of LLM and SJD programs in fields of legal studies most germane to the region and its needs, such as energy, oil and gas law, intellectual property law, health law, dispute resolution, international finance law and other areas of law relevant to Qatar

Distinguishing the JD Program at the College of Law and Public Policy

While no one candidate will embody every quality, the successful candidate will bring many of the following professional qualifications and personal qualities to the position.

  • A JD or other terminal degree in law with academic or professional accomplishments meriting tenure at the rank of full professor and demonstrating a commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. Candidates from private practice, government, and other non-academic sectors with distinguished records will be considered;
  • A deep understanding of the pedagogical challenges facing legal education today, combined with experience and an aptitude in devising strategies to meet these challenges;
  • Experience as an administrator at an institution of higher education with strong management and financial skills, capable of encouraging innovation to enhance the mission of academic excellence at the College of Law and Public Policy, and experience managing organizational change;
  • An ability to articulate a clear, creative, and compelling academic vision for the College of Law and Public Policy that can engage faculty, staff, students, alumni, employers, and donors, and that promises to elevate CLPP to a position of distinction among law schools regionally and globally;
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills with an ability to relate well to a broad range of constituencies;
  • Cultural competence and experience in navigating in countries and a variety of settings;
  • An ability to recruit, hire, develop, and retain talented faculty and staff;
  • Exceptional communication skills; a collaborative leadership style conjoined with decisiveness, flexibility, integrity, patience, and good humor;
  • Experience with, and an understanding of, international higher education programs;
  • An appreciation and respect for the history, culture and aspirations of people and nations in the MENA Region.

Application Procedure

Applications, which should include a resume or curriculum vitae and a letter describing the applicant’s interest in this leadership position and describing her/his experiences and skills that will enable her/him to meet the challenges set forth in this invitation, should be sent to the following electronic mailbox: . Electronic submission of materials is strongly preferred. Inquiries and nominations may also be sent to the web address cited above or directed to:
Tim McFeeley or Brian Nwachukwu
Isaacson, Miller
1300 19th Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036
Apply via the website:
Telephone: 202-682-1504
All inquiries and expressions of interest will be held in strict confidence.