Dr. Matthew D. Shank (courtesy photo)

Dr. Matthew D. Shank, president emeritus of Marymount University, has been named interim president of the World Affairs Council-Washington, DC, effective July 16. He previously served on the organization’s board, and in 2017, he accepted the Council’s Educator of the Year Award in recognition of Marymount’s focus on preparing students for today’s globalized environment. 

“Matt Shank is in the top tier of nonprofit executives,” said the Hon. James P. Moran, co-chair of the Council board and former longtime congressman for Northern Virginia’s 8th District. “The World Affairs Council looks forward to having the benefit of Dr. Shank’s intellect, wisdom and leadership.”

The World Affairs Council-Washington, DC, (WAC-DC) is a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to sharing global perspectives in the Washington, DC metro area by holding top-level presentations and discussions on global education and international affairs. These programs educate, enlighten and empower students, educators, professionals, the American public and the international community.

“I’m excited to lead this great organization, whose mission is global awareness and education, which is very consistent with the three pillars of a Marymount education,” Shank said.

Shank assumed Marymount’s presidency in 2011. During his first year, he led a campus-wide process that clarified the University’s identity, resulting in its Common Ground initiative. Through three pillars – global perspective, intellectual curiosity and service to others – Common Ground inspires and empowers students to do great things in the world and for the world. With its emphasis on developing culturally competent, globally minded citizens, Marymount is consistently ranked as one of the two most ethnically diverse campuses in the region by U.S. News & World Report. Under Shank’s leadership, the number of international students at Marymount has increased 61 percent. Today, students come to the university from 71 countries.     

Shank’s commitment to solidify and broaden the University’s global position was reflected in a bilateral cooperation agreement with Hungary’s National University of Public Service that focuses on criminal justice, forensics and cybersecurity. He also serves on the board of the American University of the Emirates and signed an agreement to promote exchange between that university and Marymount.

“I’m very familiar with the wonderful work being done by the World Affairs Council,” Shank said. “I think our biggest challenge right now is to get people within this region better acquainted with everything the council is doing.”

Since 1980, WAC–DC has been a leading provider international affairs programs and global educational seminars for educators and students. The Council offers a neutral forum for speeches by presidents, prime ministers, cabinet officials, economists, diplomats, scholars, academics, corporate leaders, authors, researchers, journalists, and Nobel laureates. This enables these worldwide speakers to join Council members and the public for in-depth discussions of major foreign policy and education issues.

Shank was named president emeritus by Marymount’s board of trustees on June 26.

Prior to his Marymount tenure, he was dean of the University of Dayton School of Business Administration and chaired Northern Kentucky University’s Department of Management and Marketing. He was an American Council on Education fellow in the Office of the Chancellor at Vanderbilt University and held academic appointments at the University of Mississippi and Southern Illinois University.