Koirala-Azad becomes first Nepali woman dean at a US university

Shabnam Koirala-Azad has been appointed as the dean of University of San Francisco (USF), becoming the first woman of Nepali origin to hold such a prestigious position at a university of the United States. She also became the first ever woman to take the helm of USF’s School for Educators, Counselors and School Leaders since its establishment in 1947 AD. Before her appointment, human rights expert Koirala-Azad had been serving as interim dean of the university since January.
As the dean, she will oversee over 20 credential, master’s and doctoral programs for over 1,000 aspiring and accomplished teachers, counselors and school leaders a year at USF’s main campus in San Francisco, as well as branch campuses across the Bay Area, according to the university.
“Shabnam is an inspiration to many of us,” said Donald E Heller, provost and vice president of academic affairs at the USF. “She is brilliant at building relevant, sustainable programs that help today’s school leaders and educators excel. She can ground the school fiscally, and help light the way for a new generation of educators.”
Koirala-Azad has risen through the ranks at the USF, beginning her career as assistant professor of international and multicultural education in 2005 and becoming department chair in 2011. As the chair, she established a new master’s degree program in “Human Rights Education” (HRE), the first degree program of its type in the United States. Later, as associate dean of the School of Education, she also helped to strengthen financial and academic systems, and create a new need-based scholarship program that tripled support for students over three years, informed the university.

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