World’s First Graduate-level AI University Appoints Renowned Experts to Leadership Team

Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), the world’s first graduate-level, research-based artificial intelligence (AI) university, has appointed two leading experts in AI, education and technology, to its leadership team.

Dr. Ling Shao has been appointed as Executive Vice President and Provost of MBZUAI. He will lead MBZUAI’s academic affairs and research, ensuring the University delivers world-class higher education and research in the field of AI. In addition to his role at the University, Dr. Shao serves as CEO and Chief Scientist of the Inception Institute of Artificial Intelligence (IIAI), an Abu Dhabi-based international research organization that is partnered with MBZUAI to supervise PhD students, curriculum development, and research collaboration.

MBZUAI has also appointed Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf as Executive Vice President for Outreach and Engagement. Dr. Al Yousuf, a highly accomplished Emirati expert, will oversee the University’s external partnership mission, including outreach with the broader community, government agencies, and industrial partners. She will support the development and implementation of AI research initiatives, as well as develop, oversee, and provide AI advisory and consultancy services to public and private sector organizations, including government agencies, large businesses, small and medium enterprises, and AI startups.

Speaking on the leadership appointments, Professor Sir Michael Brady, Interim President of MBZUAI, said: “Our vision from the very beginning was to develop a world-class higher education institution that will set new standards in the field of AI. With Dr. Shao and Dr. Al Yousuf on board we have further strengthened our leadership team, which will steer our University towards becoming a global leader in our field, delivering the best possible AI education to students, and serving as a prominent partner for research.”

Dr. Shao said: “As the first establishment of its kind to focus solely on AI education and research, MBZUAI will play an important role in the future of our societies. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to guide the next generation of AI leaders.”

Dr. Al Yousuf said: “It is an honor to have the opportunity to further contribute to the UAE’s scientific and technology sector through the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence. I look forward to leveraging the capabilities of the University while working with public and private sector entities within the UAE and across the world to find new solutions that will propel global society into an AI-empowered era.”

With the first academic year scheduled to start in January 2021, the University is in the process of vetting thousands of applications from more than 80 countries. The University Admissions Office will begin to send acceptance letters soon.

MBZUAI will offer Master of Science (MSc) and PhD level programs to graduate students from across the world, while also engaging policymakers and businesses globally so that AI is harnessed as a force for positive transformation.

The University will provide all admitted students with a full scholarship, plus benefits such as a monthly allowance, health insurance, and accommodation. MBZUAI will work with leading local and global companies to secure internships and will also assist students in finding employment.

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