The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS) at AUB welcomed Dr. Rabi Mohtar as its new dean. Dr. Mohtar joins AUB from Texas A&M University (TAMU), College Station, USA and brings with him vast experience in the field of sustainable solutions to global resource challenges through research in Civil Engineering, Agricultural Engineering, and Water Science.
Dr. Mohtar served as a Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) research professor and a member of the faculty in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at TAMU. He also worked as adjunct professor at TAMU-Qatar and at Purdue University.
“We are confident that under Dr. Mohtar’s leadership, and with FAFS’ excellent and dedicated faculty, students, and staff, much can be accomplished to further advance the mission of this faculty as a transformative difference-maker for our peoples,” said AUB President Fadlo Khuri in a message to the community announcing the recent appointment of Dr. Mohtar.
With over 80 peer-reviewed articles and more than 200 published scientific and policy articles, Dr. Mohtar has participated in or organized nearly 300 technical sessions, conferences, and workshops worldwide. He has supervised more than 70 students (PHD and MSc), hosted more than 30 postdoctoral and visiting scholars, and worked in research and training in more than 15 countries.
He has received more than $12 million in funded research grants to address global resource challenges through the development of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus framework linking science to policy, the characterization of soil-water medium using thermodynamic modeling; the efficacy of non-traditional water using physical-based methodologies; and applications for sustainable integrated water management, among others.
Dr. Mohtar coordinated the TAMU Water Energy Food Resource Nexus Initiative (since 2015). He is the 2015 Ven Te Chow Memorial Lecturer of the
International Water Resources Association, a Distinguished Alumnus of the American University of Beirut (2014), and the recipient of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Kishida International Award (2010). He has also served on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Councils on Water Security and Climate Change (2009-2014) and is an advisor to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Momentum of Change, World Water Council, and the OCP Policy Center.
Before joining the faculty at Texas A&M University, Dr. Mohtar served as founding executive director of the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute at the Qatar Foundation (2010-2014) and inaugural director of Purdue’s Global Engineering Programs (2008-2012), where he was also co-founder of the Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering.
Dr. Mohtar succeeds Dr. Nahla Hwalla, who has served as dean of FAFS since 2006. In a message to the community, President Fadlo Khuri noted that Dr. Hwalla’s “eleven years of leadership as Dean of FAFS have been noteworthy for numerous academic, administrative, and strategic accomplishments.”
“Water, Energy and Food are the primary resources needed for human life,” Dr. Mohtar highlighted. “They are highly interlinked and their long term access and availability are being threatened by climate change, human population, and governance challenges, in particular in the Arab region. I am delighted to be working with FAFS and AUB colleagues on research, education, and engagement activities that help the Arab region achieve higher securities in water, energy, and food resources.
The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences was founded in 1952 with the mission to foster the sustainable enhancement of the health and wellbeing of people and nature throughout Lebanon and the region. Described by President Khuri to have made “innumerable contributions to the health and well-being of the Lebanese and Arab society,” FAFS uses basic and applied research as well as student-centered learning to address issues of local and global relevance at the nexus of human nutrition, food security, and sustainable use of resources.
A press release on Dean Mohtar, his appointment and the faculty has been published in major Local Media Channels, including:
to read the President's Perspective, dispatched on February 15, 2018 that talks about FAFS and Dean Mohtar.