George Mason University

University Leadership

Success Starts Here

We are a progressive, diverse university and our leadership reflects that. We come from many different backgrounds, many different places, and each of us brings something different to the table. It is these very contrasts that allow us to look beyond the expected as we share the responsibility and commitment to ensure the success of our students in their academic goals, personal lives, careers, communities and whatever other endeavors they may choose to pursue.

Our graduates go on to become involved, caring and contributing members of society, who seek to make a positive imprint. It’s the best lesson we teach.

What drew me to Mason was its mission to insist that excellence and inclusivity are not seen as merely compatible. In fact, each is required for the other to exist.

President Gregory Washington

portrait of Mason President Gregory Washington

President Gregory Washington

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In his seven years at UCI, Washington expanded undergraduate and graduate enrollment in the engineering school and recruited and hired one of the most diverse engineering faculty cohorts in the country. In addition, he established the University of California’s first student makerspace and launched the OC STEM Initiative, one of the nation’s first STEM ecosystems, in Orange County, California.

Washington created new graduate and undergraduate programs with the UCI business and humanities schools and led the development of the Horiba Institute for Mobility and Connectivity to advance next-generation advanced mobility systems.

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Washington began his academic career in 1995 as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Ohio State University and served as interim dean of the engineering school from 2008 to 2011. Washington received the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Harrison Faculty Award for Excellence in Engineering Education, and the Lumley Research Award. He also received the National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award.

A first-generation college graduate, Washington is a New York City native. He earned three degrees in mechanical engineering, including his PhD, at North Carolina State University.

Executive Council

Paul Allvin, Vice President for Strategic Communications and Marketing

Paul Allvin has more than 30 years of experience brand stewardship, communications,
marketing, and journalism, having led strategic communications and brand stewardship
teams at The University of Arizona, Make-A-Wish America, the USO, and America’s Promise

Allvin is president of his own consulting company, Cloud-2-Ground, Inc., which offers
strategic communications and branding services to nonprofit and higher education

As Associate Vice Present of Communications at The University of Arizona from 2004 to
2010, he led all communications at a time that included the transition of university presidents
and a university-led mission to Mars. He was tapped to serve a year and a half as interim Vice
President of External Relations, leading all university communications, marketing,
government relations and executive events efforts. Allvin joined the university team after
serving as director of communications and chief speechwriter for then-Arizona Gov. Janet

As the chief brand strategist for Make-A-Wish, Allvin led the organization’s complete rebrand
in 1999-2000, and returned in 2010 to oversee a worldwide brand refresh that put the 36-
nation network of Make-A-Wish chapters and affiliates under a single, unified brand identity
and strategy for the first time in its history. Under his leadership, Make-A-Wish enjoyed
status as one of America’s five most beloved charity brands.

At the USO, he led a brand refresh from 2015 to 2018 that positioned the USO as America’s
leading military- and veteran-serving organization as it celebrated its 75th anniversary. The
public rewarded the USO with lead military/veteran support brand status in 2017.

Allvin is a graduate of The University of Arizona School of Journalism. He lives and works in
Falls Church, Virginia with his wife, Rhian; and their three children, Austin, Eli, and

Lester L. Arnold Sr., Vice President, Human Resources and Payroll

Lester L. Arnold Sr. was appointed the Chief Human Resources Officer and Vice President for Human Resources & Payroll for George Mason University in July 2019. In this role he is responsible for working collaboratively across the university with key stakeholders to engage in a people-focused mission-driven organization that is in alignment with the strategic goals and objectives of the university. Lester also provides oversite for HR functional areas to include Benefits, Employee Relations, Life/Work Connections, Organizational Development, Learning, and Coaching, Payroll, Reward and Recognition, Talent Acquisition, and Workforce Planning and Compensation.

Previously, he served as the Chief Human Resources Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources for Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, NC where he also served as an Adjunct Faculty member providing instruction for a course in Human Resources Management and Employee Law.

A career human resources professional, Lester has been in the field since 1991.  Prior to higher education, Lester has served in multiple senior human resources leadership positions for several national corporations such as FOCUS Brands Inc. (franchisor and operator of over 6,300 ice cream shoppes, bakeries, restaurants, and cafés in 54 foreign countries and U.S. territories under the brand names Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Schlotzsky’s®, Jamba Juice®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, Auntie Anne’s®, McAlister’s Deli®, and Seattle’s Best Coffee®), ARAMARK, Lowe's, and Wells Fargo.

Lester earned a bachelor's degree in Accounting from Norfolk State University and a MBA degree with a Human Resources Management concentration from the University of Hartford. He is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and a Society for Human Resources Management-Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP).

Trishana Bowden, Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Relations, President of George Mason University Foundation

Trishana Bowden joined George Mason University in March 2019 as the Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Relations and President of the George Mason University Foundation.

As the Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Relations and President of the Foundation, Trishana reports jointly to the President of the university and the Foundation Board of Trustees, working harmoniously with a multitude of highly engaged and energetic university and foundation partners. She is responsible for developing, executing, and evaluating all aspects of the university’s comprehensive fundraising program, including annual giving, major and leadership giving, corporate and foundation relations, planned giving, alumni relations, research and prospect management, development services, and donor cultivation and stewardship.

Trishana will provide vision and direction for University Advancement with a clear focus on future fundraising after the completion of the record-setting Faster Farther campaign, which concluded in December 2018. She will provide strategic leadership and direction for post-campaign analytics, reporting, and followup, while working with key leadership to develop clear priorities and a plan for future support through pipeline development, alumni engagement, and participation strategies.

Bowden came to Mason from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland, where she was the Vice President for Advancement, responsible for providing strategy, leadership and direction for fundraising, alumni and parent relations, campaign planning, and implementation. Her accomplishments there included diversifying and strengthening Goucher’s donor base and pipeline to build a culture of philanthropy, which led to a doubling of overall giving to the institution in less than three years.

Prior to her work at Goucher, Trishana was the Associate Dean for External Relations at the University of Maryland’s Francis King Carey School of Law. She also served as Associate Dean for Institutional Advancement at American University Washington College of Law and has held development positions at the American Lung Association of Maryland and the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center. She received a B.S. in Mass Communication/Media Studies from Towson University in 1991.

Deborah Crawford, Vice President for Research, Innovation and Economic Impact

Dr. Deborah Crawford joined Mason as Vice President for Research in April 2016. She is responsible for coordinating and overseeing the full range of the university’s research activities.

Previously, she was with the International Computer Science Institute, an independent non-profit research organization affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley, where she served as president and executive director. From 2010 to 2014, she served as senior vice provost for Research at Drexel University.

From 1993 to 2010, Crawford worked at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in executive and program management positions in the Directorates for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Education and Human Resources, and Engineering, and in the Office of the Director. Crawford also served as NSF’s liaison to the National Science and Technology Council, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the National Institutes of Health. She was recognized by the President of the United States for her contributions to science and science policy, receiving a Presidential Rank Award in 2006 and in 2010.

Prior to joining NSF, Crawford’s research interests were in high-speed optical and optoelectronic systems in work done at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the University of California Santa Barbara, and AT&