World College picks new president

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By Jennifer Rowland

Mukul Kumar, a leader in international higher education, will leave his post at Hult International Business School in London to become UWC-USA’s fourth president as of Oct. 1.

For Mukul, coming to the international boarding school located in Northern New Mexico is a  homecoming of sorts: He graduated from UWC-USA in 1989 after arriving in the U.S. for the first time at age 16 from his home in Mumbai, India.

“The challenge of preparing the best talent from around the world to become life-long agents of positive social change — while daunting —is exhilarating,” Mukul said. “With a 52-year record, the UWC movement is perfectly positioned to be an exemplar and leader in education for the next 50 years. The chance to be of service in this endeavor in the UWC-USA environment resonates deep in my heart.”

UWC-USA is one of 14 United World Colleges around the world. While each UWC offers a distinct program, all 14 campuses are united in the UWC mission of uniting people, nations, and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.

UWC-USA’s 234 students, ranging from 16 to 19 years old, represent 70 countries and a diverse mix of religious, socio-economic, and cultural backgrounds.

UWC-USA, which was founded in 1982, has 3,000 alumni; there are more than 50,000 UWC alumni worldwide. Mukul is the first alumnus to return to UWC as a school president.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Mukul joining us to help lead the next stage of UWC-USA’s development,” says incoming Board Chair Steven Dichter. “Mukul’s passion for education, innovation, international understanding, combined with his UWC heritage, make him an exceptional choice.”

Mukul has a deep understanding of international experiential education that took root during his student days in New Mexico. Since graduating from UWC-USA, he has gone on to become an innovative thinker, international educator, and business builder who is recognized for leading global, mission-oriented organizations. As the new UWC-USA president, he will have an opportunity to encourage and guide future change-agents through their educational journeys.

“As educators, we need to not only inspire students to discover and pursue students’ passions, but also provide tools to be productive and resilient in achieving their goals,” Mukul says. “I see a great opportunity for UWC-USA to lead educational innovation in preparing students for college and achieving their potential to transform the planet.”

At Hult, Mukul served as the chief academic officer and provost at Hult International Business School, where he led strategy, delivery, and innovation of all degree programs across its seven international campuses.  He pioneered a global academic management strategy, led curriculum re-design focusing on “whole-person” skills and behaviors, and deployed technology to support pedagogical innovation.

Mukul was the executive director of executive education at the University of Maryland. He has taught at Hult, University of Maryland, Georgetown University, Toulouse Business School, and Princeton University in fields including strategy, leadership development, economics, and data analytics.

Mukul began his business career as a consultant at McKinsey & Co. and also worked at the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) in Washington, D.C. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University, bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and of course, an International Baccalaureate Diploma from UWC-USA.