Today, we are getting to know George Liebensfeld, director of academic affairs for executive education:
What is your role at Georgetown? How long have you been working here?
I have been working at Georgetown for 31 years and am currently the director of academic affairs for executive education. Some of my principal responsibilities include building faculty resources and working with faculty to help monitor and improve their performance through course and faculty effectiveness evaluations.
I also manage the Lifelong Learning Program (LLP), an initiative that allows alumni to continue their professional and personal growth after they leave Georgetown. The LLP allows all alumni from our degree programs to enroll in any of the current EMBA electives for free, joining the current cohorts at Georgetown. The LLP allows all alumni from our degree programs to enroll in electives tuition free, joining the current EMBA cohort. We enjoy staying in touch with former students and providing an experience for alumni to renew relationships with faculty and network with other students and executives.
What do you enjoy most about working in Executive Education?
I enjoy the role I play in the admissions process, especially interviewing everyone who receives an interview for the Executive MBA (EMBA) and Executive Master’s in Leadership (EML) programs. The interviews give me an opportunity to sit down with students and learn about their aspirations, their origins, and their backgrounds.
I also enjoy working with faculty whom I’ve known for years. I find it rewarding to not only learn about my colleagues’ personalities but also strengthen everyone’s relationships with one another so that we can all do our jobs effectively.
How has the Office of Executive Education evolved since you’ve been here?
Believe it or not, there was actually no Office of Executive Education when I first came on board in 1986! We had many programs, but none were part of a unified executive education department. I was originally hired by Michael Czinkota from the marketing faculty. He had a policy research center called the National Center for Export-Import Studies, which evolved along with other separate programs at the time such as our EMBA program, certificate programs, conferences, and public policy events.
By the seventh EMBA cohort, Paul Almeida, deputy dean for executive education, and Stan Nollen, professor of international business, emphasized that international business was our strong point from which we needed to build our degree programs. These programs eventually merged into what is now executive education at Georgetown McDonough. We have grown from a very small staff to 25 full-time employees today.
What are some of your interests outside of work?
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge baseball fan, and I pitch for a hardball team. I also love travel and have lived and worked all over the world. In my free time, I read both fiction and nonfiction. When I was younger, I got into the Russian period and then I got into Steinbeck. But now, if I hear about an interesting book, I’ll just pick it up. I also love all kinds of music, everything from rock to classical, which my parents introduced me to. In addition to her love for music, my mother also danced, so I learned to appreciate flamenco and a wide variety of dance styles.