Ghaleb A. El  Refae, PhD

President, Al Ain University

United Arab Emirates


He is a professor in financial economics with expertise in higher education management, risk management in higher education institutions and university corporate governance. He led the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Science at Al Zaytoonah University of Jordan (ZUJ) for 16 years as a Dean. Since July, 2011 he was assigned as the President of Al Ain University (AAU). 

Under his leadership and governance, he has pushed AAU to the forefront by the 2016 opening of the Abu Dhabi Campus with its state of the art infrastructure, and equipped with the latest technology. This expansion led to higher students’ enrollment and better education quality improvement.
Due to his farfetched vision, AAU has been crowned with numerous achievements: ACPE International Accreditation of the Pharmacy College, the international certification of the Engineering Accreditation Committee in the United States (ABET) granted to the College of Engineering and IT, as well as the international accreditation from the Supreme Council for Evaluation, Research and Higher Education (HCERES) granted to the College of Law , making it the first and only university in U.A.E. to get this international accreditation program. In addition, the remaining colleges in the University are exerting continuous efforts in their advanced stages for obtaining other international academic recognition.
He continues his achievements through his high dedication to community services.   El Refae served as a member of the Coordination Council for Higher Education and Scientific Research, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR) at UAE. He has recently been allocated as a member in the ‘Arab Universities Governance Council’ besides being the General Secretary of the ‘Society of Students Affairs Deanship Management’ (SSADM) which is an emergent organization from ‘The Association of Arab Universities’. He served as a member of the Executive Council of the Association of Arab Universities. He is a member of the Board of Trustees at Middle East University (MEU). 

Foreseeing the development of international education trend in regional markets, El Refae has significantly expanded the number of new undergraduate and graduate educational programs at AAU. As a promoter of  education quality  assurance, he is recognized as a  practice model in education management by being labeled as “Good Practice” by the Commission for Academic Accreditation of the MOHESR at UAE. He served as a Chair and a member of the Academic Accreditation Committee and Equivalence Committee for Foreign Degrees with Jordanian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. His cooperative spirit and academic mind-openness led him to sign many cooperative agreements with regional and international higher education institutions from both private and governmental sectors.
El Refae endeavored in researches that covered many themes, including higher education quality, international higher education, diversity and education, risk management in higher education institutions, university corporate governance, asymmetric information in higher education and topics pertaining to financial economics, industrial organization and Big Data. He was selected as a team member for writing textbooks in accounting, business and economics, according to UNCTAD curriculum offered by Arab Society of Certified Accountants.

He is the founder and Chair of twelve international conferences of economics and business. He is also a guest editor of IJBR and GBER, editorial board member of GBEA and many Arabic academic journals. In addition, he is a reviewer for many reputable international Elsevier and Scopus indexed academic journals. He is frequently asked by universities to evaluate the academic achievement and promote faculty members to the rank of Full Professor and Associate Professor in the fields of: Economics, Finance and Accounting. Moreover, he is a member of the American Accounting Association, American Economic Association and Arab Economic Association. This well reputable journey is also crowned with a number of prestigious academic awards.

El Refae holds a Bachelor’s Degree with honors in Accounting, M.Sc. in Accounting, M.A. and a Ph.D. in Financial Economics from the University of Cincinnati, USA. In addition, he completed the CMA and CPA courses.