Office of the Vice Chancellor

The NYU Abu Dhabi Vice Chancellor is the chief executive of the University and its campus. Working closely with faculty, students, staff, and administrators, the Vice Chancellor oversees all academic, administrative, and operational affairs for NYU Abu Dhabi. The Vice Chancellor serves on the Senior Leadership Team of NYU in New York and globally, and is a vibrant, visible presence in the intellectual and cultural life of Abu Dhabi. 

Mariët Westermann

Vice Chancellor

Mariët Westermann oversees all academic, administrative, and operational affairs at NYU Abu Dhabi.

Mariët Westermann, former executive vice president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, former provost of NYU Abu Dhabi, former director of NYU's Institute of Fine Arts, and art historian, joined NYU Abu Dhabi as Vice Chancellor effective August 1, 2019. 

Westermann had been with the Mellon Foundation since 2010, and was the executive vice president for programs and research since 2016. In that role, she launched initiatives that study and promote the value of the humanities and the liberal arts, strengthen community colleges, encourage graduate education reform, renew preservation of cultural heritage around the world, and support scholars and artists at risk. Prior to the Foundation she was on the faculty at NYU, first as director of the Institute of Fine Arts and then as the first provost of NYU Abu Dhabi. Before joining NYU in 2002, she was associate director of research at the Clark Art Institute. From 1995 to 2001, she was an assistant and associate professor of art history at Rutgers University.

She received her undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Williams College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received her Masters and her PhD from NYU's Institute of Fine Arts.

Westermann's principal area of scholarly interest is the art of the Netherlands, her native country.  She is widely published in the field, including A Worldly Art:  The Dutch Republic 1585–1718 (1996); The Amusements of Jan Steen:  Comic Painting in the 17th Century (1997); Rembrandt – Art and Ideas (2000); and numerous articles.  She has edited five books, including Anthropologies of Art (2005).  Her extensive work with museums includes her Rijksmuseum Dossier:  Johannes Vermeer (2004); the curatorship of Art and Home: Dutch Interiors in the Age of Rembrandt (Denver Art Museum and Newark Museum, 2001); and numerous exhibition catalog essays.  She is currently preparing an exhibition and book on the resonance of the Garden of Eden in the history, theology, and art of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, with significant implications for garden practice in these cultures.  She has been the recipient of fellowships, honors, and grants from a wide range of organizations, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Philosophical Society, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, Clark Art Institute, College Art Association, and Metropolitan Museum of Art.

She serves on the boards of the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Zones (ALIPH) and the Scholar Rescue Fund.

Vice Chancellor's Advisory Group

Additional Key People

Diane Yu

Executive Director of the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program and NYUAD Summer Academy, Advisor to Leadership

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Key People at NYU New York