Faculty and Leadership

  • Faculty Profiles
  • Diane C. Yu, Executive Director and Leadership Instructor

    Diane C. Yu is the Executive Director of the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program and the NYUAD Summer Academy for high school students. She has taught a popular freshman honors seminar in the NYU College of Arts and Science for seven years. Previously she was the Managing Counsel at Monsanto Company, the General Counsel for the State Bar of California, a White House Fellow appointed by the President, a California judicial officer, and in private law practice. Her BA is from Oberlin College and her law degree is from the University of California at Berkeley. She is a frequent speaker and author and has an honorary doctorate from the City University of New York.

    Jennifer Gerrard, Senior Director

    Jennifer Gerrard is the incoming Senior Director for both the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program and the NYUAD Summer Academy. Prior to joining NYUAD, Jennifer was the Director of the Executive MBA Global Network at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, overseeing the school's five international joint degree programs in North America, the Middle East, and East Asia. Jennifer has spent the majority of her career in the field of international education and has held roles focusing on international student program management, academic advising, and the re-building of legal institutions in post-conflict zones at universities such as DePaul University and the University of California, Santa Cruz. In addition, she has worked at non-profit organizations, including AMIDEAST in Cairo, Egypt. Jennifer holds a B.A. in Political Science and Women's Studies from DePaul University and an MA in Social Sciences with a concentration in Political Science from the University of Chicago.

    Lisa Springer, Associate Academic Director

    Lisa Springer, Associate Academic Director of the NYU Abu Dhabi Summer Academy, has been working with the program since its inaugural year, in 2011. After one summer as lead instructor for the critical thinking and writing class, she served as Academic Director for two years. She is currently Assistant Dean at the American Language Institute of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at NYU. Lisa grew up in the Middle East and, after years working with both the Summer Academy and the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program, considers Abu Dhabi a second home. She holds a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University and an MFA in fiction writing from Warren Wilson College.